When Canyon High School students Zane Patterson and Max Archuleta boarded a bus for a two day learning adventure in Sacramento last March they had no idea they were paving the way for a new tradition. Patterson and Archuleta were the recipients of two scholarships awarded by the Canyon Country Optimist Club to accompany community leaders on a visit to the state’s capitol.
Each year, about 75 Santa Clarita community leaders travel to Sacramento to meet with key state legislators and other state officials, focusing on the most important issues impacting the Santa Clarita Valley in a trip facilitated by KHTS. In 2010, the Canyon Country Optomist Club sponsored two students to join the group for a first-hand look at politics.
“I was honored to be picked as one of the two student representatives of the valley. At the time, I was taking AP Language and Composition at Canyon; a class that focuses heavily on understanding the art of rhetorical strategies in writing,” said Archuleta. “What I found was that the politicians used rhetoric and spoke very well. It was most interesting for me to make a comparison between written and spoken rhetorical strategies.”
In the past, the trip has included Chamber of Commerce board members, elected officials, school board members, auto dealers, water district board members, union representatives and executive directors of many of our valley’s key organizations. Each year, participants meet with leading state officials in the Capitol to discuss key local issues and get a first-hand look at what’s happening in Sacramento. The addition of the Optimist Club’s scholarship provided an opportunity for young minds interested in pursuing a career in government and politics.
“The Sacramento Bus Trip has really become one of the most critical annual events in the Santa Clarita Valley. Community leaders have a huge impact on statewide issues because no other community in California is doing anything like our trip” said KHTS co-owner Carl Goldman. “The Optimist Club’s vision is to provide the youth of Santa Clarita a chance to be exposed to this process. The goal is to prepare these individuals for the passing of the baton as they become our future community leaders. It’s a very cool idea.”
The Club has announced it will be granting two new scholarships to send two students from Canyon High. These Canyon students were selected by school counselors based on their grade point average and career goals.
“The Canyon Country Optimist Club is dedicated to bringing out the best in kids. That’s our focus. These young adults through committed studies and activities represent Canyon High School and have respectively earned their seat,” said Adelaide Moniz, President of CCOC. “It is the hope of our club that their horizons are expanded and that they become responsible adults in our community.”
Additional sponsors of this project are Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, at&t, Castaic Lake Water Agency, and Facey Medical. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the KHTS radio Sacramento web portal.