By Susan Parmelee, for the San Clemente Times

On Saturday, Nov. 12, the San Clemente Domestic Violence Task Force and the Wellness and Prevention Center held the second annual Teen Summit. In keeping with the desire to promote leadership among youth, the responsibility for the design of the event fell to the students and was guided by Kira Jan, chair of the steering committee. Ms. Jan is president of the San Clemente High School (SCHS) chapter of the National Honor Society. Ms. Jan was assisted in this by fellow SCHS students Emily Glaser, Evelyn Riley and Zoe Day.

From left, Zoe Day, Emily Reiser, Kira Jan and Evelyn Riley.
From left, Zoe Day, Emily Reiser, Kira Jan and Evelyn Riley. Photo: Courtesy of the San Clemente Wellness and Prevention Center

The summit was attended by 15 students from both SCHS and Capistrano Valley High School, who were able to discuss their concerns regarding substance abuse, the environment and inadequate health studies. Of grave concern to the participants were mental health issues caused by excessive pressure at the secondary school level as well as the stigma attached to discussing the effects of that pressure.

The panelists who donated their time and expertise to collaborate with the youth on these topics were San Clemente Police Chief Lt. David Moodie; San Clemente City Manager Mr. James Makshanoff; Tracey Theodore, Executive Director of the Orange County Family Justice Center; Ms. Barbara Scheinman, Medical Social Worker; Mr. Joseph Castagno, Family Law Attorney and board member of the San Clemente Domestic Violence Task Force; Ms. Carla Sisca McGuire and Mr. Nic DeWald, both faculty members at SCHS. The event was hosted by Jamboree Housing at the Mendocino Apartments.

The Summit closed with the youth and panelists committing to look for change in these areas and to plan for the Third Teen Summit in 2017.

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