A Flash of Light in the Middle of the Storm

An interview with Jamila Cervantes


Jamila Cervantes focuses on families in need in her own community.

When the COVID-19 Pandemic started, no one knew how big the impact of the quarantine would be on the country. Now, many people have lost their jobs, and will not have money to maintain their families. These people will need help from their communities. Fortunately, there are people working with communities across L.A in order to make sure that all families can get help during the pandemic. Bell High grad Jamila Cervantes is one of those caring citizens.

Jamila Cervantes attended UC Berkeley. Her main focus is to address food insecurity among students and community members, and that strong desire can be seen through the projects she has been working on.

Jamila has also contributed to the L.A community with the help of some friends. They created a document that includes all possible resources that people can get during the quarantine.  

“If you want to check us out, our insta is https://www.instagram.com/buddy2buddy_sela/,” Jamila added.

Additionally, Jamila mentioned how being quarantined affects people not only physically, but mentally. That is why she and her friends, who work for Communities for a Better Environment, are looking for ways to connect people affected by the quarantine with a buddy that can check on them.

“The Congressional Hunger Center (CHC)  is an nonprofit organization that cultivates leadership to fight the root causes of hunger, including poverty and racism,” Jamila said, referring to the current organization where she is working.

The CHC has a variety of projects that have the same goal: to end hunger in the United States and all around the world. One of those projects is the Emerson National Fellowship program.

“I was placed at Oregon Food Bank in Portland, Oregon for the first half of the program and then I worked at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for the latter half of the year. I served as a fellow from around August 2017 to July 2018,”  Jamila said.

“Because so many people are being laid off of work and need food, housing and more, we started compiling all the resources we could find into one document,” Jamila said.

It is true that we are passing through some difficult moments. However, it is good to know that there are people in our community that try to help others, people who are willing to make this situation somehow better. We definitely need more people like Jamila and her friends during these times.