Category Archives: ITA

Events and News relating to the ITEP International Trade Academy at Banning High School in Wilmington. For more information on this Academy, contact Program Manager Susie Emami at susie@itepinc.org

GPS Your Future 2013: More Than Just Numbers

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320 student attendees
27 exhibitors
25 ITEP staff, alumni, and board members
18 speakers
1 non-profit
1 university
1 community college

Who knew that an idea at an ITEP Board of Director’s retreat would’ve grown to this, even after just 4 years of inception? Our 4th Annual GPS Your Future event on October 11, 2013 had more to show off than BIG numbers. We had new additions, a revamped speaker series and stronger emphasis on new education initiatives; and it all happened within hours!

Like in previous years, trade, transportation and logistics were well-represented and well complemented by our new participants in the global business sphere – Avatronex, Prudential, StubHub Center, and Tesoro, just to name a few.

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The growth in exhibitors and participants made for an electrifying exhibit hall and recharged speaker sessions. Global industry professionals spoke about their “road to success” while sharing stories of personal and professional failure and success.

Higher education and technology also played a stronger role during the event. LA Harbor College represented their top programs (Architecture, Culinary Arts and Nursing) and were joined by CSU Dominguez Hills and the Fashion Institute of Merchandising and Design (FIDM). LA Harbor College counselors also led an interactive activity with the use of tablets, and a CSUDH Community College Outreach Officer presented a “how to transfer/get to college” session. Kudos to Sara, Dan and Pilar, our fantastic counselors/speakers! From career exploration to the discovery of an higher education pathway, ITEP students traveled through a road of their own in a matter of hours, and the results again spoke louder than any number.

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“Me, personally, all I wanted to do was go to the Marine Corps – that’s it – since I was about 6. Being here today, I figured out a few things I might want to do, like a marine biologist… or go into law enforcement – FBI, CIA, even a police academy. And it taught me something… if shoot for the moon and I miss, I’ll still land in the stars…” said Fernando, GBAC student at Carson High School.

Our teachers in attendance were also inspired.

“The questions you came up with and the interaction that you had with the adults who were presenting to you today – it was good. I was impressed,” said Holly Bowser, Lead Teacher for Barstow High School’s Mojave XP Academy, as she addressed her students.

“I learned a lot from this experience because of all of you.” And so did we.

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GPS Your Future continues to evolve thanks to our sponsors, supporters and team, and while the numbers will continue to grow (we’ll always strive for this), “bigger and better” will never be great without the time and talent from our business partners. Our students will continue to ask for more exhibitors, speakers and perhaps even cooler swag, but in the end, it’s the revamped or bigger dreams that make our event have plenty of heart. No big numbers can top that.

Want to get involved in GPS Your Future 2014 or other ITEP event? Let us know!

For event photos, check out our Facebook Page.

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Cabrillo High School, Carson High School, Exploring Careers in Long Beach, Gardena High School, GBAC, GESA, GGLA, GSS, ITA, MATCH, Mojave XP, San Pedro High School, SPEA

The Mock Trial Turned Muse: Students Tackle Cyberbullying and Discover New Law Careers

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Attorney Heidi Dudderar (left) advises the ITA defense team from Phineas Banning High School during ITEP’s 2nd Annual Law Day.

15 students from Phineas Banning High School’s International Trade Academy (ITA) received a day-long crash course in the U.S. judicial system and explored various careers in the legal profession during ITEP’s 2nd Annual Law Day.  From the comfort of the 14th floor of the Keesal Young and Logan, our young attorneys-for-the-day fiercely debated the legal ramifications of cyberbullying in the case of Billings vs. Pearson.

“There are so many things that can be argued in a case,” said Carlos. The ITA junior spoke shyly, but with new confidence and curiosity about the legal process.

His fictional client, Cathy Jean Pearson (Aka “the bully”), was free to go—the verdict came back as a hung jury.

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ITA students step into the Keesal Young and Logan library to discuss case notes and prepare for cross examinations.

