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Youth Success Conference at Oceanside High School Inspires Over a Thousand Students

By   /  June 10, 2024  /  No Comments

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Community leaders, alumni, and organizations join forces to empower youth and highlight development initiatives.

Oceanside, CA (June, 2024) – The ‘Discover Your Purpose’ Youth Success Conference, a transformative event empowering over 1,000 students, was a testament to the power of collaboration. The unique partnership between the Community Alliance for Youth Success (CAYS), the Assistance League, and the Oceanside Unified School District provided an unparalleled opportunity to highlight positive, impactful initiatives that address youth development and success.

  • JJ Steccato and Brian Brickford, Equitable Advisors.

Photo Credit: Milla Kuhto-Bryan at Milla Visuals

Group shot of all speakers, staff, and volunteers.

Community Alliance for Youth Success (CAYS) is committed to fostering the growth and development of young individuals by providing resources, guidance, and support. CAYS empowers youth to discover their purpose and pursue their dreams through innovative programs, mentorship, and community engagement. Its flagship initiative, the ‘Discover Your Purpose’ program, has already inspired and equipped numerous students with the skills and mindset necessary for success in their personal and professional lives. By partnering with schools, businesses, and community organizations, CAYS creates impactful opportunities for youth to thrive and realize their full potential.

The conference saw a diverse panel of 50 influential community leaders from across America, including renowned figures like Stedman Graham and Anthony Trucks, who shared their unique insights and experiences with the students.

Notable San Diego business leaders and professionals who participated included:

• Denny Cherry – As the founder and CEO of Denny Cherry Consulting, Denny Cherry shared his journey of building a rapidly growing tech company. He emphasized the importance of staying current with technology trends and the value of persistence and continuous learning in achieving professional success.
• Brian Brickford -The Senior vice president at Equitable Advisors, Brian Brickford, discussed financial literacy and career planning. He highlighted strategies for long-term financial stability and the importance of setting clear, achievable financial goals.
• JJ Steccato – As a financial Advisor at Equitable Advisors, JJ Steccato focused on the significance of early financial planning and provided practical advice on managing personal finances and making informed investment decisions.
• Aaron Byzak – Lead Consultant at Galvanized Strategies and a four-time Emmy Award-winning writer and producer, Aaron Byzak shared insights from his diverse healthcare and public affairs career. He encouraged students to pursue careers that align with their passions and make a positive societal impact.
• Adam Pevney – Director of Land Acquisition at Ryan Companies US Inc., Adam Pevney discussed the role of strategic planning and networking in real estate. He stressed the importance of adaptability and lifelong learning in the ever-evolving industry.
• David Mier – Senior Director of Health Government & Community Relations at UCSD, David Mier spoke about the intersections of healthcare and public policy. He underscored the need for compassionate leadership and community engagement in health-related careers.
• Blake Brinkerhoff – A former Navy SEAL and Head of Federal Sales at O2X Human Performance, Blake Brinkerhoff shared lessons in resilience, teamwork, and leadership from his military experience. He inspired students to push their limits and strive for excellence in all areas of life.
• Christopher Pribilo – Representing the Boeing Company, Christopher Pribilo discussed the future of aerospace and defense. He highlighted the importance of innovation and technical skills in shaping the industry’s future.
• Brett Kalina – A Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI, Brett Kalina provided insights into careers in law enforcement and national security. He emphasized the value of integrity, critical thinking, and public service.
• Joanne Tawfilis – Director of the UNESCO Center for Peace in California and Baja, Joanne Tawfilis spoke about global citizenship and the importance of peacebuilding. She encouraged students to engage in international issues and contribute to a more peaceful world.
• Sandra Joseph & Ron Bohmer – Broadway stars Sandra Joseph and Ron Bohmer shared their experiences in the performing arts, emphasizing the importance of perseverance, passion, and continuous self-improvement. Sandra, known for her role as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera,” and Ron, who played The Phantom, inspired students to pursue their artistic dreams.

The conference also featured alumni who shared their wisdom on a panel; and numerous organizations participating in the College and Career Fair. Companies who participated in the Career Fair were: US Marine Corps, US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, Army National Guard, Mira Costa College, Palomar College, U of St Augustine, PenChecks Trust, Equitable Advisors, Ryan Development, My Point Credit Union, Assistance League, True Care, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lael Automotive, Rescue Mission, Muramid Arts & Cultural Center, The Grounded Mind, Education Begins in the Home, Community Health Educator A’Yanna Hatton, and AquirreTech.

Sponsors for the event included PenChecks Trust, Equitable Advisors, UC San Diego, SGA Stedman Graham & Associates, and many in-kind donations and services.

About Community Alliance for Youth Success (CAYS): Community Alliance for Youth Success (CAYS) was founded by Stedman Graham and Bobbi DePorter with a mission to foster youth development and success. Through its ‘Discover Your Purpose’ program, CAYS partners with schools to inspire and empower students to pursue their dreams. The organization’s initiatives focus on personal development, career readiness, and community engagement, providing students with the tools and support they need to succeed in life.

About the Assistance League: With 22,000 volunteers and 120 chapters in 26 states, the Assistance League provides students with physical needs, including clothing and school supplies, along with mentoring and scholarships.

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