California Educator

October / November 2018

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Page 57 of 61

F I V E Y E A R S A F T E R h er 17-year -ol d s on , Mar tin Alberto Garza, was fatally stabbed by a gang member, Alonso-Garza remains brokenhearted but unyielding in her efforts to fight gang violence in her community. Af t e r p u tt i n g i n a d a y o f t e a c h i n g a t E n r i q u e Camarena Junior High in Calexico, Alonso-Garza starts her work on behalf of Mothers and Men Against Gangs (MAG) Coalition. "e moment I leave class, I put my other hat on and go to meet with elected officials or to a community event. I work out of my home, my car, and sometimes I set aside my lunch period," says the Associated Calexico Teachers member. Just days after her son's death in 2013, Alonso-Garza and her husband, Martin Garza, founded MAG Coalition, an organization that provides local scholarships and pro- motes anti-gang initiatives throughout Imperial County. e coalition has made an impact in the community since it was launched, and last year was honored in the state capitol as "Nonprofit of the Year" for the 56th Assembly District. Earlier this year, the couple traveled to Sacramento to witness the approval of Assembly Concurrent Res- olution (ACR) 134, sponsored by their state Assembly member Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), which declared the month of Januar y 2018 as Gang Awareness and A mother and teacher turns mourning into action By Dina Martin F i g h t A g a i n s t Gang Violence There are some 2,000 gang-related deaths each year in the United States. Yulil Alonso-Garza's son was one of them. Above, Yulil Alonso- Garza at a MAG Coalition Literacy Night. Inset, NEA President Lily Eskelsen GarcĂ­a with Alonso-Garza. 56 CTA & You

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