East Los Angeles College NAMI club recites poetry at festival

ELAN POET RECITES-“At an Impasse” is read by Francisco Ochoa-Garcia at the NAMI club poetry festival on Thursday in the S2 plaza at East Los Angeles College. CN/Jazmin Farias

By Lloyd Cano


National Alliance on Mental Illness club hosted its second of its semi-annual poetry readings and recitings event. At the poetry reading, all were welcomed to read poetry and recite from memory or from favorite passages.

Also, those who walked by were encouraged to read from the poetry that club president Jake Stephens wrote.  A few students from the performing class joined the activities and recited poetry.

The readings and recitations were held in the foyer area between, the Vincent Price Art Museum and the Performing and Fine Arts Center, last Thursday.

The psychology department sponsored the event. “The event wishes to promote managing anxiety and help spread mental health and wellness, as well as to increase awareness to those seeking out help,” Associate Professor and Faculty Club Adviser Dr. Tiffany Rice said.

NAMI was established in 2007 and has regular guest speakers. The speakers mostly discuss about play therapy, mental health and graduation requirements.

The theme for the poetry readings was optimism and featured drawings and paintings of club members. One club member painted a bird, but  flipped  upside down, it looks more like a goat with feathers.

The winner of the drawing contest was Gabriel Segura whom received a $50 Michael’s gift certificate.

NAMI Vice-President Sandy Arreola was helping out at the event and fundraising for the club by selling soft drinks, coffee and nachos.

Stephens, a Paiute Indian and Veteran Advocate recited poetry from his life history, including personal experiences about serving his country in Vietnam.

Stephens served in Vietnam as a scout and when asked why he helps out at the events sponsored by the club, he said “I see myself as an honorable spirit warrior. I have a need to help.”

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