The County Voice

Powerful, Positive Messages at Annual Meeting

It’s Day Two of the CSAC Annual Meeting in Riverside County and so far w’ve been hearing – and seeing – some very inspirational messages. While it would be so easy to get caught up in the pessimism and frustration emanating from the state’s fiscal situation, county leaders are encouraged by a message of hope, perseverance and opportunity. 

At Tuesday’s emotional Annual Meeting Kick-off Session, Michael Steinman, a teacher at Village Academy High School, and student Jennifer Gil asked the question, “Is Anybody Listening?” It was a question that his students first posted a couple of years ago in a powerful video that has now been seen by millions around the country. Hit hard by the recession, these students and families are a microcosm of what so many individuals have been facing the past few years. Despite these odds and challenges, these students never gave up on their dreams and many are now attending California’s finest universities. 

Later that night, CSAC Board of Directors s had a wonderful opportunity to witness first-hand how we can help others achieve their dreams. During an event held at the Fender Center for the Performing Arts, the board members were treated to a wonderful music performance by young teens who have been given an opportunity to pursue their dreams. CSAC First Vice President and Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione has been heavily involved in the Center’s Kids Rock Free program that provides free music lessons to youths. He was proud to show off the program. It’s a perfect example of community leaders working to make a difference in the lives of others.

And then this morning, author and inspirational speaker Neal Petersen provided a powerful and entertaining message that there are “no barriers – only solutions.” Neal has overcome odds and challenges throughout his life to ultimately achieve his dream: sailing solo around the globe. Despite constantly being told why he couldn’t achieve his dream, he persevered. In a stirring presentation, he urged the audience of county officials to never give up on their dreams and as community leaders, to work hard to provide opportunities for the youth of today achieve theirs. 

Hope, perseverance and opportunity. Never giving up on our dreams. Helping others achieve theirs. Positive and powerful messages that couldn’t come at a better time.

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