October 17, 2003

Parents Learn New Skills at Leadership Conference

Preventing identity fraud. Learning the academic preparation needed for students to qualify for the University of California system. And how to organize a neighborhood council. These were just some of the 24 workshops parents, community members and students could choose from at the Fourth Annual South Bay Leadership Symposium.

The symposium, held recently at Montgomery High School, attracted nearly 400 adults and youth interested in tapping opportunities for leadership.

Youth volunteers: Robert Ricasa, counselor at Montgomery High, works with student volunteers for the South Bay Leadership Symposium.

Participants learned how they could access the national movement to include more Hispanics in Parent Teacher Associations. Others found the workshop on how to buy your first home so helpful that many will be attending a three-hour follow-up session. Still others were able to meet and talk with their elected officials representing education and city government.

New this year were seven workshops aimed specifically at youth. Teens were able to learn how to become more involved in community service projects and how to combat the negative images of youth in the media.

The theme for the conference was about the power that participants can channel when they find a cause, work together with others who feel strongly about an issue and find solutions. That is the greatest dividend the symposium pays each year parents to make a difference in their children’s education and in their community.

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