Nov 14, 2014

Youth Congress Leadership holds First Meeting

The opening Future Foundation Youth Congress Leadership Program meeting of 2014-15 was held on November 12th at the University Pre-School Program Auditorium in Thousand Oaks.

Genevieve Evans Taylor, Special Assistant to the President at California State University Channel Islands then spoke to the students about leadership. She stressed that leaders must be inclusive, ethical, and plan for their successors. She presented an icebreaker exercise to demonstrate the importance of communication and working collaboratively.

The next meeting will be on December 10th at the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.

Barbara Chilton of the Rotary Club of Westlake Village congratulated the students in the program and thanked them for their hard work. She announced that the Rotary Club is planning two parties for them during the year to thank them for all of their volunteering. Barbara gave Executive Director, Karen Malatesta, a list of organizations that students can volunteer at which will be emailed to the students before their next meeting.

Sep 22, 2014

Youth Congress Leadership Program Now Accepting Applications

Youth Leadership at Los Robles Hospital

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 elligible.

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, Community Services, and Business.

Youth Leadership at Civic Arts Plaza
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, 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 12, 2014, December 10, 2014, January 7, 2015, January 21, 2015, February 4, 2015, February 18, 2015, March 4, 2015, March 18, 2015, April 15, 2015 and May 6, 2015. This will make a total of 10 meetings.

Applications must be submitted by October 27, 2014 and students will be notified of their acceptance into the program by November 5, 2014. 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 sixth 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.

To apply online, click here: Youth Congress Leadership Application.

If you have any questions, please call Karen Malatesta, Executive Director of the Foundation at (818) 880-1054 or email

Apr 14, 2014

Health Expo IV a Resounding Success

An estimated 500 people attended the fourth annual Health Expo at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center. One hundred and seventy took advantage of the $25 blood panel screening provided by Los Robles Hospital.  In addition, many of the attendees took advantage of the free asthma and skin screenings,also provided by Los Robles Hospital. The Rotary Club of Calabasas held a blood drive and collected 24 pints of blood. 

Special thanks to our title sponsor, Los Robles Hospital, as well as major sponsors UCLA Health, the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, the Acorn Newspapers, Oak View Health Center, the Rotary Clubs of Thousand Oaks and Calabasas, and Thrivent Financial. 

Dr. Iqbal explains plaque
Lectures on "Your Predisposition to Cardiovascular Disease" by Dr. Shahrzad Shareghi and "Your Geneic Predisposition to Illness"  by Dr. Bader Iqbal were enthusiastically received. Both speakers were informative and dynamic. Comments from people leaving the presentations included "Wow, that was really interesting," "Excellent," and "the best presentation on a medical topic I've ever heard."

Dr. Shareghi

At UCLA Health's "Doctor Zone," doctors provided one on one advice to people with medical questions. Skin screening and Body Mass Index measurement were available for free. Forty different vendors provided information and free promotional items to attendees. Health care providers included dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, sleep therapists, elder care specialists, nutritionists, hypnotherapists, psychiatric care, acupuncturists,  home health, fitness, and tobacco prevention. Whatever your health and fitness issue might be, there was someone there to help.

Chiropractor David Biedebach, who has been a sponsor every year since the Health Expo began, said, "It's a great event, I wouldn't miss it." First time sponsor, Podiatrist Leonora Fishman was busy helping people with foot concerns, while dentist Brett Egelske was telling people how to get emergency, or after hour dental care. All in all, a lot of people had their health care questions answered and many found help with their specific concerns.

Feb 25, 2014

Youth Congress Leadership Visits L.A. County Fire Station #89

Story by Heather Melendez
On Wednesday February 12th, the participants of the Youth Congress Leadership Program had the wonderful opportunity to visit Fire Station #89 of the L.A County Fire Department. Through informative discussions, and an in-depth look at both a fire engine and a fire truck, as well as the many tools used to combat fires, the young leaders have an even greater appreciation of the work of firefighters. They also grasped the importance of team work and unity needed in order to create a positive and successful environment. 

First, we began our visit with a detailed discussion on how one becomes a firefighter.  As the conversation progressed, we began to learn the competitive nature of this field. Sometimes it can take fifteen years just to be hired! It took our speaker quite a while but he ultimately made it into the field with dedication and persistence. As mentioned, it is these key factors that ultimately can make any leader in any field successful. He proceeded to tell us about the work hours for firefighters, their yearly schedule, and his experiences. He also mentioned the growing importance of consistently passing exams that will allow each firefighter to become more knowledgeable in the field.

