Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference - Roseville

Roseville, CA – Close to 1,000 elementary, middle and high school students will converge on the Cesar E. Chavez Youth Leadership Conference and Education Fair on Saturday, March 24, 2012 in Roseville, CA.  For over a decade, this event has provided guidance to youth seeking to pursue higher education and grant information.

This unique educational forum allows 6th to 12 grade students and their parents an opportunity to learn how to pursue secondary educational and grant opportunities.  College recruiters will be available to answer student questions.  There will also be information designed to empower families to become stronger advocates for their children's education.

The conference is open to people of all ages.  It is scheduled from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm at the Robert C. Cooley Middle School campus located at 9300 Prairie Woods Way in Roseville, CA 95747.  Approximately 700 students and 200 parents attended the 2010 conference.  The event is sponsored by The Hispanic Empowerment Association of Roseville (HEAR), the Latino Leadership Council and the Cooley Latino Student Club.

There will be live entertainment from 12:30 to 2:00 pm.  Performers include the Folklorico Latino de Woodland, the Lord’s Gym break dancers, Yemaya Salsa, the Midnighters and trick roping cowboy and whip master James Barrera.  There will also be a live theater presentation of ‘Secrets,’ by the Kaiser Educational Theater Program.  That presentation begins at 9:30 am.

The conference is free and pre-registration is not required but strongly recommended.  Pre-registration is available by downloading conference information at  The conference was founded 11 years ago by Rene Aguilera, a Roseville City School District Board Trustee.  Aguilera and his family continue to organize promote this free event to youth throughout Northern California, the Central Valley and the Bay Area.

The conference traditionally kicks off a series of Sacramento-area events related to California’s Cesar Chavez Holiday.  Cesar Chavez was co-founder and president of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union.  He led the union from the 1960s to his death at age 66 in 1993.  The UFW was instrumental in organizing farm workers in several states.  In 2000, Governor Gray Davis signed SB 984, asking that school districts give an hour of instruction in all schools around Chavez's March 31 birthday.

The youth conference continues to recognize the UFW founder's lessons on non-violence, self-sacrifice and social justice. Students are encouraged to engage in some form of public service appropriate for their age and grade as part of the Cesar Chavez Day of Service of Learning.

“In times of recession, education is the key to building a road to a career,” said Aguilera.  “That is why we provide this conference so that students and their families can discover scholarship, college and other educational services that are available to them.  The Cesar E. Chavez Youth Leadership Conference supplements what most school districts do on or around March 31 – his birthday and acts as a primer for learning.  We ask parents, students, educators and business and community leaders to come out and volunteer their time to teach and learn from each other on both days."

The overall goal of the conference is to help youths learn how to be community leaders; how to become involved; how to learn about social and political issues; and how to pursue educational opportunities beyond high school.  Topics will include student financial aid, scholarships and career information including law, journalism, military, teaching, social welfare, art, music and dance, medicine, law enforcement and professional athletics and many others.

For more information on the Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference, call Rene Aguilera at (916) 532-5998, or fax registration applications to H.E.A.R. at (916) 782-2040.  Or students can take their completed application to their counselor and ask them to fax it.  Visit the conference web site at

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