Students in Les Maza's 9th-grade leadership class at Belvedere Middle S chool in East Los Angeles are seeking to improve their school's quality. The school is 99% Latino, and nearly all the students are from working-class or poor families.
Rosella Treja, 14.
I'm not afraid of people or their color. I think people are equal. Their color of skin shouldn't matter. Everyone should be getting along and not fighting just because of the tone of your color. I was raised to think that race, color, creed--it's all the same to me. Yet, say you go into a store where Koreans and Orientals are, they watch everywhere you are and everything you do. They say, 'This person is Mexican,' so they look at you a certain way. They make you think you are not wanted. It shouldn't be that way.
Araceli Rubalcaba, 13.
I think it will be worse when we graduate from high school (in 1996). There are too many people who are too concerned about color. It's what's inside--it's the feelings you have--that's important. I have an Oriental friend and we get along. I have black friends too. We get along OK. But not everyone is that way.