Campus: CSU Fresno -- August 7, 2002
CSU Fresno Maddy Institute Hosts Valley 'CATAPULT'
The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno
is hosting 36 enterprising Central Valley high school students this
week (Aug. 5-9) for the kick-off of a new 10-month leadership program
focused on diverse topics such as health care, agriculture, the environment
and the local economy.
The CATAPULT program is a first-of-its-kind effort to help Valley high
school students learn to influence, and eventually become, decision
makers in their communities. This is CATAPULT’s inaugural year
and is a partnership effort between the Great Valley Center and the
California Center for Civic Participation and Youth Development.
At Fresno State this week, the students will receive training and have
the chance to discuss topics with dozens of Fresno business, nonprofit
and community leaders. Local leaders slated to work with the CATAPULT
teens include Supervisor Juan Arambula of Fresno County; Jesse Arreguin,
executive director of the Fresno Regional Foundation; and Deborah Nankivell,
executive director of the Fresno Business Council.
After the retreat, the teens – who were drawn from Valley communities
stretching from Redding to Bakersfield – will return home and
assess their own communities through peer focus groups and interviews
with their local leaders. Influential adult mentors will guide them
along the way.
“We made a point of including more than just the straight-A students
or football team captains,” said Jim Muldavin, executive director
of the California Center. “Instead, we looked for young people
with untapped potential.”
A second session slated for Sacramento in December will enable the students
to apply what they have learned at the state policy level. In the spring,
they will then be responsible for enlisting a group of peers in a service
project related to their issue.
In addition to a $1,000 stipend for participating, graduates of the
program who later enroll in college will be eligible to receive a $3,000
scholarship from The James Irvine Foundation’s Educational Incentive.
The Great Valley Center is a private, non-profit organization that supports
efforts to improve the economic, social and environmental well-being
of California’s Great Central Valley. The California Center for
Civic Participation and Youth Development is a nonprofit, nonpartisan
civic participation organization striving to engage youth in the democratic
process and encourage their healthy development.
Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster (559) 278-2795