Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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Sun Youth Forum :

14th Annual SUN Youth Forum Captivates Crowd

More than 700 Clark County high school students met at the Las Vegas Convention Center to speak their minds on current social and political problems during the 14th Annual SUN Youth Forum Wednesday. Sponsored by the Las Vegas SUN, the Forum was directed by Mrs. Rught Deskin of the SUN, who worked in close conjunction with Forum Coordinator Harvey Dondero of the Clark County School District administration.

The Forum, which is growing in its magnetism for local youth each year, drew an average of 90 students per school this year.

Moderators, acting as guides to the teenagers rather than active participants, and general topics they resided over this year included Ray Germain and John Wawerna, international affairs; Mrs. Mabel Mitchell and Harry Reid, national affairs; Mrs. Helen Phillips and Joe Delaney, city, council and state governments.

Other topics and moderators were Mrs. Marian Bunker and Richard Bryan, crime and law enforcement; Mrs. Marjory Phillips and Fred Little, the teenage dilemma; Dr. Irving Katz and Zel Lowman, education; Judge Robert Mullen and Bill Willard, life in general.

Arriving at the Convention Center at 9 a.m., the students formed 14 groups, similar to large seminars, to discuss in depth the particular topic they have chosen, and the relevant sub-topics each category entailed.

Speaking intelligently, yet with conviction, students touched on subjects which ranged from birth control, student riots and black power to nuclear warfare and Vietnam.

Several heated discussions arose, primarily in the groups discussing the teenage dilemma and life in general, but as one high school senior noted, “We really got a chance to express our own opinions; no one degraded the opinions of others.”

Chosen as summarists, to present on the conclusions each group reached, were Mary Donaldson, Bart Jones and Don Smith from Clark High; Tina Leon from Vo-Tech; Denise Brothers amd Dan Evans from Boulder High; David Hirsh, Jeffifer Vorpahl and Barry Gunderson of Valley High.

Also selected were Bill Stoddard of Wester; Mike Arenaz, Rudy Scott and Mike Amundsen from Rancho; and Tim McRoberts from Las Vegas High.

The 14 summarists will make their presentations during the SUN-sponsored luncheon for community leaders Dec. 5 and will repeat their summaries in a televised broadcast over KLAS-TV, Channel 8 at 6 p.m. on Dec. 7.

Chosen as alternates to these finalists were Dana Edwards and Marie Shea from Western; Vicki Nield from Basic; Linda Robertson from Vegas High; June Wolever, Gregg Lawrence and Bruce Daines from Clark High.

Bonnie Braiker, Jeff Eskin, Annette Fortier, and Mark Tratos from Valley High; Marilyn McCoy from Rancho; David Freeland from Boulder; and Tom Banfield from Bishop Gorman High.

The lengthy yet lively discussions were punctuated during the day by a SUN sponsored lunch for the students and professional entertainment provided by the Cascades and Bob Newhart.