Minutes prior, we had observed Carlos, writing feverishly on his notepad as the plaintiff and defense team participated in direct and cross-examination. The intensity of hands-on learning had momentarily stripped away his shyness.

On the plaintiff’s side, things were a bit somber. The team was not able to secure a win for their client, but they did gain valuable experience making persuasive arguments. They also set the bar higher for next year, noting they wanted to try a criminal case and use props – a robe and gavel for the acting judge. The 2014 Law Day was in the works, and all the adults in the room smiled approvingly.

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The firm’s dining hall transforms into a courtroom for ITEP’s 2013 Law Day.

“It was a lot of fun today – I liked it,” said Sam, another ITA junior who testified as a witness for the plaintiff’s side. However, he made a confession to us before boarding his bus. “I was looking forward to arguing, but I was a witness… I like arguing… I wanted to prove my point.”  Next year, Sam!

Everyone played a role in the mock trial, from court reporter to case witness to attorney, and after all the “scary” parts (talking, presenting and cross examinations) were over, students exchanged constructive criticism and a shared few laughs with the real-life attorneys, their teachers for the day.

“…They are expected to pick up a process and a way of thinking that attorneys work on their entire life, and they’re expected to do it in six hours, and many of them wow me every single time because they just do it! It’s amazing,” said Jennifer Meeker, ITA advisory board member and attorney for Nossaman.

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ITA students discuss mock trial details while the jury deliberates.

If a mock trial during a Saturday can engage a young mind and awaken a student’s full potential, imagine what other elements are left to be uncovered? Even if we just skimmed the surface of future dream careers, the results are nothing short of inspirational.

“I learned how much work lawyers have to do. It’s a lot of work… but having the experience today, it made me actually consider a future in law – it’s interesting,” said Carlos.

“My dream is to go to USC – that’d be a dream.” The junior also spoke about his interest in civil engineering and architecture.

Encouraging Carlos to dream big is the key to ensuring a bright future –both his own and that of his community.  Giving Carlos and his classmates the opportunity to explore their dreams through hands-on experiences such as Law Day is ITEP’s mission and our daily delight.

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Our hard-working team! Left to right: Attorney Heidi Dudderar, Attorney Jennifer Meeker from Nossaman LLP, Attorney Lisa Barnett from A. Lavar Tayor Law Offices and Susie Emami, ITEP Program Manager.

We are extremely grateful for the guidance and support of Jennifer Meeker from Nossaman LLP, Lisa Barnett from A. Lavar Tayor Law Offices and Heidi Dudderar. Thank you, ladies! You made the 2nd Annual ITEP Law Day special and successful. We’d also like to recognize our gracious host, Keesal Young and Logan for lending their offices, staff and catering services. 

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Filed under Banning High School, ITA

Your Investments and a New Future

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Arturo Alcazar, 2013 Carol Rowen 180 Degree Award Winner from Barstow High School, Mojave XP Academy.

It’s three o’clock on a March 20th afternoon and the venue for our 13th Annual Scholarship is half full. The female students retouch their hair and make-up during quick restroom breaks. They hurry back to the dinner floor to place the finishing touches on their academy booths. Table centerpieces created by dinner’s host academy, ITA are positioned neatly between the condiments and table settings placed by MATCH students. Meanwhile, the boys in pressed dress shirts and coordinated ties assist with the “heavy lifting.” To the right of the stage, a GBAC student steams out the last wrinkles found on the Oh Snap! photo booth drapes. By four o’clock, new navy blue polo’s spring up in the middle of the floor. Our new ITEP students, Exploring Careers in Long Beach (from Cabrillo High School) arrive. All students were dressed for the dinner of their high school lives – the “interview” with that future boss and mentor is less than two hours away.

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From left to right: Oscar Reyes (MATCH Academy), ITEP Scholarship Recipient. Carson High GBA students meet Marilyn Roth, ITEP Board Member. Diana Medel (GESA Academy), Martin D. Chavez Scholarship Recipient.

