The Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA) and Office of Student Life (OSL) hosted the first Power Lunch of the spring 2020 semester with guest speaker Reyna Olaguez, the executive director of South Kern Sol News. She visited BC and spoke at the Levan Center.
Olaguez spoke about the challenges she went through to get to where she is today, what Kern Sol’s mission is, and encounters she had with her youth reporters.
Olaguez is from Durango, Mexico and grew up in Westley, California. Olaguez stated that the Amnesty for illegal immigrants bill established by Ronald Reagan in 1986 enabled her father to obtain his green card. Later on, her and the rest of her family obtained their green cards.
The Amnesty bill allowed three million illegal immigrants to be sanctioned in the United States, according to the National Public Radio (NPR) website.
“I was very lucky [to attend the elementary school she went to], because they taught us in both english and spanish, so that’s the reason why I can speak and write in spanish,” Olaguez said.
Olaguez stated that she applied to South Kern Sol twice, the first time she was not accepted because she did not have her Master’s degree.
“It [South Kern Sol] is a youth led organization that focuses on training the next generation of community health reporters. We lift up voices and shine a light on health disparities that exist in communities of color to advance health and racial equity,” Olaguez said.
South Kern Sol offers opportunities to the young adults from the community and that’s what sets South Kern Sol aside from other media outlets from around Kern County.
“Mainstream media are often time reporters who come in, they use Kern County as a stepping stone and then they leave, so they do not get to know the community that they serve, we [South Kern Sol] help young people find their voices,” Olaguez said.
The South Kern Sol stories are shared throughout other media platforms in Kern County, such as El Popular, The Bakersfield News Observer, and The Bakersfield Californian, Olaguez said.