Dec 11, 2012

Youth Congress Leadership Announces 2012 - 2013 Meeting Schedule

Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 4:00p.mOrientation/Leadership Meeting,Conejo Recreation and Park District, 403 West Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 4:00 p.mWallstreet and Banking: Making Money Work For You, 
Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, 27040 Malibu Hills Road, Calabasas
Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 4:00 p.m. Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, 4232 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas

Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 4:00 p.m. The Arts: Conejo Players Theatre, 351 South Moorpark Road , Thousand Oaks  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 4:00 p.m. Education: Oak Park Unified School District, Oak Park High School, Room G-9,  899 N. Kanan Road, Oak Park      

Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 4:00 p.mHealth Services: Los Robles Medical Center East Campus, 150 Via Merida, Westlake Village  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 4:00 p.m.  Law Enforcement: Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station,   
27050 Agoura Road, Calabasas

Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 4:00 p.m. Parks and Recreation: King Gillette Ranch, 26800 West Mulholland Highway, Calabasas 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 4:00 p.m. Community Service, Thousand Oaks Library & Book Drive, 1401 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks         

Tuesday, May 7, 2012, 4:00 p.m.  Wrap-Up Meeting and Kiwanis Dinner, Meeting location-to be announced

Sep 24, 2012

Youth Congress Leadership Provides Content Packed Experience for Students

Youth Leadership at Water District
The Youth Congress Leadership program, sponsored by the Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation, is now accepting applications from students grades 9-12 for this exciting and valuable program that gets underway in November. Now in its fourth year, the program helps students develop effective leadership skills through an exclusive inside look at the workings of key organizations and services in our community.

Mario Metzger, the Foundation’s chair for the popular program, anticipates another content-packed experience for young adults: “Each meeting is at a different fascinating venue – this makes it incredibly interesting and fun, without being a major time commitment.” The student participants will be exposed to a wide range of interesting topics, including Introduction to Leadership, Local Government, Law Enforcement, Health Services, Recreation, Education, Human Services, and Business, each held at appropriate locations such the sheriff’s station, school district, hospital, private businesses, etc. and conducted by their representatives. Every in-depth visit will be different and will include tours, discussions, presentations and more, all offering students a valuable opportunity to interact and engage.

At the culmination of the program, each student will be encouraged to participate in a community service project of his or her own choosing. The broad range of knowledge the students gain will encourage them to become active members of their cities and to provide input to those agencies that affect their lives.

Youth Leadership at Los Robles Hospital
Because the Youth Congress Leadership Program combines extraordinary opportunities for community service and leadership experience over several months, enrollment in the program may well be looked upon favorably by college admissions screeners. Prior student participants point out that the unique opportunities afforded to them in this program were not available in any other way.

Meetings will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: November 13, December 11, January 15, January 29, February 12, February 26, March 12, April 9, April 23, and May 7, and will be held at various nearby locations. Students from throughout the greater Conejo/Las Virgenes regions are welcome.

Youth Leadership at  Sheriff's Station
Space is limited and demand is high. Applications are due to the Future Foundation by October 26 and can be obtained from the student’s school office or online at Information is also available from the CLVFF office at 818-880-1054. Students will be notified of their acceptance into the program by November 5. Click here for an application for or on the tab at the top of this page.

Sep 19, 2012

Youth Congress Leadership Program Now Accepting Applications

Applications for the Youth Congress Leadership Program sponsored by the Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation are now being accepted.  All students in grades 9-12 who attend school in the Conejo/Las Virgenes region are eligible.

Students accepted into this program will have the opportunity to develop effective leadership skills while learning more about their communities. The areas covered are: Introduction to Leadership, Local Government, Law Enforcement, Health Services, Recreation, Education, Human Services, and Business. The programs will be conducted by representatives from each of the above entities and the students will meet at the particular venue where the speaker works such as the sheriff’s station, city hall, hospital, etc. Each program will be very different and will range from tours, discussions, presentations, and more. All of the cities in the region will be participating. At the end of the program, students will be encouraged to participate in a community service project of their choosing.

