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Stories by Ashley Rodriguez

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Frank Meeink: Transforming Hate

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What does evil look like? Just ask Frank Meeink, who became a skinhead at age 13, and spent years struggling with the demons inside him—the ones that caused him to pick fights for no reason, sometimes beating his victims senseless. It took incarceration to help him turn his life around, a life that was captured in the film, American History X.

Local Community Organizations

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These are local Vietnamese oriented organizations in the San Diego area.

'The Gangster We Are All Looking For': Chapter Five "nu' o ' c"

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The last chapter finalizes the transition and feelings of the young narrator.

'The Gangster We Are All Looking For': Chapter One "suh-top"

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The first chapter introduces us to our anonymous narrator and the beginning of her migration.

'The Gangster We Are All Looking For': Chapter Two "palm"

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Chapter two describes a family reuniting and the realizations of immigration.

Chapter Three "the gangster we are all looking for"

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The third chapter delves into symbolic representations during a turbulent time for the family.

"The Gangster We Are All Looking For": Connections & Resources

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From food to film, "The Gangster We Are All Looking For" offers many connections to be made and resources to be discovered within the San Diego area.


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Many themes can be discovered and discussed in "The Gangster We Are Looking For".

Genre: True-life Novel

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This true life novel spans many genre's, making it a relatable read for many people, especially San Diegans.

Local Teen Inspiring Peers to Read for Fun

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13-year-old Emma Halpern of San Diego is fighting the cycle of poverty through inspiring a love of reading in her low income peers. Read on to see how this visionary teen is starting a book club trend in an area high school.

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San Diego Book Club: The Risteners

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One Book, One San Diego is highlighting a local book club each month and sharing their findings with Culture Lust. The first featured book club is called the San Diego Risteners, a group that prefers the audio version of their selections. Clare Pister and Ashley Rodriguez explain.