Posts Tagged ‘Letters from the Pen’

Hope is Not Lost | Khoi Huynh

Hope is Not Lost | Khoi Huynh


Between 1998 and 2006, there was a 61.6% rise in total deportations of people of Asian nationalities


This is for You:

This is to anyone that wants to hear it, but especially for those that need to hear it, to save their own life or at the least to save themelves, their family, and some innocent stranger from a lifetime of pain and suffering. I am speaking to you, who are unique and strong. You who are full of potential and wise. Yes… You, who are just one mistake, one decision away from being in Juvenile Hall or San Quentin. One mistake away from throwing away all the good and love you have to share with your family and loved ones.

This is to anyone that wants to hear it. My name doesn’t even matter. I am the guys in your neighborhood, the brother-father male figure that just disappeared one day, the name everyone still talks about on the streets but no longer exists- that’s me. That’s possibly you.

At seventeen I was charged as an adult and sentenced to State Prison for Murder. For my homeboys, for my set, for being down, my reward has been the last 21 years spent in prisons up and down the state. At 18 I was sent to Pelican Bay Prison, I got my G.E.D. while I was there. I can’t help thinking how I could have graduated from high school and went to my prom, instead of a cell and the craziness of having to deal with 1000 other killas. (more…)

Follow Your Dreams | Khoi Huynh

Follow Your Dreams | Khoi Huynh

To the youngsters who may care about themselves:

Hi my Name is Leng Vang. I am Hmong and I’m 30 years of age and the fourth oldest in the family. I have three older sisters, three younger brothers and then there’s the baby sister. I also have half brothers and one half sister. My dad had two wives.

My Dad was born and raised in North Vietnam and my mom was born in Laos. During the Vietnam war my family ran from the war to Thailand and was settled in a refuge camp. That’s where I was born. After two years we were sponsored and settled in Montana and lived there for only about two years. We then moved again, coming here to California leaving my Dad’s first wife and my half siblings. (more…)

Keys and Heart | Khoi Huynh

Keys and Heart | Khoi Huynh

To the Young People of the Bay and Beyond,

My name is Na Joe Her. I am 34 and I have been in prison since I was nineteen years old. My family and I are Hmong who came from the mountain regions of Laos after the Vietnam War. We first settled in Lowton, Oklahoma in 1979 when I was four years old. My family then moved to San Diego a couple years later because the Oklahoma weather was too cold for my parents. (more…)

Hopes and Dreams | Khoi Huynh

Hopes and Dreams | Khoi Huynh


My name is Michael Placenio. I am half Filipino and half Mexican. I am 32 years old. My family and I are from Sacramento, California.

When I was in middle school and highschool I was hanging out with my friends doing normal teenage kid stuff. That was a time when life was simpler with less worries. But when I was 19, I made the mistake of trying Meth. My excuse was oh, I’m young, trying it once won’t kill me. Well it turned into twice, twice turned into three times and so on and so on. (more…)

To the Oakland and Bay Area Youth,

My name is Thonsanh Phongsavat, my homies here call me LA. I am originally from the country Laos, and came to America when I was five years old. My family was having a very hard time out in my country, and came here with the hopes of starting over and finding for themselves a better life.

I was raised in a very cultural family, and I guess we had a hard time conforming to that of America’s life style. For those of you reading this who are from other countries, you may understand where I am coming from. Being a stranger in any place is hard. We grew up relatively poor, but my parents did their best to provide for us. Initially, our family first moved from Laos to Hawaii, the island of Oahu. I grew up there, and left when I was a teenager to California. (more…)