Growing up in a traditional household wasn’t easy for Emilio Ramos, who identifies as gender-fluid. His parents didn’t understand or accept his sexuality, and he turned to alcohol and drug use to cope as a teen. Then, in 2011, he found Terry Lawrence and Jacqueline Garza, who welcomed him into their “Two Spirit” family.

Rise Up: Be Heard is a journalism training and mentorship program at FMG for young adults living in California’s most underprivileged and health-challenged communities. The program is made possible by a partnership with The California Endowment.