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May 31, 2011 "Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. In today's "Scenes," we learn about students from Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership (ACEL Fresno), who recently met with and testified before state legislators.

ACEL Students Meet With Legislators

Two ACEL Fresno students recently returned from Sacramento where they were participants in the Youth Council for Sustainable Communities. As part of their service, the two students met with legislators and testified before lawmakers regarding issues that relate to sustainability and child welfare.

"These types of real-world leadership experiences are priceless for young people," said ACEL Fresno Executive Director/Principal Dave Childers. "This isn't talking about leadership inside of a classroom, this is practicing leadership alongside the people who run our state. I am extremely proud of the work that these two young ladies are doing."

As part of the council, the two students will also have internships at Fresno City Hall this summer. One will intern with Councilmember Clint Olivier, and the other will intern in the Community Revitalization Department.

"Not only did these young ladies get to see state government in action, but now they will get to spend the summer seeing how their local government operates," said Childers. "Again, this is a very unique opportunity for any young person to get to experience."

The Youth Council for Sustainable Communities is a partnership between The California Center for Civic Participation, the Center for Multicultural Cooperation, and the Wangari Maathai Center. Students from Sacramento, Fresno, and the Bay Area participate. Locally there are eight students participating.

The Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership (ACEL Fresno) is a personalized, public, tuition-free, charter high school that connects a diverse student body with entrepreneurial and leadership opportunities and meaningful project-based-learning. For more information on ACEL Fresno, visit www.acelfresno.org

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