Though I can name over hundreds of reasons why the city of San Jose is so great, I must admit my city is sadly experiencing some troubled times. To many of us in San Jose, it’s been no surprise that we have been plagued with an up-rise of gang violence. With the most recent and largest gang sweep in Santa Clara County history of indicting 48 “Nuestra Familia” members, gang activity is no longer just in prisons. It has now has spilled over into our streets, rapidly affecting our youth, many who happen to be of Latino decent. In most recent times, a 16-year-old boy was beaten and shot to death in broad day light in the city’s highest gang activity region: East San Jose.*
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in the philosophy of gangs and its members. As a matter of fact, in high school, the day after I got a concussion during a softball game, I ignored doctor’s recommendation to stay home from school only because I had worked so hard on my class speech and PowerPoint presentation on the history of gangs. Though I was never personally exposed to the gang lifestyle, I had multiple friends in the public school systems who were manipulated into the gang life, many who would fall through the cracks and end up in and out of jail, never to be heard of again.
Today I was doing my regular online news check when I happened to stumble across an article from the San Jose Mercury News about a mother who is struggling to pay for her son’s funeral costs. After reading further into the story, I realized the story was about the boy mentioned earlier in the post. The funeral is set to be scheduled this Friday only if the family can raise the balance of $5,000. According to the non-profit organization, Mother’s Against Murder, the Urzua family has yet to come up with funds leaving the devastated mother unable to give her son his final respects. Moved by this story, I wanted to help in any way possible so I decided to create a GoFundMe page for the family. GoFundMe.com** is an online fundraising page for different causes where people from all over can donate money. Though I have only set up the page today and have not yet received any donations for the family, I am hopeful I can help in any way.
Though pageant contestants are known for having platforms, I personally believe all people should be advocates for a cause. Yes I’ll admit, being a representative of San Jose for Miss California Latina is pushing me that extra mile to get more involved in the community but I think when there is an issue that is starting to make headlines left and right, action must be taken and that, I can not ignore.
* To read more please visit http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_23591787/san-jose-mom-struggling-bury-teen-son-killed
** To donate to the Urzua family please visit http://funds.gofundme.com/index.php?route=fundmanager&url=3h682w