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Leaders in Life Youth Leadership Conference, March 12


February 15, 2020

Leaders in Life (LIL) is pleased to announce that its 21st annual conference will be held on March 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at the Mechanics Bank Convention Center in Bakersfield. Leaders in Life is a youth conference planned by teens for teens and has impacted thousands of young lives over the past two decades.

The purpose of this event is to give local youth a positive environment to discuss and evaluate issues they face daily. These issues will be addressed in workshop sessions throughout the day by adult and youth facilitators with expertise in each topic of discussion. Sample topics include youth mentoring programs, college information and applications, relationships, self-esteem, stress management, conflict mediation, bullying prevention and school safety.

“The conference aims to teach teens how to make good choices and to enable them to become leaders in their community,” said Jeff Coomber, event chair and a coordinator with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office. “Leaders in Life strives to help foster and grow youth voices in Kern County, and over 2,000 students are expected to be in attendance this year.”

This year, Leaders in Life welcomes A’ric Jackson as keynote speaker. A’ric’s mission is to Teach, Inspire, and Encourage all those who hear him, and to take the challenge of helping others pursue their goals and dreams. A charismatic and genuinely heartfelt communicator, A’ric truly electrifies an audience.

The event is limited to students, grades 6-12, and their adult advisors/chaperones attending as a group with their school or youth organization. Groups must first submit an Intent to Participate form prior to the conference, which is available at No groups are allowed unless pre-registered. The normal deadline for schools/groups to register to bring students is Feb. 24 (normal cost is $30 per participant) and the late registration deadline is March 6 (late cost is $35 per participant).

Leaders in Life Background

In 1998, Morgan Clayton, a Kern County businessman and community leader, attended the Bakersfield Business Conference, an annual conference with nationally and internationally recognized speakers for adults on business and political issues that affect our world. He had the visionary idea of founding a local youth conference planned by young people to give them a voice and to provide a forum in which to discuss issues that impact teens. He contacted the Kern County Network for Children and the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office to help organize students around this concept. Planning for the first Leaders in Life Youth Conference began in 1999 with about 50 students and adults. In February 2000, the first conference was held with approximately 500 students in attendance.


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