The Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute presents a community spring symposium that tackles the issue of urban youth with an emphasis on young people in foster care.

Spread over four days from May 13 to 17, “Urban Youth: Fostering Success Through Grit” will feature myriad events including lectures, roundtable discussions and a film screening.

Organizers kick things off with “Stop Requested,” an original musical drama written and performed by former foster care youth. The performance takes place at the Broad Stage; there is a $50 donation.

May 14 features keynote speaker Paul Tough, who will discuss his commitment to implementing public policies aimed at meeting the needs of Los Angeles youth.

If you’ve never seen John Singleton’s “Boyz ‘N the Hood” Wednesday night is your chance. The award-winning film will be screened at Laemmle’s Monica Fourplex for free and after the film a roundtable retrospective on urban violence will be led by Singleton.

Thursday wraps up with a campus roundtable at Santa Monica College, and a community forum at the SMC Bundy Campus. Both will focus on public policy affecting foster youth. All events are open to the public and seating is on a strict first arrival basis.

“This year’s annual public policy spring symposium brings together local, regional, and statewide leaders to discuss the needs of youth in our communities and how best governmental and non-governmental agencies can address those needs,” said Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, Public Policy Institute associate director and political science professor.

“We are so pleased to bring this wide coalition together and we look forward to outcomes that will improve the lives of young people,” he said.

For further information on the symposium, call (310) 434-4926 or go to

— Henry Crumblish


Kiwanis Club hands out scholarships

The Santa Monica Kiwanis Club announced the winners of its annual Outstanding Academic Student Awards.

Six high school students and 11 Santa Monica College students were evaluated on academics, leadership and community service for the $21,500 available in scholarships.

Four students from Santa Monica High school were recognized with scholarships; Zaire Overton, Victoria Hatakeyama, Natasha Janfaza, and Bronte Burnett.

In addition Michaela Maxwell from New Roads High School, and Vivian Ortiz of St. Monica High School were awarded.

There will be a celebration luncheon on June 12, at the Sheraton Delfina Hotel. For more information, call (310) 649-0763.

— HC


Quit hoping, The HoPe is reopening

The HoPe Veterinary Center is set to re-open on Saturday, May 4, with a grand opening ceremony from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

HoPe is a nonprofit organization that offers full service veterinary care to the pets of homeless people. Last year the clinic was forced to restrict its services because of a lack of funding.

The center’s monthly clinic and minor surgery hours were discontinued, limiting veterinary care to established patients with chronic medical problems such as diabetes and kidney disease, however, thanks to Metabolic Studio, HoPe is providing full service once again.

Costs of the services ware underwritten by a few donors, including Veterinary Centers of America, which gifted HoPe with the use of the hospital, and Metabolic Studios.

“It has been very difficult to hear of problems our clients’ pets have been experiencing since we were forced to reduce services, and to be unable to help,” said Dr. Tina Owen, founder and CEO of HoPe. “I am so looking forward to seeing our established clients and patients again — and to welcoming new ones.”

For more information, call (877) 910-4682 or visit

— HC



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