Over 620 of our friends, students and supporters joined us at our 13th Annual Scholarship Dinner, “Investing in Our Youth” at the World Cruise Center in San Pedro. The biggest celebration in ITEP history lasted 3 1/2 hours and yet, so much took place.

Over 260 ITEP students came to face with future mirror images of themselves – the transportation executive, public official, business owner and philanthropist. On the other side of the guest list, over 350 trade, transportation and logistics professionals shook hands and conversed with their investment, our ITEP students. Guests senses were amplified with firm hand shakes, the knotting of a scholarship recipient’s tie by a sponsor, the nervous student voice at the beginning of a practice speech and a family-style meal prepared and served by MATCH Academy students.

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Clockwise: Soren Nielsen (Dachser Transport) talks with an ECLB student from Cabrillo High School. MATCH student begins to serve dinner guests. ITEP students pose with Amy Grat, ITEP CEO, Cynthia Ruiz, Deputy Executive Director of External Relations for the Port of Los Angeles and Mario Bermudez, President of Figueroa Capital Group.

Behind each adult presenter and speaker stood a rising student and star. One of our dinner VIPs, Los Angeles City Councilman, Joe Buscaino introduced our first student speaker, Maria Navarro. Maria shyly approached the stage. Her petite frame let out a firm tone and in between bright smiles, she won the cheers of her academy (GESA) and the crowd – she had nailed it and the celebration had begun. Our 8 ITEP scholarship recipients followed. Their faces were happy and anxious in the limelight. Then came our LA Air Cargo Association Scholar, Silvia Cardona of ITA, FTA/LAFFCBA Scholar, Ruby Silva of GBAC and HAIC Scholar, Ruth Lopez of GSS.

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Clockwise: Maria Navaro (GESA), “Invest in Youth” student speaker poses with John Howland, ITEP Board Member and Dinner Chair from Cerrell Associates. Diana Jauregui (ITA), “Think Globally Earn Locally” student speaker. LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino addresses dinner guests.

Suddenly, with hands filled with certificates it all became real. ITEP students took their seats feeling different – they were scholarship recipients, winners, and future college students. Soon after, the spirit of a “Toro” filled the room. The Chavez family took the stage and accepted the 2013 Bill Stein Memorial Leadership Award on behalf of the late CSUDH alum and Port of Los Angeles employee, Martin D. Chavez. Behind them stood a memorable photo of Martin. His spirit was present as we presented three new Martin D. Chavez scholarships.

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Family members of Martin D. Chavez take the stage to accept his Bill Stein Memorial Leadership Award.

Then came the night’s “it” moment: the standing ovation received by Arturo Alcazar, our Carol Rowen 180 Degree Award from Barstow High School. With inspiration at a new high, Tom Good from Matson took the stage to introduce the last student speaker and scholarship recipients: Diana Jauregui from ITA (our last student speaker), Nguyen Pham from GGLA, Paola Aguirre from ITA and Viviana Vela from GESA. All 4 students received Matson Scholarships, the first four of a three-year commitment from this extraordinary shipping line.

Arturo returned to the stage to introduce our “Educator of the Year” and his principal, Derrick Delton. Happy tears were seen across the room as Derrick delivered his speech. Barstow High School came out a winner!

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Barstow High School Principal, Derrick Delton speaks to dinner guests after accepting the ITEP 2013 “Educator of the Year” award.

To close the night, Tesoro, our 2013 “Keeper of the Flame” awardee sent Dan Carlson, Vice President of Marketing and Refining, to the stage to become the night’s advocate for ITEP and our youth. Thank you, Tesoro!

“We are proud to not only be sponsors but also partners of the ITEP programs. Being partners of an educational program that emphasizes the importance of skills and educational demands in our industry sector gives students the preparation and exposure to endless possibilities in careers that are not only viable, good paying but also transferable to many sectors. For this reason we are not only excited to be partners but also appreciative for the recognition,” stated Brissa Sotelo, External Affairs Manager of Tesoro.

