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March 10, 2014

Merced groups want kids to “dream” big at career event

Dignity Health and the Southeast Asian-American Professionals Association plan a first-time event called Find Your American Dream on Saturday. It’s meant to get youngsters excited about college and careers. Area leaders including Merced County Superior Court Judge Paul C. Lo and Councilman Noah Lor, as well as doctors, teachers and others, will serve as speakers for the workshops.

Two groups are hoping young people will be inspired to set career goals after meeting local professionals at a free conference this month, according an organizer.

Find Your American Dream has been organized by Merced Medical Center’s parent company, Dignity Health, and the South East Asian-American Professionals Association, a Merced-based group.

The seven-hour conference starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at Merced Medical Pavilion, 315 Mercy Ave., Suite 400.

The day consists of several workshops where high school and college students will interact with doctors, teachers and other professionals, organizers said. Merced County Superior Court Judge Paul C. Lo and Merced City Councilman Noah Lor will be guest speakers.

Dr. Lesley Xiong, who is both an organizer and a speaker for the event, said each workshop is 50 minutes and aimed at relaying information about career options to the students.

“I know when I was a student there wasn’t much exposure to these kind of things,” Xiong said. “I felt it was important to come back home and share my path to where I am now, and what inspired and motivated me.”

Anyone of high school or college age is welcome to attend the conference, Xiong said, as well as parents.

Organizers said both breakfast and lunch will be provided without charge.

Students are asked to register for the event at the association’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/seaapa2001, or www.seaapa.org. Students can also register the day of the event.

For more information about the day, call Choua Vang at (559) 392-8042, or email cvang29@gmail.com.

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