Mayor’s Youth Council Receives Firsthand Look at CSUN

  • The Mayor's Youth Council, comprised of ninth through 11th graders around Los Angeles, came to CSUN on Feb. 20 to get a first-hand look about the college admission process, financial aid and much more. Photo by Ruth Saravia.

  • Students received free bananas, muffins and doughnuts from 7-Eleven before the afternoon began. Photo by Ruth Saravia.

  • After lunch, the Mayor's Youth Council received a tour around campus by CSUN student ambassadors. Photo by Ruth Saravia.

  • The council were able to ask the four CSUN leaders — William Watkins, Jorge Reyes, Jesus Flores and Gregorio Alcantar— any questions they had about college, the admissions process and financial aid. Photo by Ruth Saravia.

  • Vice President of Student Affairs and Dead of Students William Watkins spoke to the council about his college experience and gave advice to students on how to overcome obstacles when they get to college. Photo by Ruth Saravia.

  • The Mayor's Youth Council participated in breakout groups where they spoke about current events and various service projects that are taking place. Photo by Ruth Saravia.

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

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