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First Person

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 Donald Trump suspended the Syria refugee program indefinitely on Friday. 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 Megan Burke, Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh, Michael Lipkin, Brooke Ruth

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.

First Person: I Was Kicked Out Of The Marines Under Don’t Ask Don’t...

First Person: I Was Kicked Out Of The Marines Under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Oct. 10
By Marissa Cabrera

It’s been five years since the end of the ban on gay men and women from serving openly in the military. We check in with a Marine veteran who was discharged under the policy.

First Person: Why I Became A Police Officer

First Person: Why I Became A Police Officer

Sept. 26
By Marissa Cabrera

Kofi Agyeman, 30, shares his experience as a young black police officer in San Diego County.

First Person: A Dreamer Goes To College

First Person: A Dreamer Goes To College

Sept. 19
By Megan Burke

Imagine getting a letter out of the blue that said your kind words and caring gestures helped a child to achieve her dreams. That's what happened to Monica Medina, the director of diversity, engagement and grants here at KPBS.

First Person: Holocaust Survivors On Raising A Family

First Person: Holocaust Survivors On Raising A Family

Sept. 12
By Michael Lipkin

Max and Rose Schindler each lost their parents during the Holocaust. Their son, Ben Schindler, interviews them on how they started their own family.

First Person: How I Became A First-Generation College Student

First Person: How I Became A First-Generation College Student

Sept. 6
By Marissa Cabrera

Daniel Noriega, 18, will be the first person in his family to go to college. He's attending San Diego State University this fall.