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First Person

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First Person: Making Music Education Accessible For All Children

July 30
Emily Jankowski / KPBS News

Dalouge Smith has helped the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory in expanding its mission to include making music education affordable and accessible for all children. Smith is stepping down from his position as CEO of the organization.

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First Person: Finding A Safe Space In A San Diego Arts Organization

July 23
By Brooke Ruth

Urban Beats uses art as a platform for young adults to express themselves to improve their well-being and become more self-sufficient.

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First Person: I Moved To San Diego To Be Closer To Comic-Con

July 16
By Beth Accomando

Comic-Con seems like the perfect place for Nathan Donovan. So perfect that he decided to move to San Diego to be closer to the pop-culture convention.

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First Person: My Coming Out Journey

July 9
By Marissa Cabrera

Napolez will be one of the dozens marching in the 44th annual San Diego Pride Parade on Saturday. As part of our First Person series, Napolez reflects on her coming out journey.

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His Parents Were Deported Two Weeks Before College, Now He’s A UC San Diego Graduate

June 18
By Megan Burks

Leon Sanchez Reyes is one of an untold number of students who straddle the U.S.-Mexico border — caught between two worlds amid stepped-up immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump and, before him, President Barack Obama.

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First Person: Teaching Women How To Shoot Guns

June 18
By Brooke Ruth

Wendy Hauffen is a firearms instructor at The Gun Range in Kearny Mesa. She has been teaching people how to safely shoot guns for the last six years. She specializes in teaching women and first-time shooters.

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First Person: Strengthening North County's Gay Community

June 11
Michael Lipkin

A decade ago, there wasn’t any formal support in North County for people who often said they felt invisible.

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First Person: The Personal Impact Of Being Racially Profiled By A Neighbor

June 11
By Alison St John, Megan Burke

Last month a neighbor took a photograph of Ike Iloputaife while he was walking his dogs. The photograph was then used by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department identifying him as a person of interest in a burglary investigation.

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First Person: The Connection Between Improv Comedy And Therapy

April 16
By Marissa Cabrera

During the day, Zach Stones is a clinical supervisor at the San Diego Center for Children working to support youth and families in foster care and the juvenile justice system. But a few nights a week he has a second career doing improv comedy.

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First Person: Las Vegas Survivor

April 2
By Michael Lipkin

Shiva Ghaed was one of the thousands of Las Vegas shooting survivors. A clinical psychologist at Naval Medical Center San Diego, she founded a support group for fellow survivors and their families.

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For San Diego Students, School Walkout Is A Warm-Up For The Ballot Box

March 14
By Megan Burks

More than 30 San Diego-area schools have signed up to host walkouts against school gun violence Wednesday.

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First Person: Living In A Car In San Diego With 3 Children

March 5
By Brooke Ruth

More than 500 families in San Diego County are homeless, according to the last point-in-time count. Lola Cheatham and her three daughters are one of those families.

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First Person: From Refugee To Proprietor

Feb. 19
By Tarryn Mento

Queentabel Banka opened her hair braiding business in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood shortly after arriving in the U.S.

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First Person: A Life's Trajectory Changed By A Grand Prize Win

Nov. 20, 2017
By Michael Lipkin

Michael Brunker thinks back to his 11th birthday a lot. It was 1963 and Brunker lived with his parents in Detroit. Ernie Harwell, the Detroit Tigers' announcer, was officiating a raffle with a classic Motor City grand prize: his-and-hers cars, a Dodge Dart and Plymouth Fury.

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First Person: Veterans Museum's Poet Laureate On Honoring All Who Served

Nov. 6, 2017
By Marissa Cabrera

Alyce Smith-Cooper, the first poet laureate at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park, talks about how she is paying tribute to the "unsung and unacknowledged" heroes of the U.S. military.

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First Person: Telling Students They, Too, Can Go From Compton To Neurobiology

Oct. 30, 2017
By Megan Burks

University of California faculty who were the first in their families to go to college are making an effort this year to connect with first-generation students. “You would not have predicted that I would be a full professor,” says a UC San Diego neurobiologist.

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First Person: The 2007 Wildfire Took Our Home But 'We Had Our Faith, Our Friends And Our Family'

Oct. 16, 2017
By Brooke Ruth

Jay and Kendra Jeffcoat were on a family vacation in Colorado when they learned their Rancho Bernardo home burned down in the Witch Creek fire in 2007.

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First Person: Farmhand To Flower Tycoon

Oct. 2, 2017
By Michael Lipkin

Ismael Resendiz started his farming career when he was about 13, cutting sugarcane with his father and brothers in Sinaloa, Mexico. Now he is one of the largest suppliers of protea, exotic flowers originally from South Africa.

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First Person: Diane And Richard Nares

Sept. 25, 2017
By Megan Burke

Their life together started like a storybook romance and then was tested by a devastating loss. Now married 24 years, they have turned personal tragedy into a commitment to help others.

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First Person: After Nearly 20 Years Of Making Music, San Diego Songwriter 'Hopes It All Matters'

Sept. 18, 2017
By Marissa Cabrera

As the co-founder of the Redwoods Music, a San Diego-based record label, Alfred Howard writes lyrics for five bands that span various genres. Since moving to San Diego nearly 20 years ago, he's recorded 21 albums.

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First Person: Balboa Park Carousel Operator Has Worked There Since He Was 16, Now He's 60

Sept. 11, 2017
By Brooke Ruth

Not many people work at the same place from their first day of work until retirement. But Bill Brown has.

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First Person: The Healing Love Of A Therapy Dog

Aug. 28, 2017
By Megan Burke

Since 2012, Bob Schultze and his Italian greyhound, Hudson, have made more than 200 visits to memory care units, senior centers, the VA and palliative care facilities in San Diego, all in an effort to help people feel better and spread a little four-legged joy.

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First Person: Holocaust Survivor Reflects On Charlottesville

Aug. 21, 2017
By Michael Lipkin

Fanny Krasner Lebovits has shared her story of surviving the Holocaust with thousands of people, hoping similar hatred won't be allowed to flourish. So she was aghast as she watched coverage of the white supremacists rallying in Charlottesville, some carrying Nazi flags.

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First Person: Jacumba School Closes After Almost 90 Years

Aug. 14, 2017
By Brooke Ruth

Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students who attended Jacumba Middle School will not be returning to that school when classes begin on Aug. 21.

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First Person: San Diego Tribal Elder Turns 100

July 17, 2017
By Michael Lipkin

Soon after Joe Renteria was born 100 years ago in Emporia, Kansas, his Cherokee parents placed him in a Catholic orphanage. It wasn't until he came to San Diego decades later that he began to think about his heritage.

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