To celebrate March as Women’s History Month, Santa Monica College is presenting its 17th annual Latina Youth Conference Saturday, March 25th.

The conference, which is free and open to girls in grades six through 12 as well as parents, attracts an average of 600 attendees each year.

Scheduled are workshops, career and college expositions, peer panel discussions, and keynote speeches designed to help girls build strong foundations for future achievement.

The expositions feature representatives from University of California Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, Santa Monica College, and Latina professionals from a variety of occupations.

Victoria Castro, a former trustee of the Los Angeles Unified School District, is the keynote speaker.

When Castro was first elected in 1993, she was the only Latina on the Los Angeles Unified School District board, which is the second largest school district in the U.S.

Castro is also professor emeritus of Chicano Studies at California State University Los Angeles.

Latina Youth Conference co-sponsors are America’s Cup Espresso Bar, crdzines (a Santa Monica interior design firm), Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, former Los Angeles Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski, the Pico Youth and Family Center, St. Anne and St. Anne’s Catholic Church, St. Monica Catholic Church, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, and Pacific Properties.

Check-in begins at 7 a.m. at the John Adams Middle School Auditorium at 2425 16th St., Santa Monica.

Activities then move across the street to Santa Monica College after 10 a.m.

Preregistration is required and conference officials are currently accepting registrations.

Information and pre-registration, (310) 434-8520; ference or