conference -- "Take a Stand: It's Your Choice" -- thinking about how
important her life is.
"I am thinking more about myself and how to stand up for what I
believe in," said Sheena, 17, a hearing-impaired student who received
translation from Rebecca Acosta, 24, an interpreter for the Burbank
Unified School District.
"We don't always know what the truth is, but we want the truth. We
should share our feelings with each other more often," McFeely said.
The 26 students who make up Burbank Youth for Youth were selected by
the Mayor's Youth Task Force to organize the event, the results of which
will be presented to the Burbank City Council next month.
Aram Nadjarian, a senior at Providence High School and a member of
Burbank Youth for Youth, said this was the first time he and his friends
had ever done anything like this.
"We had kids as young as 12 running a discussion group on peer
pressure," Nadjarian said.
One result of the conference was overwhelming support for the idea of
opening a teen center in Burbank, Nadjarian said.
Nikkita Weerasinghe, a freshman at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High
School, led a discussion on peer pressure, during which teens talked
about wanting a teen center and how they wished they had mentors.
"It is important for us to find our identity, because the root of a
lot of bad things that happen to us is pressure from our peers," said
Nikkita, 14, a Burbank resident.
Linda Maxwell, a Burbank Youth for Youth advisor, said her goal was to
challenge the students.
"The message here is youth empowerment, and I think the end was a
profound moment for them," Maxwell said.