For the first time ever, the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce has invited 1,300 middle school students from around the Westchester and Playa del Rey area to converge upon Orville Wright Middle/Magnet School for a full-day summit filled with career presentations, motivational speakers and interactive activities designed to encourage them to research and pursue their career goals.
The summit will begin at 9 a.m. Friday, October 17th, on the Orville Wright campus, 6550 W. 80th St. in Westchester, with a keynote address by Air Force Capt. Brian Udell, an F-15E fighter pilot who miraculously survived an ejection from his plane at 780 mph and the subsequent wait for rescue crews in the icy waters of the Atlantic.
Udell’s story of perseverance during the incident and in the months of agonizing rehabilitation afterwards will be an inspiration to all.
Following Udell’s address, each student will have the opportunity to select his or her own “track” throughout the day, hearing from professionals in the careers that most interest them and meeting in small groups to enhance learning opportunities. Students will also receive a variety of materials, guides and other tools to take home as they continue to learn about various careers and focus on the ones that are meaningful to them.
“Quality schools are the crux of every great community, and this project is designed to have a meaningful and long-term impact on students during their critical middle school years,” said chamber chairman James Ferro.
“By illustrating to students that they have limitless opportunities to succeed in life — with or without a college degree and whether or not they come from a family with means — the Youth Summit hopes to provide students with choices that will steer them away from gangs, drugs and other negative influences.”
The event will include specific opportunities for students to learn about community service, professionalism in the workplace and preparing for college while still in middle school.
The day will conclude with a presentation by Cle “Bone” Sloan, a one-time member of the Athens Park Bloods street gang who now works with his non-profit organization AKTIVE to “change the gangs from the inside” by working with non-active gang members in communities nationwide.
Sloan, who has been featured on Bill O’Reilly’s The O’Reilly Factor and Anderson Cooper 360† and whose neighborhood was the basis for the film Training Day, will speak to students about ways to break the cycle of gang violence.
Presented by the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce, the summit is sponsored by the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey, the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation, Los Angeles World Airports, the Rotary Club of Westchester, Southwest Airlines, County Supervisor Don Knabe and Arias, Ozzello & Gignac LLP.
HALLOWEEN WINDOWS IN THE BUSINESS DISTRICT — Just in time for Halloween, Otis College of Art and Design, the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce and the Westchester Business Improvement District have teamed up to bring some scary windows to local businesses.
Throughout October, Otis students and artists from other local schools will decorate storefront windows throughout the Westchester Business District with Halloween themes.
Students will compete for cash prizes, and judging will be done by faculty members from Otis, along with representatives from the sponsoring organizations — the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce, the Westchester Business Improvement District and the Rotary Club of Westchester.
Otis students are participating through a class called “Festival Integrated Learning,” which provides all Bachelor of Fine Arts students with a series of collaborative experiences to extend beyond the boundaries of their own major and integrate disciplinary skills and knowledge, sited within a public context.
Students learn what goes into building and promoting a successful community festival, creating a business plan, a marketing plan, and a fundraising/development plan that can be used by the college and local community in creating an annual community festival that celebrates this area of the city in a partnership between Otis College and local government agencies and businesses.
YMCA PANCAKE BREAKFAST — Twice a year members of the Westchester Y’s Men’s Club don chef’s hats, fry up a mess of sausage and heat up the griddle for the semi-annual pancake breakfast.
It is one of the club’s regular fundraisers, and the monies donated go to various YMCA projects of the Westchester Family YMCA.
The pancake breakfast will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, October 18th, in the parking lot of the Westchester Family YMCA at 80th Street and Sepulveda Boulevard.
Tickets are available from members of the Y’s Men’s Club, the YMCA front desk, and at the door for $5 per person, with a $20 maximum for a family of four or more.
All proceeds will benefit the various projects of the Westchester Family YMCA. In particular, the following exciting programs are being spotlighted this fall:
— Y-University (after-school program for grades six to eight;
— Indian Guides and Trailblazers (builds relationships between parents and their children)
— Youth and Government (for students in grades nine to12)
— Mom’s Day Out (for busy moms or dads) and their kids two-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years old, providing four kid-free hours per week).
FITNESS AND DANCE DAY FUNDRAISER — On Saturday, October 18th, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Paseo del Rey Natural Science Magnet, the school will host its Fourth Annual Fitness and Dance Day Fundraiser.
“My son goes to this school and he knows how important it is to exercise and eat right,” said Lisa Nunziella Hockley. “He understands that moving his body and eating the right foods to fuel his body make him more effective in class as well as stronger out on the field playing soccer.
“Whether the children want to be an elite athlete or top in their class, these basic fundamentals will help our children grow into healthy adults.”
The event, which will be held at the school, located at 7751 Paseo del Rey in Playa del Rey, will include three hours of action-packed dance classes, training classes and nutrition tips as well as a raffle with lots of prizes.
“We are our children’s first teachers and we need to create healthy habits for them now,” Hockley added. “The obesity rate as well as diabetes in children has grown drastically.
“We need to take responsibility as parents and change this. That is why I volunteer my time every year to put this event together.”
Information, (310) 628-9265.