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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP / East County | Simi Valley

Leadership Event a Hit for Students

September 27, 2000|PAUL M. ANDERSON

A second effort at organizing a leadership conference for local high school students was dramatically more successful this week than the first attempt last spring, officials said Tuesday.

In April, only about 15 area high school students signed up for a conference on leadership, prompting organizers to cancel the event.

But it was a different story Tuesday for organizers of the Leadership 2000 and Beyond Conference. The event drew about 120 high school students from five public and private schools.

What made the difference? The conference was held on a school day this time around, officials said.

Too few students signed up in April, largely because it was scheduled for a Saturday, officials said.

"I think we've found a formula that works," said Kim Rubenstein, a teacher's aide in the Simi Valley Unified School District who helped organize Tuesday's conference at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce sponsored this year's conference, Rubenstein said.

Simi Valley Councilman Glen Becerra, one of several speakers at Tuesday's conference, told the students how he overcame the obstacles of growing up in a single-parent household in Simi Valley to become the youngest person and first minority elected to the City Council.

Becerra said he also took the same leadership class the high school students were enrolled in.

"I told them they can achieve whatever they want," Becerra said. "They are the next generation of people who will be running this community."

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