Fifteen Santa Monica Red Cross youths are attending the American Red Cross leadership conference the week of Monday, August 14th, at Pilgrim Pines Camp Grounds in Yucaipa.

The youths, ranging in age from 14 to 18, are learning communication skills, cultural sensitivity, diversity and how to work in groups. Training also includes developing leadership skills, learning public speaking techniques and discovering values of community service.

“The lessons and skills they will acquire at the chapter and American Red Cross Leadership Conference will give them the tools and life experiences they will need to successfully pursue their education and careers,” said Jerry Washington, the chapter’s director of Volunteers and Youth Services.

Attending the conference from the Santa Monica Red Cross chapter are Marisa Iannaccone, 15; Tracy Tan, 17; Jenny Chaun, 16; Mariza Lockhart, 16; Jonathan Quintana, 16; Luigi Roditis, 16; Daniel Lim 15; Ivy Lee, 17; Yeji Lee, 14; Donghoon Lee, 18; Paige Kim, 15; Kristina Hon, 17; Olivia Butler, 15; Monica Choo, 15; and Andrew Pacheco, 15.

All are Santa Monica High School students except for Pacheco, who attends Sylmar High School.

Funds to underwrite expenses for the conference came from the Santa Monica Kiwanis Club and the Santa Monica Red Cross.

Chapter youths also held pancake breakfasts, car washes and electronic recycling drives over the past months to raise money for the trip.

The teens will continue to volunteer for the chapter over the next school year, using the knowledge they obtained at the conference.

They will work in disaster preparedness, teach First Aid, CPR and babysitting classes, and perform business-related functions such as fundraising, marketing and administrative duties.

Similar youth leadership conferences are held in other locales around the U.S.

Information, (310) 394-3773 or www.redcrossofsantamon