Unitown Returns to Independence High School After Being Delayed for Two Years!


Alexis Acosta, writer

This semester, Unitown officers announced that the program will be back in session this upcoming spring! After two years of Unitown not being active, seniors and juniors can attend or return to the program since the COVID-19 pandemic first occurred in March of 2019. 


“We are so excited to see our past students return along with new faces!”  Estevan Carreon, director of Unitown, said, “I can not wait to see what new experiences students will create.”  


Former students who graduated from Independence High School are given the opportunity to participate as advisors or mentors. The current upper-classmen have to be elected by any faculty member based on their maturity level and leadership skills  shown. 


Carreon said, “I feel like anyone can be a part of Unitown, but I wouldn’t say that everyone can handle it. We only take certain students who have leadership skills and carry a mature mindset.”  


This camp was originally called, “Pride Town” but was renamed, “Unitown” because the program allowed for one’s self to be vulnerable with others. The main focus isn’t just for organized students but for those who are willing to open up.  


Diana Lizarraga, former Anytown member said, “There must be a level of wanting to be there. I had to be willing to talk about my emotions; it’s about making those connections.” 


Former members often choose to return to Unitown. Officers have the chance to teach future generations that “Unitown is a safe place with no judgment.”


“I am part of the Unitown community because I return every year ever since I attended as a junior.” Emily Ramirez, former staff member said, “I return every time because I truly believe in this program.” 


Every year, Unitown tries to improve the program from the previous years they held on school grounds. 


“Personally, I wouldn’t change my experience. I have a mindset that what you give is what you get.” Ramirez said, “I gave it my all, then I received the most out of it.”  


“I had to take a second to realize what others go through,” Lizarraga said. “I was more understanding  with others since I was more open and less judgmental.”  


Unitown is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is given to handpicked students who can unfold their emotions without being embarrassed. It helps students realize that being in someone else’s shoes can help them connect with others.  


Director Carreon proudly said, “Empowerment would be the one word to describe Unitown as a whole. We try to give students that feeling so they can carry it once they leave high school and enter into the real world.”