Original “Freedom Writer” to Inspire Riverside County Students at Thursday’s Youth Summit

News Release


Mar 17

Original “Freedom Writer” to Inspire Riverside County Students at Thursday’s Youth Summit

CATHEDRAL CITY – Five hundred teens from across Riverside County will gather Thursday, March 19 to learn about self defense, driver’s safety and tolerance and hear an inspirational speaker who overcame enormous challenges to get an education.

The Riverside County Youth Commission’s 15th Annual Youth Summit will be held at Desert Princess Palm Springs Golf Resort in Cathedral City, 67 967 Vista Chino. The event begins with remarks by Supervisor John J. Benoit and Cathedral City Mayor Stan Henry at 8:40 a.m.

“This year’s Youth Summit has excellent presentations addressing issues occurring to youth and a valuable message about the power of education to take us farther in life,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “This event will engage the youth of Riverside County and help them develop leadership skills and influence their peers.”

At 10:15 a.m., the students will hear from Melvin Logan of the Freedom Writers Foundation. Logan attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach in the 1990s. Logan and his classmates faced extreme adversities such as gangs, drugs, violence, loss of family members, teen pregnancy and family issues. Through the gift of a caring teacher, they were introduced to writing and were encouraged to overcome their challenges in order to succeed academically.

The journal chronicles of Logan and his classmates became “The Freedom Writers Diary,” a New York Times bestselling book and major motion picture. Logan graduated high school as an honor roll student and went on to college. He is an active participant in the Freedom Writers Foundation, a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club and a mentor to teenagers.

With the strong support of the Board of Supervisors, each student in attendance will bring home a copy of “The Freedom Writers Diary.”

Students will attend workshops on self-defense, tolerance and driver’s safety. The self defense workshop will be led by Mika Moulton, the founder of Christopher’s Clubhouse, a local community safety education organization. Matthew Boger from the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles will share his story to explore the roots of prejudice and discrimination. Anna Kane, outreach education coordinator from Impact Teen Drivers, will teach teens the dangers and consequences of reckless and distracted driving.

During lunch, students will have the opportunity to visualize the risks associated with being under the influence with the California Highway Patrol’s DUI simulation goggles. The summit is scheduled to last until 3:15 p.m.

The Desert Princess Palm Springs Golf Resort is the presenting sponsor, and donated the use of their ballroom and in-kind services and sponsored some of the attendees.

The event is by invitation only for participants and is already booked. However, media representatives are invited to cover the event. For more information, please contact Trish Field, program coordinator at (951) 288-8373 or by email at TField@rivcoeda.org.

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