CALEXICO — For Juanita Salas, the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the Imperial Valley Summer College Summit was truly an honor.
“I love doing this,” Salas said. “This is a mission I am very passionate about.”
The purpose of the summit was to bring college awareness to high school girls and create the next generation of leaders in the Imperial Valley.
“I learned a lot,” said Alexia Pacheco, a 16-year-old senior at Imperial High School. “It really helped me think of college and all the deadlines I’ll need to stay on top of.”
The program is the first of its kind and was funded with the help of Wells Fargo, California Student Opportunity and Access Program, El Centro Rotary and the Imperial Valley Community Foundation.
For four days, about 10 Girl Scouts participated in activities and heard from various Valley women like Salas at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus.
“I reached out to SDSU because I thought it would be a great place for the girls to learn more about college,” said Karla Flores, the Girl Scouts’ program manager.
Salas was part of a five-women panel, which included a professor, a doctor and a college student who spoke to the Girl Scouts and answered their questions.
“We wanted women from all walks of life and from different careers,” Flores said.
Salas, who previously was Congressman Bob Filner’s community representative, is now the founding community engagement manager of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest in Imperial County.
In her speech, Salas encouraged the young audience members to become a leader in their community.
Staff Writer Karina Lopez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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