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To our supporters and sponsors, we thank you for investing in our students and ITEP. Your generosity made an ordinary school night special. Masters and protégés met, college and career dreams emerged while others were solidified. The journey for many is just beginning.

To view more 2013 Scholarship Dinner Photos, please visit the ITEP Facebook Page here.

To our 2013 ITEP Scholarship Dinner Sponsors
A heartfelt thanks to all for your immense generosity!

To our 2013 Scholarship Recipientscongratulations to all of you. You have made ITEP and your community proud!

 

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Cabrillo High School, Carson High School, Exploring Careers in Long Beach, Gardena High School, GBAC, GESA, GGLA, GSS, ITA, MATCH, Mojave XP, San Pedro High School, SPEA, SWAG

ITEP Students Give Back with Heart

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GESA students get ready to walk the parade route.

What does community service mean to high school students? One normally expects to hear the descriptions of ‘obligation’ or ‘responsibility.’ However, what if the answer came with a pleasant surprise? What if service to the community also celebrated the rich diversity of a Harbor neighborhood and prompted the desire to do more? The standard theme of giving back during the holidays took on a different and powerful meaning in Wilmington, California.

ITA students, Flor and Mayra pose for a quick photo.

ITA students, Flor and Mayra pose for a quick photo.

It happened on Sunday, December 9. Ninety-six students from Banning High School volunteered at the 25th Annual Heart of the Harbor Holiday Parade in Wilmington, and proudly represented all four ITEP-supported academies: GESA, GSS, ITA and MATCH. Wilmington streets filled with floats, marching horses, performers and school/community bands. The festive ensemble traveled through Avalon Boulevard, from ‘E’ to ‘M’ Street and included several ITEP students who walked in the parade with their academy banners and those from various sponsors. Meanwhile, GSS monitored the parade crowd and several GESA students provided snacks to volunteers.

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GESA students from Banning High School show their academy pride.

For Julia, 11th grader and GSS student, participating in the Wilmington Parade gave her the opportunity to share her pride for her program. “It means a lot to me because it’s the first year I’m in GSS, and it’s great to help the community. I like the program. I would tell my peers and younger people to volunteer because you will have those memories that you did something good for the community and made it better.”

11th grader and ITA student, Flor defined community service as a way to give back on the front end while learning professional skills for the future. “Community service means giving back and being in front of the community. It’s a good thing – you learn how to approach different people and how to act professionally.”

Of course, there was also the mention of community pride. “Being proud of your community is also a part of community service. Don’t just think of community service as a physical activity.”

A GSS student walks along the Banning High School drill team.

A GSS student walks along the Banning High School drill team.

“It’s better to give than to receive. We all cooperate to let people know that we can make a change. We need to fix the world – organize and clean the planet so we can start doing bigger things,” stated Luis, 12th grader and GESA student who definitely placed an environmental focus on his answer of what community service means to him.

Luis also opened up about the opportunities GESA and volunteering has provided. “You see the world in a different perspective. You also learn to talk to people. I was very timid at first, but then I ran for VP of the GESA academy and won. This year, I was elected as president.

Later in the parade, we caught up with Luis who was riding a skateboard with another GESA student. They laughed and joked as they approached the start line of the parade with their GESA banner – just another set of ordinary teenagers, full of heart and very capable of accomplishing great things. Community service didn’t end here. These students have more to explore and offer. It’s up to us to not just follow their lead, but keep them strong and motivated.

ITEP students ready to march with a Port of LA banner.

ITEP students ready to march with a Port of LA banner.

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Filed under Banning High School, GESA, GSS, ITA, MATCH

API scores are up!

