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First Person

First Person: San Diego Foster Youth Heads To College

First Person: San Diego Foster Youth Heads To College

May 22
By Megan Burke

Before all the pomp and circumstance of high school commencement ceremonies in June, a small group of San Diego high school seniors will celebrate another graduation, from foster care.

First Person: Imprisoned For Murder

First Person: Imprisoned For Murder

May 15
By Michael Lipkin

Putting on his high school football uniform made Billy Johnson feel like he was part of a family and let him dream about college and a possible sports career. But Johnson said he got involved in selling drugs and eventually killed his dealer. In 1992 he was sentenced to 16 years-to-life in prison.

First Person: First Latina In Space To Be Inducted Into US Astronau...

First Person: First Latina In Space To Be Inducted Into US Astronaut Hall of Fame

May 8
By Marissa Cabrera

In 1993, La Mesa native Ellen Ochoa became the first Latina to travel to space. As a NASA astronaut she went on four space missions and logged almost 1,000 hours in orbit.

First Person: Mother And Son Fight For Environmental Justice

First Person: Mother And Son Fight For Environmental Justice

April 24
By Marissa Cabrera

Like many teens who grew up in Barrio Logan, Francisco Martinez suffers from asthma. His condition led his mom to join the fight for environmental justice. Now, he’s following in her footsteps.

First Person: Artist Shinpei Takeda Explores 'Fobias' In Latest Exh...

First Person: Artist Shinpei Takeda Explores 'Fobias' In Latest Exhibit

April 10
By Brooke Ruth

The exhibit is titled "Fobia," which is the Spanish word for phobia and is a more general term, Takeda said. The exhibit is on display at the San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery through Thursday.

First Person: Talking About The Role Of Police In The Community

First Person: Talking About The Role Of Police In The Community

April 3
By Michael Lipkin

Can police officers and the people they protect have honest conversations about race and their own biases?

First Person: Latina Muslim Reflects On Her Faith, President Trump’...

First Person: Latina Muslim Reflects On Her Faith, President Trump’s Policies

March 27
By Marissa Cabrera

Mayte Gutierrez, 25, of San Diego talks about how she found Islam and the impact of President Trump’s policies on the Muslim and Latino communities.

First Person: Bosnian Refugee Traces Her Escape From War

First Person: Bosnian Refugee Traces Her Escape From War

March 20
By Tarryn Mento

For a look at what happens long before refugees arrive on America’s doorstep, we revisit the Bosnian war. Former refugee Senka is a biotech executive now living in San Diego.

First Person: Becoming The First Mexican-American Woman Federal Judge

First Person: Becoming The First Mexican-American Woman Federal Judge

March 13
By Brooke Ruth

Irma Gonzalez was one of six women inducted into the San Diego County Women's Hall of Fame earlier this month. She was the first Mexican-American woman to serve as a federal judge in the United States.

First Person: High-School Robotics Leader

First Person: High-School Robotics Leader

March 6
By Michael Lipkin

Grace Engleman, 16, was the only girl on her high school’s freshman robotics team. So when a group of her classmates wanted to form an all-girls team last summer, she was the natural choice to lead.

First Person: 'There's Life After Breast Cancer'

First Person: 'There's Life After Breast Cancer'

Feb. 20
By Marissa Cabrera

Breast cancer runs in Sheri Hendrix’s family. But because her mom didn’t have it and she was under the age of 45, doctors told her she could put off getting a mammogram. Now, she’s glad she didn’t.

First Person: Graduating High School At 83

First Person: Graduating High School At 83

Feb. 13
By Michael Lipkin

Norm Johnson served as a military bodyguard to General Douglas MacArthur and danced with Elvis Presley in "Jailhouse Rock." But the one accomplishment he's been waiting decades for? Graduating high school.

First Person: Working With San Diego's Homeless Population

First Person: Working With San Diego's Homeless Population

Feb. 6
By Brooke Ruth

Paul DeLessio has been working with San Diego's homeless population for the last 16 years.