The meetings will take place from 4-
5:30 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: November 13, 2012, December 11, 2012, January 15, 2013, January 29, 2013, February 12, 2013, February 26, 2013, March 12, 2013, April 9, 2013, April 23, 2013 and May 7, 2013.  This will make a total of 10 meetings.

Applications must be submitted by
October 26, 2012 and students will be notified of their acceptance into the program by November 5, 2012. Attendance is important. Please check your calendar to make sure that you can attend all or most of the meetings. Students are responsible for their own transportation.

All Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation programs are free to the public. The Foundation is most appreciative of the generous support of community members who make programs like this possible.

This is the fourth year of the Leadership Program, which follows twenty-five years of successful Youth Congresses sponsored by the Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation. It has proven to be a very popular program, so we encourage students to apply early as there is a limit to the number that we can accommodate.

Please call me at (805) 907-8290 or Karen Malatesta, Executive Director of the
Foundation at (818) 880-1054 with any questions that you may have.  A link to the application form appears in the page tabs above.

Mario Metzger
Youth Congress Leadership Program Chair

Sep 16, 2012

Public Invited to Regional Art Museum Strategic Outlook Presentation

The public is invited to a presentation by museum planner, Marcy Goodwin, reporting on the results from months of planning discussions and meetings. President of M.Goodwin Associates, Inc., Ms. Goodwin will present details of the strategic outlook for the Regional Art Museum (RAM) which is being planned to locate at the Civic Arts Plaza. Ms. Goodwin’s presentation will be made Tuesday, September 18th, 6:00-8:00pm, in the small theater at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts (CRPD), 403 West Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks.

Ms. Goodwin was the project manager for the development of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Tech Museum in San Jose. As a consultant, she has led the planning, creation or expansion of over 100 museums around the U.S. and the world.

The Regional Art Museum will exhibit the best art and design of the past 100 years while offering a broad range of educational and cultural opportunities. The art museum will become a vital center for the regional community, with presentations of classes, workshops, seminars, lectures, video, digital media and films, mixed media, performative visual arts, festivals and special events.

There is no admission fee. An RSVP is requested to RAM Executive Director Fran Brough. An email response to is preferred but a message can be left at 805 409-3598. This event is being sponsored in part by the Ventura County Star.

Aug 7, 2012

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”
                  Noam Chomsky

Jul 2, 2012

Students Report on Youth Leadership Program

Two students from the Conejo/ Las Virgenes Future Foundation's Youth Leadership program reported to the Thousand Oaks City Council on the scope and value of the program to area youth. Brian Chang, Youth Leadership Co-chair, and Vasant Iyer, Program Secretary gave the City Council a run-down of all the activities of the program. Both students are Seniors at Westlake High School and both were in their second year in the program.

The Youth Congress Leadership Program, now in its third year, replaced the Youth Congress Program that ran for 25 years. This year, 65 students in grades 9-12 from Agoura, Calabasas, Oak Park, La Reina, Oaks Christian, Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake High Schools were involved. The objective of the program is to help students learn more about their communities and encourage them to become active members of their cities so that they can better understand and contribute to those businesses and agencies that affect their lives.

Calling the ten week program a "great success," Brian and Vasant described some of the highlights. They included "an orientation meeting at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza where the President and CEO of Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership spoke about leadership and the qualities that make a great leader." Other venues included the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff Station, the Four Seasons Hotel, California Lutheran University, Los Robles Hospital, Calabasas Parks and Recreation Department, the Agoura Hills Animal Shelter, and the City of Thousand Oaks. The program wrapped up with a barbeque dinner at Oak Canyon Community Park for the students and their families provided by the Kiwanis Club of Thousand Oaks.

The two students gave a brief description of each of the visits and enthusiastic about the experiences."At each visit the speakers gave us excellent information about how they worked within the community to bring about results and make our communities a great place to live. We also were informed about volunteer opportunities and had a chance to participate in question and answer sessions which we really enjoyed. We
also would like to thank all of the very important community leaders who took the time to meet with us. They all helped to make the program a great success."

