* Steve Valenzuela was targeted for success: student body president at Roosevelt High School and a Harvard scholarship. "There's no question I had expectations to live up to," he said. He returned to Los Angeles in 1978 with a degree in government and spent the next nine years with a Westwood real estate firm. Now one of three operations directors at Los Angeles' Community Redevelopment Agency, he manages a budget of $100 million and oversees city projects, including the Central Business District and a redevelopment study of the Eastside where he grew up. Such revitalization is crucial because, said Valenzuela, 33, "There can be no true political development without underlying economic development."
* Since becoming the first Latina selected as an astronaut candidate this year, Ellen Ochoa somehow fits frequent public appearances in her "70-hour work week" as chief of Intelligent Systems Technology at NASA's Ames Research Center near San Jose. "It's fun to see how much interest students have in the space program," said Ochoa, 31, who holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford. Ochoa, a Los Angeles native who grew up near San Diego, will train in Houston for a year before beginning a technical job leading to an assignment on a shuttle mission.