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Original “Freedom Writers” to inspire Riverside County students at Youth Summit

Original “Freedom Writers” to inspire Riverside County students at Youth Summit

Author: SuperUser Account/Tuesday, March 17, 2015/Categories: Uncategorized, Living

CATHEDRAL CITY – Five hundred teens from across Riverside County will gather tomorrow (3/19) to learn about self defense, driver’s safety, tolerance, and to 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. The event begins with remarks by Cathedral City Mayor Stan Henry and Supervisor John J. Benoit at 8:40 a.m. The event is by invitation only for participants and already is booked. Media representatives are welcome.

“This year’s excellent presentations address issues that affect young people and illustrate how education has the power to take us further in life,” Benoit said. “The summit will engage Riverside County’s youth 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 adversities such as gangs, drugs, violence, loss of family members, teen pregnancy and other 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.

Journal chronicles by 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 honors student and went on to college. He is involved with the Freedom Writers Foundation and is a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club and a mentor to teenagers. With support from the Board of Supervisors, each student will receive 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 was a major sponsor, donating the use of its ballroom and other services, and sponsoring some attendees.

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

Supervisor John J. Benoit represents the eastern two-thirds of Riverside County on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the Colorado River, the 4th District is the largest geographical district in the county.

Supervisor Benoit’s office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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