Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Oct 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Talk About Teens

news_teensThirteenth annual youth symposium addresses teen bullying and gang involvement

Six months after graduating with honors from UC Davis in 1995, Santa Cruz-raised Jon Ervin Nadherny took his own life. Some time into coping with the tragedy, his mother, Linda Calciano, realized she wanted to turn her grief into a way to help prevent other youths from meeting a similar fate. In tandem with Dominican Hospital, she founded the Jon E. Nadherny/Calciano Memorial Youth Symposium in 1997.

“I knew that I wanted to do something in the memory of my son and felt we could reach as many people as possible in the community with something educational—a symposium where we would bring experts in and professionals in,” says Calciano.

The event works to educate attendees via the insight of featured experts on strategies and interventions regarding issues that confront young people.

“We targeted youth mainly because Jon was 23 years old when we lost him,” Calciano says. “I really wanted to make this loss, which was so tragic for our entire family, into some sort of positive energy. I wanted all of us together—[our] eight children, my husband and I—to have a focus to somehow give meaning to what had happened. I also did it so that the children could see me continue on despite how hard it is. And, believe me, there were times when it seemed like it was going to be impossible to go on.”

On Friday, March 11, the Memorial Youth Symposium will observe its 13th annual conference with an event entitled, “Victim and Perpetrator: Clinical Portraits of Bullies, the Bullied & Gang Affiliated Youth.”

The Youth Symposium chooses each year’s theme based on topical timeliness, feedback from former symposium attendees, and a panel of 15 local professionals who meet monthly to plan the yearly conference.

The event’s six-hour program is divided into morning and afternoon sessions. This year’s morning session will concentrate on bullying and will feature keynote speakers from across the country, including Ronald G. Slaby, Ph.D., who works at the Massachusetts Children's Hospital as well as at Harvard Medical School. Slaby is also an advisor for The Bullying Prevention Educational Campaign, launched on CNN last October.

The afternoon will be devoted to discussing gang affiliation amongst youth. Cheryl L. Maxson, Ph.D., an associate professor at the department of criminology, law and society at UC Irvine, will give a keynote presentation on youth gang involvement.

Ron Indra, who teaches at Harbor High School, and has been an educator for the past 28 years, will give a presentation on the bullying and gang climate at Santa Cruz schools. Indra is a member of the Santa Cruz City Schools Task Force on LGBT issues and has been director of the Safe Schools Project for three years.

Other local presenters include Officer Arnold Vasquez of the Santa Cruz Police Department, Sgt. Roy Morales of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, Master Officer Henry Robles of the Watsonville Police Department, and Mike Walker, formerly of the Department of Justice and co-founder of the Central Coast Gang Investigators Association.

A range of professionals, including psychologists, therapists, social workers, counselors, teachers, nurses, medical staff, and law enforcement, are expected to attend the symposium. Twenty-eight high school and post-high school students will also be in attendance, underwritten by a Calciano family scholarship.

“Our philosophy is not only to educate all of what we call the ‘first line [of] defense’ workers—people who are working to help identify youth that are at risk—but to educate the youth themselves. And that’s why we started the scholarship program about eight years ago,” says Calciano.

The Memorial Youth Symposium is volunteer-run and funded solely by donation. The cost to run the symposium varies, but is roughly between $20,000 and $30,000. “Some of the speakers give a good discount to speak at the symposium after they hear the family story and the background,” says Calciano. “So we are very blessed with that.” The $55-$65 attendee registration fee includes lunch and parking. Calciano says she expects around 450 attendees.

Members of Calciano’s family, especially including her son Josh Nadherny-Calciano, who is a co-chair of the Memorial Youth Symposium board, are an integral part of the foundation. Calciano’s children who live out of the area travel into town for the annual event, and the family meets with speakers the night before the symposium.

“It is always incredibly meaningful for us as a family to be here together for this,” says Calciano. “Our ultimate goal is that it will be self-sustaining, so that we will always have the symposium here in Santa Cruz. I, eventually, will transition more into the background with this. The children are really committed to keeping it going.”


The Jon E. Nadherny/Calciano Memorial Youth Symposium on March 11 will take place at the Cocoanut Grove 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. For registration information or more about the Memorial Youth Symposium visit calcianoyouthsymposium.org.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Jawing

Monterey Bay scientists are working to crack the mysteries of—and dispel the myths about—great whites. But in the highly contentious world of shark experts, there’s a fin line between love and hate

 

Altars of Remembrance, Forgiveness & Rapprochement

We’re in Scorpio now—things mysterious, ageless, hidden, sometimes scary. Friday is Halloween; Saturday, All Saints Day; Sunday, All Soul’s Day. Sunday morning at 2 a.m. (after midnight), Daylight Savings Time ends. Clocks are turned back. Tuesday is the General Election. Our vote is our voice. Each vote matters. Applying freedom of choice—Libra’s teachings. It’s time to build Halloween, All Saints and All Souls altars—with marigolds, pumpkins, sugar skeletons, copal (incense), pomegranates, persimmons, candy corn and cookies, orange and black. It’s so Saturn (now in Scorpio). Saturn is the dweller on the threshold (like St. Peter at the gates of heaven). Saturn can look like a Halloween creature—a gargoyle—a fantastic dragon-like creature protecting sacred sites. The dweller (Saturn) stands at the door or threshold of sacred mysteries, wisdom temples, inner sanctums of churches, offering protection, scaring evil away. The last day of October and first two days of November, when veils between worlds thin and spirits roam about, are times of remembrance, forgiveness, reconciliation and rapprochement. These actions liberate us. At death, when reviewing our lives and the consequences of our actions if we have forgiven, then we are free, less encumbered with grief and sadness. We place forgiveness on our altars. Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s good to dress up as what we’re afraid of. Or whom we would mentor. Then we become one with them. Note to readers: by Thanksgiving I will need a place to live (with purpose). Please contact me if you know of a place where I can rest for awhile. Teach and build community. [email protected] I will be leaving my mother’s home for the last time.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Not Cool

Even Bill Murray’s hipster cred can’t elevate ‘St. Vincent’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Back Nine Grill & Bar

The secrets of remodeling and juicy steak

 

What is Santa Cruz’s biggest eyesore?

David Finn, Santa Cruz, Graduate Student

 

Alberti Vineyards

Looking for some blood-red wine for your Halloween party? Then I have a recommendation for a new brew.

 

Turning Point

New revolving restaurant on the wharf, plus Cafe Ivéta and the last great Jack cheese