Jun 14, 2012

"The future is already here. It's just unevenly distributed."
    William Gibson
"Without the scientist, there is no future. The handsome and the beautiful may earn the admiration of society, but all the wondrous inventions of the future are a by-product of the unsung, anonymous scientists."
     Michio Kaku

Apr 23, 2012

Health Expo II Promotes a Healthy Future

On Saturday, March 31st, CLVFF was pleased to partner again with Los Robes Hospital and provide the second Health Expo for the Conejo/Las Virgenes community. Over 300 participants attended the event, which this year included, low cost full blood panel screening and other health related tests performed by Los Robles Hospital.

Los Robles Hospital V.P. of Marketing, Kris Carraway-Bowman expressed appreciation to the Foundation for putting on the event: “We thank you for including us in this very important outreach.” Board Trustee and Event Co-chair, Louis Celaya stressed the importance of the Expo to the community. “Understanding the importance of a healthy life style is crucial for all, as the long term effects benefit our future. The Foundation was pleased we could bring this to share with the Conejo/Las Virgenes Community."

This year’s focus was on weight control and it relation to chronic diseases, and attendees were treated to talks from renowned physicians on heart health and how excess weight affects the body. A nutritionist also provided an afternoon session on how to eat to stay trimmed. In addition to the speaking topics, for the second year the Rotary Club of Calabasas held blood drive which was well attended. The Rotary was able to collect 42 pints of blood. Each pint of blood can save up to 3 lives.

In addition, 124 attendees took advantage of blood panel screening tests provided on site by Los Robles Hospital. CLVFF Director Karen Malatesta described it as “Los Robles bringing the medical services to the people instead of them having to bring themselves to the services.”

The Foundation was pleased to have 37 exhibitors at the event that provided a wealth of health related products and services available for attendees. For the second year, the foundation was fortunate to host the event at the Agoura Hills Calabasas Community Center, who graciously opened up their facility to the event. All event attendees had full access to the facility and classes available at no cost.

The Foundation wishes to thanks our sponsors for this years’ Expo: Los Robles Hospital, Agoura Hills Calabasas Community Center, Acorn Newspapers, Agoura Hills Senior Retreat, and Pain Management and Injury Relief Medical Center. Without these generous sponsors, this event is not possible! Thank you again for your continued support.

Apr 2, 2012

Agoura Animal Shelter Plays Host to Youth Congress Leadership Students

On March 21st, the Youth Congress Leadership students went to the Agoura Animal Shelter, where they learned about the various functions of the shelter and the various volunteer opportunities. First, the students went on a tour around the shelter, starting with the Spay and Neuter Center. Led by Animal Control Officer, Kelly Miller and Sergeant Chris Childs, the students were able to learn about what a daily routine in the center looked like. Furthermore, the students were able to spend time with the numerous adoption-waiting animals at the center, including dogs, cats, bunnies, two roosters, a duck, and even a horse. Finally, students were informed of the various volunteer opportunities offered at the shelter. Students who had an affinity towards animals and a desire to care for and tend for abandoned or stray animals were encouraged to apply. The student volunteers at the shelter expressed their happiness in helping out. For more information on the shelter, volunteer opportunities, or ways to adopt a pet, visit
         Brian Chang

Mar 20, 2012

Youth Congress Leadership Students Visit Calabasas Parks and Recreation Program

The Youth Congress Leadership Program visited the 30,000 square foot Agoura Hills / Calabasas Community Center on Wednesday, March 7th. The only joint venture Community Center, it offers numerous recreational, cultural, and educational programs to meet the needs of local residents. We were first shown the center itself and then went on a bus tour of several parks in Calabasas. Director of Community Services, Jeff Rubin, and his staff gave us such interesting information and answered all of our questions. The first stop was Juan Bautista de Anza Park, which features a conference room, 3 playgrounds, and a lighted multi-use game court. Mr. Rubin took pride in the fact that the park is always in great condition – broken nets are constantly replaced and courts are kept clean. We then visited the Bark Park for dogs. It, too, is tailored to the needs of both owner and dog and is always maintained to perfection. Our next stop: Gates Canyon Park, also known as Brandon’s Village. This park was specifically designed to provide play opportunities for both able-bodied children and children with disabilities. 70% of the utilities are accessible to children in wheelchairs, so they can engage alongside their siblings and other children. Mr. Rubin’s intern also presented to us the many opportunities for youth, including but not limited to the Teen Activities Council and the Teen Court. We finished the tour with delicious root-beer-float refreshments at the Tennis & Swim Center. Mr. Rubin hoped to change our opinions on community services and recreation – and he did just that.
                 Jane Chen
Leadership Youth Enjoy Root Beer Floats

