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Indian American organized Youth Leadership Conference in Southern California

LOS ANGELES: Youth Leadership Conference 2019 organized by Excel Foundations on March 9, 2019 at Shree Pashupatinath Foundation attracted lot of Youth participants. Almost 55 children and youth took to stage to display their talents in Pubic Speaking, in debating, dance, Singing, Photography, Poster making and event management. Introductions were made by Sarumathi Sivakumaran Convener of this conference and conference coordinators Dilip Butani and Kewal Kanda.

Event started with Ganesh Vandanam by Jasmin Sivakumaran, Amritha and Manasa Raj. Children from Preschool to Third grade shared their views about the leader they admire. Bringing light to issues in growing up in America that concerns many immigrant parents in America was thoroughly discussed by the panel moderated by Anju Garg and Panelists Anviksha and Rachana clearly articulated their take on it. Ashok Patnaik headed the next panel on Youth Entrepreneurship with focused views shared by Anviksha and Rakesh Krishna.

Speeches by children in fourth grade to seventh grade under ‘Leader in Me ‘ left the audience mesmerized as children spoke presenting contemporary views on the topic. Ashok Patnaik, AJ Dudheker and Dr. Gadasalli presented a plaque to Charu Shivakumar and Aparna Hande for their service to the community. Kamlesh Chauhan presented a plaque to Charu Shivakumar in appreciation of her work in the community. Plenary speakers Dr. P. Mahadevan, Sunil Kathramalla and Prem Guragain gave thorough presentations on their topics highlighting the importance of inspiring children through understanding and activities that foster early leadership skills.

A slideshow on Yesterday’s Youth, Today’s youth highlighted the achievements of present day community leaders. The presidential Debate moderated by Sumati Arun and Presidential candidates Jasmin Sivakumaran, Swarit Srivastava, Megha Arun and Dhruti Kulkarni was a major highlight of the conference. The candidates analyzed issues pertaining to Education and immigration and presented their views on it with solutions to problems that we face in this country on these issues. The children came out like seasoned politicians
Naresh Solanki, Pro-tem Mayor, City of Cerritos, Nitesh Patel, Councilmember, City of La Palma, Christopher Craig representing Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia graced the event with their presence and certificates to honor the organizers. Inder Singh gave the keynote address speaking about facilitating leadership skills in children to equip them to be better leaders and he emphasized that conferences focused on Youth are of a great need in our community. Sunil Tolani , CEO of Prince organization and successful businessman, started his speech after initiating one minute silence as a tribute to Jawans of Pulwama Attack. Sunil Tolani opened his speech by asking the children what do they understand by ‘zero’ and gave an inspiring message that to achieve in life, children need to dream big. . Students from Deepali Vora’s Nityashetra dance academy presented a beautiful Bharatnatyam dance followed by Western Medley by Jasmin and Kusuma. Shweta Somasundaram and Parnika Sivakumaran from Paulomi Pandit ‘s Rangashree dance school showed their expertise with perfect posture, mudras and expression. Deepi Singh spoke about power of resilience narrating her inspiring story of confidence and empowerment. Bani Mukherjee, Asmath Noor and Aparna Hande spoke on topics related to Youth Leadership. Jasmin, Megha, Palak, Dhruti , Nidhi and Sadhanaa rocked the stage with a leadership themed dance.


Youth from 8- 12 grade took to the stage presenting their dreams for future. Suren Sapkota, Vilas Jadhav expressed their support for the conference sponsoring the trophies. Aparna Hande Legacy awards were given to Jasmin Sivakumaran and Rhea Jethvani for their proven community involvement and service. A colorful fashion show was displayed as a tribute to the children who participated in the conference. Amrit Bhandari presented vote of Thanks. The event was organized by Co-Founder of Excel Foundations, Sarumathi Sivakumaran with the support of the organizing committee Aand supporters that included well known community leaders Dilip Butani, Kewal Kanda, Amrit Bhandari, Aparna Hande, Ashok Patnaik, Dr. Gadasalli, Anju Garg, Gokul Poudyal, Prem Guragain, Dr. Vidya Narayan, Vijay Patil, Veda B. Joshi, Kanhaiya Kayastha, Nila Parikh, Radhika Patel, Keshav Patel, Rachana Srivastava, Sudip Gorakshakar, Sumati Arun, Priya Umasankar, Manivannan Krishnamoorthy, Kabilan Krishnan, Sivakumaran Kuselaraghavan, Yogesh Raghav and Bani Mukherjee.. Judges were Dr. Avinash Srivastava , Dr. Vidya Narayan, Dr. Gadasalli, Dr. Asmath Noor, Debasish Bandyopadhyay, Shankar Sundaram. Our overseas participants Urvesha and Samiksha from India sent well spoken speeches through Video files that was viewed by the team. Lunch. was delicious catered by Davinder Kohli. Audio services was provided by DJ Mani. Many parents and Children commented that events such as this will help to bring children and Youth together in fostering leadership skills to equip them to be better leaders in the future and are looking ahead for next year’s event.

Published Date: Friday, March 15th, 2019 | 06:15 AM

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