LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Junior League of Los Angeles, now in its 91st year of service, is bringing together members of the community to focus on a critical issue faced by foster youth in Los Angeles County as it holds its annual Community Leadership Forum presented by the Legacy Leadership Circle. This free community event will take place December 2, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Downtown Central Library in Los Angeles.
This year's topic is Psychology of the Streets: Breaking Down Barriers To Education. The forum will feature keynote speaker Regina Calcaterra, Esq., an advocate for foster children and partner at the law firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz. Calcaterra is the author of The New York Times best seller, Etched in Sand, which tells the story of her and her four siblings as they survive an abusive childhood only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system.
Calcaterra will be joined by a distinguished panel that will include:
- Sandy Banks, a journalist and former columnist for the Los Angeles Times whose award-winning writing covered foster care, law enforcement, homelessness and mental health and gave a voice to the ignored, unheard and unknown.
- Patrick Gardner, JD, President and Founder of Young Minds Advocacy, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco that uses strategic communications and collaborative advocacy to help youths, their families and communities access mental health services and support.
- Alex Johnson, Executive Director of the Children's Defense Fund-California where he leads the organization's statewide advocacy, policy, program and organizing efforts to ensure educational equity for the state's children.
- Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Vice-President and Chair of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board of Trustees, who was instrumental in optimizing supportive services for students who were formerly in the foster care system and helping students returning to college after serving time in the prison system.
Over 20,000 children in Los Angeles County are currently in foster care and many of them face staggering challenges in trying to achieve academic success. These include dealing with unpredictable and frequent changes in homes and schools, being separated from siblings and being at high risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder, debilitating depression and low self-esteem. In fact, according to the Alliance for Children's Rights, only 58% of foster youth in LA County graduate from high school and only 3% graduate from college. The Community Leadership Forum will work to proactively identify the barriers to quality education for foster youth and identify solutions.
The program will take place from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. A complimentary lunch prepared by Homegirl Café and Catering will be served immediately following the event. To RSVP, please visit http://www.JLLA.org.
ABOUT THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF LOS ANGELES
The Junior League of Los Angeles (JLLA) is committed to empowering women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Now in its 91st year of service, JLLA provides volunteers and funding to local non-profit agencies for the benefit and enrichment of the Los Angeles community. Nearly 600 volunteers contribute more than 60,000 hours of volunteer work each year to important projects and programs. In addition to the volunteer services that members contribute, the JLLA has contributed millions of dollars to fund programs that improve the overall wellbeing of the Los Angeles community.
For additional information, visit: http://www.JLLA.org.
Arrangements for the appearance of Regina Calcaterra made through HarperCollins Speakers Bureau, New York, NY.
For more information, contact:
Stephanie Cajigal, Public Relations Chair
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SOURCE Junior League of Los Angeles