Forum aims to inspire

first_imgWHITTIER – Santa Fe High School senior Melissa Perez says she was feeling a wave of senioritis coming her way with just a couple of months to go before she dons a graduation cap and gown.But her senior slump came to a screeching halt Friday after attending the 11th annual Women’s History Conference at Rio Hondo College, which partnered with the Whittier Union High School District to organize the event for about 300 local high school girls. A warm welcome from Whittier Union Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson and a motivational speech by Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood, was just what Perez needed to kick herself back into gear. “This is the first time I’ve been to this event and it was interesting, really motivating,” said Perez, 17, who hopes to major in physics at Cal State Long Beach. After the speeches, students attended workshops focusing on issues such as teen pregnancy, the psychological impressions of dress, women’s health, personal security, building healthy relationships and the reasons why girls should go to college, among others. In the “BABY – Think It Over” workshop, Frontier High senior Trisha Strom laid out the realities of being a single teen mom along with six fellow teen parents. “Take it from me – trying to go to prom when you’re pregnant is not cute. Going to a party with a kid on your shoulder is not cute,” she said. “You only get one time in your life to be young and party. So just wait.” California High junior Vivian Galindo, 16, said the conference inspired her. “It put me in an exciting mood,” she said. “I feel like I want to change everything when I go back to school. It made me feel like I should be doing something more.” tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88“As a senior, you feel like giving up toward the end, but this helped a lot. This was a really good opportunity for me to take advantage of.” Sanchez, who was elected to Congress in 2002, talked to students about her large Mexican family and the surprised looks she used to get when she first arrived at Capitol Hill. As a youngster, she never dreamed of becoming a congresswoman – “but it’s a great example of how things change over time. Sometimes you can surpass or exceed even what you think you’re capable of doing.” Then she told the students she was giving them a symbolic “pass” to be wild. “Well-behaved women rarely make history,” Sanchez said, prompting laughter from the girls. “You have to be a little bit of a troublemaker to push ahead and change society.” last_img read more