Monday, April 30, 2012

Students prepare for "Real World" at two-day conference

Four-hundred fifty high school students arrived Friday at Weber State University for a two-day conference on options they may not have realized they have.

Weber State's first Multicultural Youth Conference, "Preparing for the Real World," offered workshops on careers, planning, proper etiquette, self-esteem, scholarship applications, financing college and dealing with racial and gender stereotypes.

Workshops for the registered students, from the Weber, Ogden and Davis School Districts, continue on Friday, with an overall goal of helping students to expect more from themselves, and to plan and work for lives better than they otherwise might have achieved.

Students broke into 11 sessions based on age and interests. The first afternoon session broke students into two sessions based on genders.

Shayla Rivera, an actress and stand-up comic who grew up in Puerto Rico then got a degree in aerospace engineering at Texas A&M, talked to the females about self-esteem, ignoring stereotypes, and making your own opinion of yourself count more than that of naysayers.

In another room in Weber State's Shepherd Union Building, speaker Roderic Land, a University of Utah assistant professor who teaches courses on education and culture and society, addressed the smaller all-male crowd. Land asked his audience for suggestions on the issues they wanted to discuss, leading to a discussion of money, and what students would spend their money on if they had a $35,000 job. Standard Examiner