Nov 25, 2013

Youth Leadership Program gets Underway

Story by  Ana Gougas

On November 18th the members of the Youth Congress Leadership Program gathered for the first meeting where they got to know each other and took part in different interactive activities. After we introduced ourselves to the other members, Superintendent Dr. Baarstad talked about the importance of the program and the community. He then discussed with us the components of being a leader and then asked us to disperse into groups and talk about what we thought it meant to be a leader. Each of our groups had a different idea so it was enlightening to hear each other’s opinions. Afterwards we discussed how we learned best and we were all able to agree that we preferred hands on learning.  Overall it was a great first meeting to get to know each other and to find out what this program was really about.

Nov 13, 2013

Youth Congress Leadership Program Meeting Schedule 2013-2014

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Orientation/Leadership
4:00 p.m. University Center (formerly University Elementary)
2801 Atlas Avenue
Thousand Oaks

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Education
4:00 p.m. Conejo Valley Unified School District University Center (formerly University Elementary)
2801 Atlas Avenue
Thousand Oaks

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 Recreation
4:00 p.m. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza-Theater Department
2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 Health Services
4:00 p.m. Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
215 West Janss Road
Thousand Oaks

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Fire Protection
4:00 p.m. L.A. County Fire Department- Fire Station #89
29575 Canwood St.
Agoura Hills

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 Business
4:00 p.m. BMW Design Studio
2201 Corporate Center Drive
Newbury Park

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Justice System
4:00 p.m. Calabasas City Hall
100 Civic Center Way

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 City Government
4:00 p.m. Westlake Village City Hall 31200 Oak Crest Drive
Westlake Village

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 Service to the Community
4:00 p.m. Agoura Hills Animal Shelter
29525 Agoura Road
Agoura Hills

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Wrap-Up Meeting and Kiwanis Dinner
4:00 p.m. Meeting location-to be announced

Sep 12, 2013

2013-2014 Youth Congress Leadership Applications Now Being Accepted

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, the Justice System, Fire Protection, Health Services, Recreation, Education, Community 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 city hall, the 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 Wednesdays: November 13, 2013, December 11, 2013, January 8, 2014, January 22, 2014, February 12, 2014, February 26, 2014, March 5, 2014, March 19, 2014, April 9, 2014 and May 7, 2014. This will make a total of 10 meetings.

Applications must be submitted by October 25, 2013 and students will be notified of their acceptance into the program by November 5, 2013. Attendance is very important. Please check your calendar to make sure that you can attend all or most of the meetings. Community Service credit will be given based on attendance. 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 fifth 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.

A copy of the application can be found on the above tab: "2013 -2014 Youth Congress Leadership Application." Email  or call Karen Malatesta, Executive Director of the Foundation, at (818) 880-1054 with any questions that you may have.

Jul 18, 2013

CLVFF 40th Anniversary Newsletter Now Available Online

The Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation's 40th Anniversary Newsletter is now available to view online. To see the newsletter click on "CLVFF Newsletter" in the tabs above. Or click on the following link: Newsletter.

Jul 15, 2013

Youth Congress Leadership Students Brief Local Agencies

As part of the Youth Congress Leadership program, participating students get an opportunity to brief local city councils and school districts on the content and value of the program. For most of the students, it is the first time they have addressed elected officials in a public forum. The students all expressed enthusiasm for the program  and felt that it was beneficial to them personally. Some of the reports are archived on the city or district web sites and can be accessed online.

Youth Congress Leadership participants, Gilbert Bao and Aidan Hodgson
provide a report to the Agoura Hills City Council. 
The following students addressed the following local agencies:

Agoura Hills City Council Meeting: Gilbert Bao & Aidan Hodgson
Thousand Oaks City Council Meeting: Ana Gougas & Taylor Lovullo
Westlake Village City Council Meeting: Stephanie Griffith
Conejo Valley Unified School District Board Meeting: Sean Laput & Katherine Sham
Las Virgenes Unified School District Board Meeting: Chelsea Skrabak & Delaney Kinford
Oak Park Unified School District Board Meeting: Heather Melendez

May 9, 2013

Youth Leadership Visit King Gillette Ranch

On Tuesday, April 9th, the Conejo Valley Youth Congress Program traveled to King Gillette Ranch, a parkland located in the center of the Malibu Creek Watershed. Our group was greeted warmly by Melanie Beck, an Outdoor Recreational Planner in charge of trail planning and appraising needs for outdoor resources at the facility.

Melanie lectured extensively on King Gillette Ranch through her expertise in outdoor ecosystems and management. Named for the razor magnate, King C. Gillette, King Gillette Ranch not only houses much of the wildlife in the area, but it also provides insight into California’s cultural and archaeological history. After a brief introduction, Melanie brought us along a tour of the facility, a trip that proved both educational and fun.

We examined various wildlife exhibits that provided information on the surrounding ecosystem and our local issues, such as the endangerment of mountain lions. Melanie concluded the trip by bringing together the concept of individual interests versus community ideals, emphasizing that our decisions to industrialize should consider the safety of our ecosystem.

We left King Gillette Ranch with a higher understanding of the habitat around us, as well as a deeper appreciation for what our actions can do to the environment.

