Two high school seniors from the Mar Vista Gardens housing project have been chosen to participate in a program designed to increase youth awareness about the political process.
Jackie Villavelasquez, 18, and Selamawitt Kidane, 17, will travel to Sacramento this weekend under the auspices of Capitol Focus, a nonpartisan group based in Sacramento.
"We use the state Capitol as a living laboratory for the kids," said Jim Muldavin, executive director of the program.
In Sacramento, the students meet with legislators, lobbyists and the media and conduct a simulated legislative hearing, Muldavin said.
More than 15,000 high school students have participated in the program since its inception in 1983.
Villavelasquez is a senior at Venice High School and Kidane attends Culver City High.