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Youth learn during school break
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From left, Hanna Austin and Kennady Andreetta help prepare the canned tuna for the grilled tuna burger patty at Tuesdays Give Every Child a Chance Teen Summit made possible by Kaiser Permanente. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

Like most youngsters, Logan Enox doesn’t mind a good tuna sandwich.

The eighth-grade student from New Haven Elementary School did discover Tuesday that there’s other ways to prepare the popular grocery aisle canned item – try a grilled tuna burger.

“I haven’t tried that fishy burger yet – I’m sure it’s good,” said Enox, who was among the 300 students from the Manteca Unified School District enrolled in the annual Give Every Child a Chance Teen Summit held at Golden West Elementary School.

For the exception of a one-year break, GECAC has held this one-day event scheduled during the fall break for MUSD students in seventh- through- 12th- grades.

According to GECAC executive director Carol Davis, the Teen Summit was originally known as the United 4 Youth Teen Summit made possible by a grant from the United Way. During those first four years, GECAC partnered with the City of Manteca Parks and Recreation Department and MUSD.

The Teen Summit had to be retooled, said Chuck Crutchfield, GECAC’s director of community outreach. He turned to Kaiser Permanente, which helped make the event what is today.

“Kaiser (support) has been tremendous,” said Davis.

Students received transportation, a good meal – Panda Express once again donated lunch – and a chance to win some valuable prizes via drawing.

More importantly, they were able to “broaden their horizon,” said Stephanie Hilson, GECAC marketing / special events coordinator.

Students from the 21 MUSD sites had a chance to learn a few life skills, from self defense to job preparedness. They chose three of the 10 sessions, rotating every hour.

Tiffany Meyer, who handles the Ripon Unified site at Ripona Elementary School, led students in a mural project. They used oil pastels in putting together the three-part mural to be displayed at the MUSD bus depot.

Tobin Taberna of Taberna’s Tae Kwon Do provided self-defense tips for youngsters.

Irene Munguia conducted a session called “Reduce, Reuse, Up Cycle,” turning scrap materials into useful articles.

Jim Rachels’ “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” presentation provided youngsters with an insight on how education is the key to success.

 Christine Hwang, who is the GECAC’s Healthy Lifestyle coordinator, was the session that Enox and others learned about a tasty yet healthy alternative to fast food.

Why tuna?

Hwang indicated that tuna fish contains the nutritional supplement omega 3 and has far less calories than a hamburger.

“Economically, fast food is inexpensive and easy to obtain. But that same inexpensive option is also easy to make at home and healthier,” she said.

Enox, who was joined by New Haven classmates Kennady Andreetta and Hanna Austin, looked forward to tasting the grilled tuna burger. 

In addition, students in the easy-to-flip culinary sessions enjoyed the chocolate tofu shake, according to Hwang.