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Conquer the Summit

Natalie M., Reporter

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On Friday, March 23, the Ronald Reagan Library hosted the youth of Simi Valley for the 16th annual Simi Valley Youth Summit. This event was organized and put together by the Simi Valley Youth Council. This year’s theme was “Conquer the Summit”. The day started off with check-in and complimentary breakfast. The event then kicked off with openings from the Chief Learning Officer of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, Anthony P., Youth Council Chair Emily R., Simi Valley Mayor Bob H., and Youth Council Chair Zelma Q.

Students were then broken up into different groups that focused on different issues relating to the teens of Simi Valley, which they were assigned based off of their applications they filled out for the event. The first breakout session consisted of icebreakers for all the students to participate in and get to know the people in their group. Following the breakout session, students gathered again to listen to the keynote speaker, Amelia Rose Earhart. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly around the world, and she enlightened the students of her hard journey and the expectations that came with having the name Amelia Earhart. After Earhart finished speaking about her experiences and hardships throughout her life, she opened up the floor to questions.

After students heard Amelia Earhart speak and got the chance to ask her questions, they went back into their groups for a second breakout session where they started to discuss issues related to their topic. This breakout session consisted of identifying problems that the group felt are prominent in our community. Each group had specialists and dignitaries from the community that were able to help the students with their concerns and answer any questions.

Following this breakout session was lunch, where students were split among tables and got to talk one-on-one with a dignitary from their session. This time was spent getting to personally know each other and discuss issues further. Then during dessert, students were able to network with any of the other dignitaries in attendance and get a better understanding of their community. After lunch, students went back in their groups for the third and final breakout session. This session consisted of the students coming up with solutions to the problems they identified in the previous breakout session.

Students worked together to try to make our community a better place. The day ended with a closing by Youth Council Chair Zelma Q. Freshman Victoria L. said, “One of my favorite parts was meeting new people and hearing people’s opinions about drug and alcohol abuse in our community. And talking with the dignitaries at my table at lunch was fun, and to hear their thoughts. And last but not least, of course the food was pretty amazing.”

This event was yet again very successful, and students were able to connect with their community leaders, and made the first step in wanting to make a difference in their community.

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Conquer the Summit