"The Legacy Youth Project Transformed Napa for Nearly a Decade" by Karla Gomez-Pelayo & Yolanda Ayala
For nearly a decade, each Legacy Youth Project (LYP) class session began and ended with the Mayan philosophy-inspired "In Lak 'Ech" poem by Chicano playwright Luis Valdez.
Tú eres mi otro yo. You are my other me.
Si te hago daño a ti. If I do harm to you.
Me hago daño a mi mismo. I do harm to myself.
Si te amo y respet. If I love and respect you.
Me amo y respeto yo. I love and respect myself."
After the elimination of the Legacy Youth Project, we in the Napa
community and environs are reading the current Unified discussions about economic realities facing Napa’s K-12 education, causing NVUSD to look at scenarios to deal with current and projected fiscal shortfalls. The bigger truth is based in the lived realities of our students, their families and student school success.
In 2012, Vintage High School (VHS) administration and personnel asked me to serve 14 Chicano students who weren't being supported by the system. They wanted to engage these students and I accepted the responsibility because as a Xicano Filpino I come from a legacy of ancestors in service of justice, love, and liberation.
On July 13, 2020 at 5:03 a.m., a 16-year-old former Legacy Youth Project (LYP) student sent the following message to his former coaches: “Hey, I don’t know who runs this page but brother Carlos, I was wondering if I could be part of Legacy again. I been fxxxing up a lot lately and I wanna change to better myself because now I realized how much of a [sic] impact your program could really be if I took it serious[ly]. Could you help a brother out?”
The reply? LYP had been cancelled.