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Breaking Barriers logo


Through Our lens


Through Our Lens Home
Leslie Elsasser - Introduction
Selina Roman - Looking Inward, Seeing Clearer
Christian Cortes

Beginning (Section A)
Jarrett Gafford - US Air Force
Dawn S. Hargrett - US Navy
Rebekka Huneke - Daughter of US Air Force Veteran Father
Ramonita Rosa - US Army
Kimberlee Nicole Smith - US Army
Monika Sutton - Wife of US Army Veteran
Karl Young II - US Army Colonel (US Special Operations Command)

Advanced (Section B)
James Alexander - US Air Force
Manfredo Bobadilla - US Army
Wildalys Class - US Air Force
Agustin Collazo Jr. - US Marine Corps / US Navy
Amanda Dodd - US Army
Evan Fountain - US Air Force
Mikko Maki - US Marine Corps
Alicia Morales - US Army
RaeAnne Swanson - US Air Force


Karl Young II, Ikura, 2022.

Karl Young II, Ikura, 2022.

KARL YOUNG II - US Army Colonel (US Special Operations Command)


Ikura refers to the roe (fish eggs) of salmon.

Sushi has always been a special treat for me. I learned to really enjoy sushi around 2011 when I lived in the Washington, DC area. A Chinese family that recently immigrated to the United States opened a small sushi restaurant only a short walking distance from where I lived. I would go there on Friday evenings to learn about the different types of fish used for sushi from the family as they prepared it for me. Sometimes, when the restaurant was mostly empty, they would make something special for me. It was at these times that we would share a meal and talk about their experience coming to the United States. They enjoyed making and eating sushi and worked hard to be good at their trade. My new friends taught me to love a type of food that I didn’t grow up with.

As I was transferred around over the years for the military, I would always try to find a small family-owned sushi restaurant that would serve quality sushi. I also developed my pallet, and while I enjoy all types of sushi, Ikura, or salmon roe, is one of my favorites. The appearance is enjoyable; the small round orbs shine in the light like a gem from the sea. Each bite is an experience in and of itself. It starts soft on the tongue before a pop! of ocean-fresh flavor melts in your mouth

I still buy sushi for my wife and I most every Friday from a small family restaurant near my house. I order it to-go and replate it for my wife and I to eat with quality sushi plates and chopsticks. We appreciate the food and quality time together in an at home date night.

US ARMY Colonel (US Special Operations Command)


Karl Young II, Perfect Plumeria, 2022.

Karl Young II, Perfect Plumeria, 2022.

Karl Young II, Feast Your Eyes Upon These Gems From the Sea, 2022.

Karl Young II, Feast Your Eyes Upon These Gems From the Sea, 2022.



For more information:
Email Leslie Elsasser at

Breaking Barriers is a project by USFCAM in collaboration with the USF School of Art and Art History, with Support from the USF Office of Veterans Success, Community Arts Impact Grant Program of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Love IV Lawrence 2020 Waves of Change Grant, and additional support from the ACE Arts for Community Engagement Fund and the Florida Department of State.