I am not normally one for New Year's resolutions, however, my primary goal for 1998 is to make sure that I give back to the community whenever possible. With this in mind, I jumped at the opportunity to speak as part of the First Annual Successful Leaders From Our Community Speaker Program at the Euclid Avenue Grade School and Magnet School in Los Angeles, California. The Euclid Grade School has been in existence for over 50 years with a largely Hispanic student body. This program was put together by financial planner, Sam Renick, as a way to get involved and give back. Twelve guest speakers have been lined up, including a director of marketing at Blue Shield, a commissioner of Recreation in Torrance, a vice president of a modelling company, a certified prosthetist orthotist, an optometrist, an executive at Pac Bell, and a dentist. The hope is that this variety of speakers will share some of their experiences in an attempt to let inner city children know that they can succeed. Topics include "Facing Challenges, Overcoming Obstacles and Going Forward, Having a Positive Attitude, Achieving Through Enthusiasm, Success Through Serving the Needs of Others, The Art of Listening, Honesty and Integrity, Acting With Courage, The Benefits of Perseverance, The Importance of Honoring One's Word, Success Comes From Hard Work, and Going After One's Dream. The hope is that the grade schoolers will come to believe there is nothing they can't do.
Mr. Renick has taken what I consider to be an important first step in reaching out to our youth and attempting to make a difference. This program began in November of last year
and will conclude the end of February.
If this program is deemed successful in motivating students at an age where they can adopt either an optimistic or pessimistic view of life , I am planning to suggest this for our grade schools in the Glendale and Foothill Areas. If children can learn while still in grade school about values, about achievement, and about life, the chances of the students' living productive lives will increase enormously. I believe it is incredibly important to bring this message to our youth.
When children are at an age where approaches to life are formed, it is important that we do what we can to set the right example.