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Photo Courtesy of the Santa Clarita and Canyon Country Optimist Clubs.

Two Santa Clarita Students To Be Awarded $750 Scholarships From Optimist Clubs

The Santa Clarita and Canyon Country Optimist Club announced the honorees of the Safety Town counselor-in-training (CIT) Scholarship 2020 for their dedicated volunteer work and academic success, officials said Friday. 

Adam White and David White have served as CITs each summer since the opening of Safety Town — Santa Clarita in 2015, according to the organization. 

They graduated from Saugus High School in June 2020. 

Adam and David have exemplified the characteristics and skills of effective CITs —respect, responsibility, leadership, commitment, integrity and enthusiasm, according to officials. 

On Aug. 5, the duo is each set to be awarded a $750 scholarship from Susan Russell, executive director, Safety Town, while on KHTS Radio morning show. 

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Safety Town camps were postponed to 2021, according to officials. 

In lieu of giving the awards at the Safety Town graduation ceremony on July 17, KHTS gave this opportunity to announce the awards, according to officials. 

The very first scholarship provided by the organization was awarded to Angela Kim, a 2019 graduate of Valencia High School.

Safety Town is a one-week, three ½ hours per day, safety education summer program for young children 4 1/2 to 6 years of age held at a local elementary school in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to officials. 

Safety awareness is introduced to children in an age-appropriate, fun and secure environment. 

Through group lessons, guest visits from local community safety professionals, songs, lessons, crafts and pedestrian driver-role play, the program teaches

children to evaluate “safe” from “unsafe” situations.

At Safety Town, young children develop, practice and reinforce basic safety habits and rules under the guidance of a California-credentialed teacher, a safety education specialist and trained youth volunteers. 

Children learn lessons from daily visits by local community safety professionals representing the Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments, American Red Cross, the City of Santa Clarita Crossing guards, Lifeguards and more, according to officials. 

The Safety Town community is complete with child-size buildings, street signs, crosswalks, sidewalks, traffic lights and small pedal cars with seatbelts.

CITs are a critical component of the success of Safety Town as they assist the teachers in the instruction of young children. 

“They model safety rules, concepts and classroom behaviors as well as monitor the safety of the children in their charge,” officials said. 

CITs aid with the assessment of the children’s learned knowledge and skills and share the results with parents to help them reinforce the knowledge and skills their children learned during the camp.

“We are pleased to honor Adam and David as it will help them in their higher education pursuits,” Russell said.

In the fall, Adam will attend UC Berkeley and plans to become a pediatric surgeon, and David will attend UC Davis and study economics. David said he plans to help establish community non-profit organizations — like Safety Town. 

They have both demonstrated our Optimist goal — to help bring out the best in kids.”For more information about Safety Town, click here.

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Two Santa Clarita Students To Be Awarded $750 Scholarships From Optimist Clubs

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About Jamie Araki

Jamie is a photographer and journalist from Los Angeles, CA. She specializes in breaking news photojournalism, large event coverage and off-road sports photography. Jamie has been official media at events like King of the Hammers, LA Pride Parade and LA Comic Con. Jamie has been published multiple times, both in the US and in New Zealand.