Students eager to gain leadership skills and make a positive contribution in their community are being recruited for the San Fernando Valley Youth Council.
Sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Los Angeles, council members choose projects to perform in the community. In the past, the youth council has performed community cleanups, painted a mural at a middle school and hosted a barbecue for battered women and children, said Israel Ortiz, director of youth programs.
"If you expose them and train them, they become more connected to the community," said Ortiz. "It teaches them responsibility and shows them they can succeed in life."
The nonprofit organization Friends of the Family has given $10,000 to the Volunteer Center to cover a two-month training program, a weekend camping trip to teach leadership skills and other expenses associated with the youth council that meets weekly, Ortiz said. The council, geared toward students ages 15 to 18, consists of 25 to 30 members.