How One City’s Library Adapts to Tweens, Teens, and New Families

Santa Ana Is a Yeasty Mix of Immigrants and Trendy Urbanites

The Santa Ana Public Library is an old library. It was founded in 1891 by white, middle-class migrants from the Midwest who wanted to replicate their hometown libraries. But like its city, the Santa Ana Public Library—where I have served as operations manager since 2009—is changing.

Santa Ana has become a first stop for immigrants from Mexico and other parts of Latin America. It is also home to many Vietnamese immigrants who arrived in the 1970s and 1980s. The city is now about 80 percent Latino and 10 percent Southeast …

Tech Workers with Autism Try to Reboot

The Promise—and Difficulty—of Job-Hunting in Silicon Valley When Your Brain Is Wired Differently

How big is the gap between all the rhetoric about the value of employing people with autism and other brain-wiring differences and the realities of the job market?

You …

Capturing Smiles Can Change Your Life

Teaching Kids How to Focus on Beauty Encourages Them to Improve Their Worlds

I grew up viewing life as hopeless. At my high school in South Sacramento, you were a jock, a loner, a gang member, or an all-star. I didn’t seem to …

Saving Nature, One Plastic Bag at a Time

Armed With Heavy Gloves and Trash Pickers, Salton Sea Residents Are Cleaning up Their Own Backyard

At clean-ups I help organize in communities around the Salton Sea, volunteers are a mix of residents and visitors, of every age and background. Some people drive more than 90 …

How a Little Splashing Around Is Making My Neighborhood a Better Place

Swimming Lessons Are Teaching My Community There's Nothing to Fear in Life's Deep End

I work in North Richmond and the Iron Triangle as the Community Wellness Coordinator for YES Nature to Neighborhoods, a nonprofit that strengthens local families by taking them out into …

What My High School Taught Me About Sex

At the Clinic, Teens Learn to Grapple With Difficult Choices About Their Own Bodies

The Hollywood High School Wellness Center is tucked away, far from the famous mural painted on our auditorium, which depicts alumni such as Dorothy Dandridge, Laurence Fishburne, and Cher. My …