The Mayor’s Youth Council provided high school students with valuable information about their college future from several California State University, Northridge leaders on Feb. 20 at the University Student Union Northridge Center.
The council, a group developed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and made up of high school students from across the city, is a one-year fellowship program for students who are looking to gain leadership skills in politics and community engagement.
“We try to [take the youth council] out to different college campuses so they can experience the college admissions process, and so they can network with other students and leaders,” said Gabrielle Horton, a staff member in the mayor’s office.
CSUN representatives who spoke to the council included Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students William Watkins, Domestic and International Outreach Counselor Jesus Flores, Financial Aid Counselor Gregorio Alcantar and Associated Students President Jorge Reyes. After the morning session, the students took a tour of CSUN.
Reyes emphasized to the teens that in college, they should get involved on campus as much as possible to enrich their experience.
“My first year at college, I would just go to class and then go to work — I didn’t get very involved,” Reyes said. “By my second year, I joined the New Student Orientation program, rushed a fraternity and was more outgoing. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make college your second home.”
Council members were then able to ask questions of the four CSUN leaders, which included queries on overcoming moments in college when they felt defeated, tips on getting a doctorate and how to balance school life with social life.
“You ought to welcome and embrace any challenges that arise because they are experiences that build character,” Watkins said. “You just need to stand tall and have confidence in yourself.”
For more information on the Mayor’s Youth Council, visit http://www.lamayor.org