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Inland Valley Uplift Foundation10th Annual Youth Leadership Conference

By: James Wilson


La Verne, CA—The University of La Verne on March 16, 2019 with the theme, “Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders” the Inland Valley Uplift Foundation (IVUF), assisted by the Zeta Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, held the tenth annual Youth Leadership Conference (YLC) at the University of La Verne. The participants were diverse groups of young men in grades 5 -12. This YLC continued a tradition that was started six years ago by inviting the parents and having separate session for mothers and fathers. The IVUF believes that the more individuals involved in a child’s upbringing, the better his chances are for success.


The conference was started by Donald Mahoney, Master of Ceremonies followed by the Invocation by Rev. Gary George, Assistant Pastor of Victory Community Church in Upland California. Welcoming addresses were given by Dr. Devorah A. Lieberman, President, University of La Verne and Dennis R. Martinez 12th District Representative, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Other Omega Psi Phi Chapters from the Southern California area were present included: Lambda Omicron, Mu Alpha Alpha, Omega Mu Nu, Phi Beta Beta, Pi Rho, Psi Gamma Gamma, Rho Iota Iota, Sigma Iota Iota, Tau Tau, and Zeta Rho. These Chapters represented an area from Oceanside to Lancaster, California. 


The Soros of three different Sororities, Alpha kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Gamma Rho, all part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council Inland Empire (NPHC-IE), handled registration.


 The Youth Conference presented information on College Preparation, Life Skills, Planning and Achieving Goals, The Electoral College, STEM, and “Is College for You?”  The Youth workshop presenters were Stephen Baker, Michael Collins, Robert Evans, Damon Martin, Paul Turner and Michael Haynes. The students attended workshop’s on Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) presented by the STEM Program Coordinator Michael Haynes, a Compliance Engineer, in the Toxic/Hazardous Waste Unit, SCAQMD. At this year’s workshop he presented both the STEM Careers of the future, and College Preparations for a STEM College majors. In his presentation Mr. Hayes said: “We are living in a Technology driven world and a Global Market place requiring both middle and high school students, especially Minority students to re-consider their College major and Career field. We were always measured by how fast we could run, and how good we bounce a ball; now we must begin focusing on designing the running shoes and making a better Ball”.  During the presentations, Mr. Haynes outlined curriculum updates made at the middle-high school levels in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, while explaining to students the identification of genetically modified food (vegetables) verse hybrid vegetables and showing examples of the new career fields such as:  3-D Printing, Hazardous Materials, Genetics- (Designer Babies), Cloning, Unman- Aerial units (Drones), Aviation and Transportation management.  Mr. Haynes said “Now we must Prepare our Students to think, not only globally, but on an intergalactic level, i.e. occupation of the planet Mars”.  After showing 35 slides on STEM Careers of the Future I.T. Transportation Management, Bio/ Environmental Engineering, Genetic Modified Foods (GMO), Cellular /Computer Technology /GPS, UAS (Drone Systems Operator) and Hazardous Waste and Materials Management, Mr. Haynes, closed out the presentation saying “STEM Careers are exciting career fields. They were concerned that there is not enough STEM incorporated into the current school curriculums.


 A STEAM Van was on site. Over 120 students from the 5th-12th grades and most parents and visitors attended workshops on Coding, 3-D printing and solar projects.


The Mother’s Conference was led by Ronnie Walker, with about 37 mothers in attendance.  The mothers were surveyed and it was determined that most had either attended the USC or The La Verne YLC in the past.  The program consisted of five great topics: Identity and You, How to make Money, Internships, Getting money to send your kids to college, and Mental Health and your Kids.  We will bring topics to the parents that are meaningful and current.  It is our job to educate and make better parents who can in turn do a better job in raising their kids.


The Fatherhood session was led by Dr. George D.  Taylor. As in the past, The Youth Leadership Conference featured a session for fathers of the young boys who attended the conference. The Fatherhood Session was coordinated by Dr. George D. Taylor, 12thDistrict Chairman of the Fatherhood Initiative and Mentoring Committee of the 12th District. Its Theme was: FATHERHOOD AND FAMILY: “MY OBLIGATION, MY DUTY, MY RESPONSIBILITY.” Our Purpose:  Share information and knowledge about being a Father. Bring your son to the 10th Annual Youth Leadership Conference!!! The session consisted of four modules: (1) Values-Fathers where encouraged to address such questions as: Who am I and what do I values in terms of myself, my Family and my job? What conversation should I be having with my son(s) and families to keep them safe?  (2) Communication: Am I an “effective” Communicator? What would my son/family say? (3) What are My Rights as a Father?  (4), The Police and my Son: What do I need to know about preparing my son for 21st Century Community Living?   The Fatherhood session was well received by the fathers.  Speakers included: Brothers Dennis Braxton; Steven Webb; Damon Martin, Esq.; and Rodney Jones, Retired, Detective Supervisor.


Kyle Cazares, Admissions Office for the University of La Verne welcomed the students, parents and the Men of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He addressed young men in the 9-12th grades on the college admissions process.  He stressed that preparation and hard work will increase their options.  To enhance their chances for admission to the college or university of their choice, the students were advised to take the appropriate classes, prepare for the ACT/SAT exams and their hard work would be rewarded. He took them through the University of La Verne’s criteria for acceptance, gave them his business card and offered them an open invitation for them or their parents to contact him to further discuss the opportunities at the University of La Verne.


At the end of the conference the following gifts were presented: ITTC – Razor Scooters – (2)-Students over 15 year old; Omega STEM Program – Alexia – (4)-Students over 15 year old; PhiBB – Drones (4)-Students over 11 year old; PhiBB Charities – Gift Cards – (4) -All students/ All women; PhiBB Charities – Engineering Camp-All students; Scholarships for admission into the Engineering Camp, CSUDH – (4)-All students; Hematite Jewelry-All women and Site Tour of Gerald Desmond Bridge-Construction site-All Parents


If you have any questions on future programs, please feel free to contact Jim Wilson at (909) 239-7926, inland.ivuf@yahoo.com or visit face book at InlandValleyUplift Foundation.


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