Photos by Aakash Jha

Mar 8, 2012

Los Robles Hospital Gives Youth Congress Leadership Group a "Hands-on" Experience

This week students visited Los Robles Hospital in order to learn more about the way the hospital runs, including various different areas within the hospital. The three featured departments were radiology, ER (Emergency Room), and surgery. During the radiology session, students were able to take a look at various different x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs in order to determine various incidents that the hospital regularly encounters. During the ER session, students learned about the challenges of keeping order and efficiency in the hospital amidst the chaos and constantly increasing number of patients. Finally, during the surgery unit, students were able to use various surgical tools in a hands-on experience, where they realized the enormous challenges of operating with such miniature and intricate tools.
                      Brian Chang

Students Get First Hand Look at Surgical Tools

Mar 1, 2012

CLVFF's Community Health Expo II Features Free Health Screenings & Fitness Events

Click on image to enlarge

Healthy Living For A Healthy Future is the theme of Community Health Expo II, a free interactive event for the entire family brought to you by the Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation. The second annual Expo takes place on Saturday, March 31st from 9am – 3pm at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center. Admission is free. “Last year’s Expo was a smash hit, so we are excited to bring this fun and informative event back to our community,” said Louis Celaya, Health Expo II Chair. Health Expo II features some of the most popular programs from last year, including a wide range of exhibits, product demonstrations, and eye-opening lectures from experts on hot topics including heart health and nutrition.

The Rotary Club of Calabasas will again be sponsoring a blood drive (walk ins welcome, or sign up in advance at Take advantage of free blood pressure and BMI screenings, and new this year the Los Robles Hospital Medical Center will be offering blood panel screenings for only $25, including a blood count, lipid profile, and glucose and PSA screenings. Limited space for walk-ins - See the advance sign-up form above – an 8 hour fast is required if you would like to take advantage of this service. The Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center’s workout facilities and rock climbing wall will be available for use at no charge – attendees are welcome to try out the facilities or join the fitness instructors for free classes. You won’t want to miss the healthy meals, snacks, and smoothies offered throughout the day by the Organic Oasis food truck.

This free event is brought to you by the Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation in association with The Acorn, Los Robles Hospital Medical Center, and the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center.

Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities for the Community Health Expo II are still available. To find out more, call (818) 880-1054.

Feb 27, 2012

Youth Congress Visits Cal Lutheran University

On Wednesday, February 8th, Youth Congress Leadership Program participants visited Cal Lutheran University (CLU). First, the Campus Experience Coordinator, Wes Sullivan, welcomed and congratulated us on taking the first step on the journey of colleges and careers. He talked about school life from a more academic standpoint, discussing subject variety, academic liberty, integration with community, and religious freedom on campus. He then yielded the floor to the Student Body President, Jesse McClain, who related to us his experiences and how CLU allows him to express and explore his talents. He answered our questions regarding college life and the balance between academics and recreation on campus; from mountain biking to social clubs to singing in choir, CLU offers something for everyone. We then separated into groups and took a tour of the 225-acre campus. We were shown the comfortable dorms, the classrooms that accommodate twenty or so students, the chemistry laboratories, CLU’s state-of-the-art green building, and the athletic fields. The meeting concluded with a question and answer session with Director of Admission, Michael Elgarico, who told us that because so many applicants have incredible grades and high SAT scores, what really makes an individual stand out is their extracurricular activities. Overall, this was an informative meeting that broadened our college perspectives.
                  Jane Chen