ITEP congratulates all five high schools  we work with on increasing their API Scores! The Academic Performance Index is an achievement gauge for California public schools based on standardized test results. Carson High School alone improved their score by 37 points for an official API score of 689, the highest score among LAUSD South Bay High Schools! Way to go, Colts! This great achievement is a product of the successful community partnerships among the schools, ITEP, and its industry volunteers.  Together, we are helping our young people think globally and earn locally. Our students rock!

Carson High School API Score for 2012 – 689 (Improvement of 37 over last year’s score 652)

Banning High School API Score for 2012 – 682 (Improvement of 23 over last year’s score 659)

Barstow High School API Score for 2012 – 696 (Improvement of 22 over last year’s score 674)

San Pedro High School API Score for 2012 – 716 (Improvement of 5 over last year’s score 711)

Gardena High School  API Score for 2012 – 633 (Improvement of 15 over last year’s score 61)

“I would like to express my gratitude to ITEP for their support throughout the years at Banning High School and Gardena High School. The support that you give students in the Small Learning Communities through  Community Advisory Boards, career presentations, summer internships, team building activities, and student recognition are the reasons our students stay on task to graduate. The partnership established with ITEP has allowed the resources to create an environment that is personable and nurturing. It is an experience that all students involved in an ITEP Academy will remember for a lifetime. The students that have benefited from the ITEP Academies are making positive contributions in the PORT because of your organization. We salute you, and thank you as we move into yet another exciting year of partnership.” -Rudy  J. Mendoza Principal, Phineas Banning High School

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Gardena High School, GBAC, GESA, GGLA, GSS, ITA, MATCH, Mojave XP, San Pedro High School, SPEA

ITA and GGLA “Apprentices” Practice Their Pitches

Dressed for success and ready to compete, sixteen upperclassman from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy (GGLA) and Banning High School’s International Trade Academy (ITA) were picked up from school in stretch limousines and whisked downtown to the 26th floor boardroom of the U.S. offices of Lloyds Banking Group, where they squared off in an “Apprentice”-style case competition between Team Disney and Team Apple. The prize was something that even The Donald would agree is invaluable: the skills and self-confidence to pitch a company today…and themselves tomorrow.

Channeling the energy already present in their cross-town football rivalry, Banning and Gardena students battled in the boardroom to prove their business prowess. Each team had been assigned to research either Disney, Apple, or McDonalds and identify the unique selling points (USP’s) for each company. The team with the strongest argument would be chosen as the winner. After being assigned a company, each team worked swiftly to put together a convincing presentation.

Under the careful eyes of Rob Vickery, North America Regional Director for Lloyds TSB International (GGLA Advisory Board member) and Akary Busto, Vice President of Corporate Account management (ITA Advisory Board member), students crafted their selling points to create a persuasive pitch. The aim was to let students take the lead to bolster confidence within the group. “I want to reach those kids at the back of the class that have potential but are too afraid to speak up” said Rob.

Although the competition was intense, the “apprentices” quickly developed a mutual respect for one other and even took the opportunity to do a little networking. By the time the limos pulled up to take them back to campus, everyone agreed that they were all winners. So did the judges, who declared both teams equally deserving of victory.

ITEP is extremely grateful to Rob Vickery, Akary Busto and Lloyds Banking Group for offering our students this phenomenal experience to push themselves to compete and to succeed. “This learning experience has been like no other. I enjoyed communicating with the Gardena students and learning about Lloyds Banking Group,” remarked ITA junior Diana. Thank you Lloyds in helping our students on their journeys!

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Filed under Banning High School, Gardena High School, GGLA, ITA

The Titanic Resurrected: ITA Law Day 2012

The Titanic Resurrected

By Jose Sanchez & Erika Vega ITA Class of 2014

On a bright and early Saturday morning, 27 ITA students resurrected the Titanic at the offices of Keesal Young and Logan for Law Day 2012. ITA Advisory Board member Jennifer Meeker, Nossaman LLP, along with Lisa Barnett, RJS Law, and Samira Seidu with the San Diego District Attorney, led the students through a case preparation and trial. ITA juniors and seniors gave up their Saturday to participate in this exercise and Ms. Seidu took notice: “The fact that these students showed up on a Saturday morning and presented a jury trial that same afternoon was truly impressive.”