Next, we learned background information about the fire engine such as what it means to wear an orange hat, where specific firefighters sit in the truck, and how the varied 9-1-1 calls call for different defense measures. Wearing the orange helmet signifies who the captain is and having a specific seat in the fire engine demonstrates a person’s rank and job as well. Ultimately, each person plays an important role; without one, the efficiency of the team will be in jeopardy. We even had a first hand experience of trying on their suits! The weight of the suit, as well as carrying tools and an axe, taught us about not only the mental factor but also about the physical expectations in this field.

Lastly, we were introduced to the rich and varied uses of equipment and how they were organized on the fire engine. With the striking growth of technology, it is no doubt that these firemen only use the best technology when it comes to their job. From defibrillators to special goggles that allow firemen to see the body heat, they explained the purpose of why these tools were made of certain materials and demonstrated how they were used. They even passed around some of their tools. This was very exciting.

As the tour came to an end, the Youth Leaders and Firemen took a picture together and the students have an even greater appreciation and respect for their service to the community. 

Feb 14, 2014

Feb 10, 2014

Senior Congress X a Major Success

The Future Foundation’s tenth annual Senior Congress held last Wednesday at St. Max’s Church in Westlake Village drew a standing room only crowd to hear speakers on the topic,  “Demystifying Senior Medical Concerns: What Every Senior Should Know”
Dr. David Reuben Addresses Senior Congress

Registration for the event started at 8:45 a.m., but seniors began arriving as early as 8:15 to get a good seat. They weren’t disappointed.  Exhibits were opened at 8:45 and Dr. David Reuben, MD, Director, UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology,  was the leadoff speaker at 9:30 a.m. Dr. Reuben’s talk, “Senior Medical Concerns: A Reality Check,” was as entertaining as it was informative.

After welcoming remarks by Future Foundation Chair, Louis Celaya, and Senior Congress X Chair, Carolyn Kopp, the program was in full swing. Steven Russak, MD, with Kaiser Permanente spoke on “Quarterbacking Your Health Care, and Dr. Ja-Hong Kim, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Urology, UCLA School of Medicine filled us in on What Everybody Wants to Know, But Nobody Wants to Talk About.” From Dr. Lucia Dattoma, MD, Geriatrician, UCLA Health, Thousand Oaks, we learned that “No Fall is an Accident.”

Senior Congress Attendees 2014
After a one hour break for lunch, we heard from Dr. Razmig Krumian, DO, Medical Director, Buena Vista Hospice about “How Health Changes Impact Seniors and Families.” The next topic, “Is it Becoming Harder to “Do No Harm?” was presented by Melissa Dinolfo, PharmD, BCOP, Director, Pharmacy, Department of Medicine Hematology Oncology Practices, UCLA Health. Our final speaker was Dr. Molly Joel Coye, MD, MPH, Chief Innovation Officer, UCLA Health, who spoke on “Senior Lead innovation- The Path to the Future of Healthcare.”

Exhibits Provide Valuable Information
Senior Congress was free to all attendees and would not have been possible without the support of premier sponsor UCLA Health and the 31 other sponsors. The Future Foundation is grateful to them all.

Feb 3, 2014

Youth Congress Leadership Explores Medical Services at Los Robles Hospital

On Wednesday January 22nd, the participants of the Youth Congress Leadership Program had the pleasure of meeting at Los Robles Hospital, where we were learned about many facets of the hospital. We enjoyed presentations by several of the professional staff who work there.

First, we met with Irene Brennick, who is in charge of the volunteer program at the hospital and she introduced us to two student volunteers. We then met with Lynn Tadlock, Director of Emergency Services, who told us about her experiences at the hospital and led us in an engaging activity based on what triage nurses do. Three students volunteered to act as people needing to go to the emergency room and each had a different ailment. There was only one bed available and we had to decide who would get it. We learned a lot about how an emergency room works.

Next, Debbie Licht, RN explained how to do CPR and then we each practiced on dummies so that hopefully we would be able to save someone’s life in the future. Next we met Gabe Bullaro, VP of Surgical Services who taught us about problem solving and showed us how surgeons perform robotic surgery.

Lastly, we were introduced to Lee Abramo, a veteran nurse of 38 years in the emergency room, who told us about her love of the nursing field and all the benefits of being a nurse. She even told us about the time she saved a life at the Reagan Library! This was a very exciting meeting and we would like to thank Los Robles Hospital for accommodating us and for providing a wonderful, inspiring experience.

Afterward, Ms. Brennick told us about the wonderful volunteer program at Los Robles. There are a total of 750 volunteers at the hospital who help in many different ways. It is such a great program that many of the Youth Congress Leadership Program participants signed up to volunteer!

Story by Ana Gougas