Feb 7, 2012

Senior Congress VIII, “Best Ever”

Some 300 seniors attended the Eighth Annual Senior Congress hosted by the Future Foundation at St. Max’s Church on February First. Most of the attendees were from Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Calabasas and neighboring communities, but a handful came from as far as Pacific Palisades and Santa Barbara. Participants were treated to five dynamic presenters covering this year’s theme, “Eat, Play, Sleep: Healthy Senior Living.” Attendees were welcomed with free coffee in the morning and provided with their choice of a healthy lunch sandwich from Sprouts.

The impressive list of speakers included: Andrea Gallagher, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), Life Coach, President, Rethinking Your Future and Co-President, Senior Concerns; Tori Cohen, RD, Clinical Nutrition Manager, Los Robles Regional Medical Center; John Horton, MD, Family Practice; Andrea Koval, Director, Goebel Senior Adult Center; and Andres E. Giron, MD, Sleep Specialty.

Dr. Giron's Discusses Sleep
Comments from attendees who filled out the evaluation forms were overwhelmingly positive. Actual comments included: “best ever; very helpful; excellent; very well done; well organized; worth coming for; useful; current; very nice; great exposure to many options; informative and educational.” One participant said “please continue these programs.” And another asked, “Can you do this in Santa Monica or L.A.? Please!” The lunch from Sprouts was also described as the “best ever,” and “fantastic.” Many seniors appreciated that a veggie sandwich was included in the lunch choices.

The number and quality of the sponsor exhibits also drew praise: “wonderful information; very helpful; a great forum.” The speakers were described as: "excellent; interesting; engaging; informative; outstanding; terrific; and exceptional." They liked one presenter's sense of humor and describe another as "fun and good." But the main emphasis seemed to be on information and learning and every presenter got high marks in that regard. One senior pointed out that the audience itself was a great resource: “Networking with other seniors was invaluable.” 

Overall, Senior Congress VIII was a great success. Committee Chair, Carolyn Kopp, MS, CMC and the twenty members of the Senior Congress VIII Committee did an outstanding job in organizing and conducting this year’s event. 
      Photos by Pat Morgan

Jan 30, 2012

Four Seasons Hotel Introduces Hospitality Industry to Youth Congress Leadership

Fountain at the Four Seasons Hotel
On January 11th, Youth Congress Leadership Program participants toured the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village. The Four Seasons is an idyllic retreat enclosed by pine trees and a waterfall lawn area, a tranquil escape from daily stress. We toured its deluxe fitness room, luxurious pools and spas, grand ballroom, longevity center, three kitchens, Chinese-influenced garden, among much more. At the end of the tour, we had a question-and-answer session with the hotel’s Director of Human Resources,
Mr. Jim Cathcart.  He encouraged us to consider a future in the hotel business because it offers something for everyone. Be it management, public relations or cuisine, this field can accommodate a variety of personal interests.

We learned that the one crucial quality human resource managers look for is hospitality – customers are “Gods”. As Mr. Cathcart said, the staff is trained so that “every pore of their body is bursting with happiness”. For example, guests who pay thousands of dollars per night for the Presidential Suite have their every need and desire catered to in the same manner as guests who are lodged in a standard suite: there is no such thing as “no”. We also learned about the hierarchy of the hotel system. Almost all hotel personnel begin working as a secretary or assistant and work their way up as they spend more time in the industry, although people with college degrees in the Hospitality Industry field tend to secure higher level positions. Their success is determined by personal resolve and ability. Overall, this gave us a valuable opportunity to see how a hotel is run and showed us a greener, serene space hidden in the corners of Westlake Village.

Story by Jane Chen 

Scroll down for more photos.

Jan 23, 2012

Youth Congress Leadership 2012 Officers:

Co-Chairs:        Jane Chen & Brian Chang
Vice Chair:          Aakash Jha
Secretary:            Vasant Iyer
Historian:              Inez Lam
Follow-Up Chair:     Michael Cozzi