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."