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My name is Andrea, I am a 14 year old student, and i want to get involved, for my community service, because womenÕs' rights is so important to me, but sometimes I don't know where I can because of my age, and I am not sure what I can do, any suggestions for things to do in the Long Beach, CA area?

Thank you for you time.



Dear Andrea --

I can assure you that it's never too soon to get involved. Actually I think it's better to get involved when you are younger -- this helps you to weed out what you like and don't like and to figure out what your skills are, how you can be the most affective. I know from personal experience that it also helped me learn new skills and then apply those toward being more affective later. In terms of what to get involved with -- are there issues that make you angry or get you inspired?

For instance, do you like working with kids or do you not like the fact that some kids don't have happy home lives? You should figure out what issues you care about and move from there. I don't know of anything specific in Long Beach, but I know that it is a fairly progressive community and that there is correspondingly many things going on there.

I would start by contacting the YWCA or some other known entity and moving from there. There is also a California Women's Foundation, based in San Francisco, but with contacts throughout the state and the groups they fund would be great. Good luck

-- Amy