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BENEFITS O.C.

Building Success

September 15, 1998|ANN CONWAY

Sister Eileen McNerney of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange--with Mike Hagan, left, and Richard Bonadio--greeted more than 400 guests on Saturday at the Light Up a Life benefit for Taller San Jose, a nonprofit facility in Santa Ana that helps young Latino men and women between 18 and 25 learn job and life skills.

"We help them prepare for a productive adulthood," said McNerney, executive director of Taller San Jose, which in Spanish means Workshop of St. Joseph. "We give them a focused and motivated program with a lot of loving discipline."

Under the watchful eye of McNerney and her staff, the young adults are encouraged to accomplish the following objectives: remain crime-free; complete a high school education; learn computer skills; get a driver's license; open a bank account; and register to vote. "If we can get the kids to accomplish those objectives, they begin to mainstream into society and become self-sufficient and productive," she said.

Net proceeds from the benefit were estimated at $150,000.

For information: (714) 543-5105.

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