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Felipe Legaspi is an 8th-grade student at Bret Harte Middle School and a proud member of the Latino Men and Boys (LMB) program. A week from his 8th-grade graduation, The Unity Council staff met Felipe to talk about his future plans and his experience in the LMB program.

It was very exciting to hear about Felipe’s interests! He loves music and plays the electric bass, guitar, piano, and violin. Felipe mentioned he likes learning how to play new instruments and when asked which one was his favorite instrument and why, he said, “the electric bass…because you have to really pay attention to the music to get the melody. It’s like me; you have to focus on me to know about me.”

Felipe joined the program in 7th grade and was referred by his English teacher. Felipe was struggling in his English class and his mom asked the teacher if it would be possible to send her notes to update her on how Felipe was doing. But the teacher, like many teachers, was not able to give Felipe the additional attention he needed due to the number of students in the class. This is when Felipe met his former mentor Raul Hernandez who helped him with the subjects he was struggling with and pushed him to be a leader in the LMB class. As soon as Felipe joined Latino Men and Boys he started getting the additional support him and his family needed to help Felipe achieve his educational goals.

Felipe is a hands-on learner, which was something that LMB helped to develop. His latest creation is a God’s eye. The Huichol Indians made these “God’s eyes” to be placed on altars so that their gods would protect and watch over those who prayed at the altars. The Ojo de Dios is a symbol of the power of seeing and understanding unseen things. Felipe’s mentor asked students to pick four different colors for their God’s Eye; students had to choose colors that represented them as individuals, a color for their mother figure, their father figure, and their grandparents. Felipe explained the main colors of his God’s eye, “The center is me, [and] I picked white because I am still learning. The second color is red for my mom, she can get angry at me, but she still is with me no matter what.”