In the trial of Estate of Hans Jensen v. The White Star Line, each student was assigned a different role and the morning session was devoted to getting prepared. The students were separated into the following groups: Defendants, Plaintiffs, Witnesses, Juries, and Reporters. Ms. Meeker played the judge. Both the defendants and the plaintiffs worked in small groups with Ms. Meeker and Ms. Seidu to come up with a clear case that they would use in court. The plaintiffs gave their opening statement “The Titanic’s Captain WAS responsible for Jensen dying!” while the defendants strongly disagreed and argued that the “Titanic’s Captain was NOT responsible for Jensen’s death.” ITA senior Bryan Tahuite gave this advice: “stick to the words and never give up.”

The room was quiet and very intense while the plaintiffs and the defendants bravely stated their arguments. The jury remained alert, sustained focus and respectfully gave their full attention to both parties. With the help of Ms. Barnett, the jury of 10 deliberated while everyone waited patiently for the results. After what seemed like forever, the jury came to their conclusion: “White Star Line is NOT responsible for the death of Jensen.” The defendants won for having a stronger case!

After the trial was over, students had the chance to ask the three attorneys questions about practicing law. While they learned about different fields and different career opportunities in law, they also learned that you cannot chew gum in a court room and were told that a person was once charged $500 because their cell phone rang during a trial.

All three attorneys were thoroughly impressed by the students. “I was impressed with how hard-working and engaged the students were in the legal system.  I look forward to participating again next year! said Ms. Barnett. Jennifer Meeker was impressed with their hard work and professionalism.”I have served on the ITA Board for over a year now and the students wow me each time I meet them. They were professional, engaged, and hard-working. I would welcome the opportunity to work with each and every one of these students in the future.”  ITA showed a lot of potential and Ms. Seidu encouraged the students to pursue careers in law. “I hope these students choose to pursue legal careers because the profession would be lucky to have them.”   

The students had a lot of fun and learned a lot through the process. They learned how to trust their teammates and how to work together. ITA would like to thank Jennifer Meeker for putting this event together, and with the help of Lisa Barnett and Samira Seidu, teaching us about the field of law, and giving us a chance to resurrect the Titanic.

In advance, students were assigned different roles to prepare for the trial. ITA Juniors Jose Sanchez and Erika Vega were assigned to be Court Reporters. Throughout the trial, Jose and Erika jotted down notes, interviewed participants and took photos. above is the article they co-authored commemorating the 1st Annual ITA Law Day.

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Lisa Barnett is a senior associate with RJS Law located in San Diego, which specializes in resolving civil and criminal tax controversies with the IRS and California state tax agencies.  RJS Law has significant prominence within the San Diego community through established relationships with current and former clients as well as an established track record of success dealing with federal and state government officials.  Ms. Barnett also volunteers her time as Treasurer and Board Member of the Jarrett Meeker Foundation.

Jennifer Meeker is a litigation associate with the law firm Nossaman LLP, which is an all-service national law firm with 150 professionals working seamlessly within California and across the United States.  The Firm has a history of serving clients in the Port area including the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach, the City of Long Beach, Valero and Tesoro, and worked extensively on the Alameda Corridor Project in addition to other projects.  Ms. Meeker serves on the board of the Jarrett Meeker Foundation and on the International Trade Academy advisory board. Ms. Meeker organized the Law Day, prepared the mock trial based on a wrongful death suit arising out of the sinking of the Titanic, helped the defense team prepare its case and acted as judge. 

Samira Seidu is a deputy district attorney with the San Diego District Attorney’s Office where she prosecutes domestic violence cases.  In addition, Ms. Seidu is a board member of the Jarrett Meeker Foundation and also coaches a  San Diego area high school mock trial team.

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Filed under Banning High School, ITA