First Person: Syrian Sisters Dedicated To Music

First Person: Syrian Sisters Dedicated To Music

Jan. 30
By Michael Lipkin

President Trump's revised travel ban blocked Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days before being put on hold by a federal judge in March. Two teenage sisters who fled Syria in 2012 with their family explain why studying music in San Diego has meant so much to them.

First Person: Encinitas Woman Uses Tibetan Bowls As Healing Tool

First Person: Encinitas Woman Uses Tibetan Bowls As Healing Tool

Jan. 23
By Megan Burke

Encinitas resident Diáne Mandle uses sound to help others reduce their pain and stress. She is a sound healer and creates percussive sounds by playing Tibetan bowls.

First Person: Coping With A Mother's Lobotomy

First Person: Coping With A Mother's Lobotomy

Jan. 17
By Michael Lipkin

Many teens have tense relationships with their parents. But one San Diegan, who grew up in Point Loma in the 1950s, had an especially tough time with her mother.

First Person: The San Diegans We Met In 2016

First Person: The San Diegans We Met In 2016

Jan. 2
By Brooke Ruth, Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke, Michael Lipkin

We're ringing in 2017 on Midday Edition with a special episode filled with the stories of San Diegans as part of our First Person series.

First Person: San Diego's Sustainable Santa Out To Change Santa's I...

First Person: San Diego's Sustainable Santa Out To Change Santa's Image

Dec. 20
By Brooke Ruth

As part of our First Person series, Sustainable Santa tells us why he tries to get kids to stop eating processed foods and start eating healthier foods.

First Person: For Gilbert Castellanos Music Is Sustenance

First Person: For Gilbert Castellanos Music Is Sustenance

Dec. 5
By Megan Burke

Throughout his career, Gilbert Castellanos said, he's been inspired to be a “jazz messenger” for the next generation of musicians. He is now molding young musical minds as the artistic director for the non-profit International Academy of Jazz, an after school program.

First Person: Young And Locked Up

First Person: Young And Locked Up

Nov. 28
By Marissa Cabrera

A San Diego man talks about what life was like serving time in an adult prison as a juvenile.

First Person: A San Diego Family Celebrates First Thanksgiving As A...

First Person: A San Diego Family Celebrates First Thanksgiving As American Citizens

Nov. 22
By Michael Lipkin

Rayan Kaskos and Zeena Faraj arrived in the United States five years ago as Iraqi refugees. Now they're eager to celebrate Thanksgiving as U.S. citizens.

First Person: Team Penning Is Family Affair At Brawley Cattle Call ...

First Person: Team Penning Is Family Affair At Brawley Cattle Call Rodeo

Nov. 15
By Brooke Ruth

In team penning, three riders on horseback compete to corral three numbered cows into a pen out of a herd of 30 cattle in less than 90 seconds.

First Person: San Diego Teacher Gets Kids To Love Nature

First Person: San Diego Teacher Gets Kids To Love Nature

Oct. 31
By Michael Lipkin

Biology teacher Stuart Douglas is called the "face of field trips" at Granger Junior High School in National City. He's made it a priority to take his students not just to local museums, but into the natural world.

First Person: Art Is Helping San Diego Veterans Returning From War

First Person: Art Is Helping San Diego Veterans Returning From War

Oct. 24
By Brooke Ruth

Marine Corps veteran Daniel Lopez worked with a fellow veteran to create an art piece for the Timken Museum.

First Person: MacArthur Fellow On Growing Up In A Small Village In ...

First Person: MacArthur Fellow On Growing Up In A Small Village In China And His Passion For Chemistry

Oct. 17
By Michael Lipkin

"I think persistence is extraordinarily important, and I think that has a lot to do with my childhood," Jin-Quan Yu said. The professor at Scripps Research Institute recently received a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation.

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