Story by Gilbert Bao

Apr 24, 2013

Health Expo Draws Healthy Crowd

An estimated 500 people attended the Future Foundation's 2013 Health Expo at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center on Saturday, April 13.  Some 143 area residents took advantage of the $25 blood panel screening according to Irene Brennick, Director of Community Services for Los Robles Hospital. Another 30 residents donated blood for the Rotary Club of Calabasas sponsored blood drive. Free screenings were provided for blood pressure and body mass index as well as exercise and fitness demonstrations.

Among the popular features at this year's event was UCLA Health Systems' "Stress Free Zone," and the "Operation Game." The game featured a life size "body" from which participants were challenged to "surgically" remove various "organs" without tripping an alarm. It took a steady hand to remove the "funny bone" or "butterflies" from the stomach.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department provided training in the latest techniques of  "sidewalk" CPR. If you have not renewed your CPR skills lately, you should consider taking a refresher course to learn the newest techniques.

Among the most helpful exhibits was the "Ask the Doctor" area where doctors from Los Robles Hospital provided answers to questions from attendees in one on one private discussions.Several doctors from UCLA Health Systems were also available to answer specific questions for attendees.

In addition to all the exhibits, three very informative presentations about stress were conducted by experts in the field.  Doctors Edd Hanzelik and John Horton discussed "The Inner Game of Stress," and Doctor Shahrzad Shareghi discussed "How Stress Affects the Heart." All in all, it was an excellent opportunity for area residents to take some positive steps toward a healthier life.

Apr 10, 2013

Free Health Expo Saturday, April 13th

Don't miss our 3rd annual Health Expo, Healthy Living for a Healthy Future, this Saturday at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Lots of free exhibits, valuable information and health tips, handouts and lectures on health related issues. Health practitioners available to answer questions. Kids and adults will enjoy the life sized "operation" game. For more details see the articles below.  For directions to the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, click here.

Mar 20, 2013

Health Expo Coming April 13

See the following article for more information:

Mar 15, 2013

3rd Annual Health Expo Bigger Than Ever

Community Health Expo III, to be held April 13th from 9am – 1pm at the Agoura Hills / Calabasas Community Center, once again brings “Healthy Living For A Healthy Future” to the residents of our region. This popular free interactive family event is organized by the Conejo / Las Virgenes Future Foundation, the local regional think tank. “The Community Health Expo is a wonderful opportunity for people to take charge of their health through interactive games, informative guest speakers, industry professionals and life saving tests,” says Annemarie Flaherty, Executive Director of the Agoura Hills / Calabasas Community Center. “There is something for everyone.” Expo III builds upon the most popular programs from last year, with a wide range of exhibits, product demonstrations, and valuable lectures from experts on critical topics including stress management and heart health.

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 Los Robles Hospital will offer blood panel screenings for only $25, including a complete blood count, lipid profile, glucose, and PSA prostate screenings. (Limited space for walk-ins; get an advance sign-up form by emailing 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 fitness instructors for free classes. New this year will be the Stress Free Zone, brought to you by UCLA Health System, plus you can test your skills on a life-size “Operation” game. Doctors, pharmacists, and health experts will be available to answer questions.

This free event is brought to you by the Conejo / Las Virgenes Future Foundation in conjunction with title sponsor Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center. Other major sponsors include Agoura Hills / Calabasas Community Center, UCLA Health System, The Acorn Newspapers, Rotary Club of Calabasas, Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks, West Hills Hospital and the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital.

Community Health Expo III Sponsors

Rotary Club of Calabasas

Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks

The Acorn Newspapers

West Hills Hospital

The Grossman Burn Center

Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities for Community Health Expo III are still available. To find out more, or to see the entire schedule of events call (818) 880-1054,or scroll down to the flyer posted on this web site.

Mar 13, 2013

Youth Leadership Visits Los Robles Hospital East Campus

On Tuesday, February 26th, 2013, the Youth Congress Leadership Program journeyed to the Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center East Campus in Westlake Village. Built in 1968, the Los Robles Hospital now employs more than six hundred board certified physicians and boasts comprehensive medical services in over fifty specialties. After a compelling introduction by Simi Chandice, Director of the entire East Campus, professionals working in everything from physical rehab to medicine explained the basics and intricacies of their respective professions, giving us an idea of what working in a hospital is like. Courtney Ford, a dietitian working at Los Robles, and Mary Lens, cardiac expert, familiarized us with the various diets and activities that patients undergo during rehabilitation. Occupational therapist Suzanne Crawford, Speech Director Kim Herbert, and Activities Director Christy Badamyan furthered our understanding of the types of rehabilitation methods that patients experience while recovering from injuries or ailments. Not only were we presented with a wealth of information, but we also got to see various wings first-hand as we embarked on an extremely informative tour led by volunteers Joe and Marcia Sands. Concluding with a description of medicine and its impact to patients by pharmacist Sandy Richardson, the visit to Los Robles left us with a richer understanding of the hospital’s functions, as well as a deeper appreciation for the work that physicians and health professionals do for our lives. 

Story by Gilbert Bao.