their mentors' experiences.
"Students need to understand that there is a lot of conflict in
decision-making," said Sunder Ramani, a consultant at Penta Resources
and co-chairman of the event. "It's important to know that things
aren't just black and white."
In attendance were 80 students selected by their districts to
attend the conference, which was organized by the Character and
Ethics Project, a nonprofit group that promotes ethical decision
making. Once paired with a mentor, each group was presented with a
set of ethical dilemmas.
This year's discussion included questions about vendors who sold
over-priced food and water during Hurricane Rita, employees who
shoplift, athletes who let their grades slide and other, smaller
The real-life applications of the questions was not lost on the
"These questions definitely apply," said Jonathon Hastings, a
junior from John Burroughs High in Burbank. "They really help to
sharpen your skills and help give you tools to deal with them."
Hearing from other students about their problems helps him deal
with his own, said Amir Trabizi, a junior at Anderson Clark Magnet
High in Glendale.
"I'm very happy to have come," Amir said. "It's good to listen to
students from other school districts that really share your
The event is also intended to help students plan for future
careers and to create lasting relationships with their mentors.
Ramani believes the day benefits the adults as much as the students
"Adults appreciate the newness of that thought process; you
remember when you thought that everything was black and white,"
Ramani said. "It's very refreshing on all sides."
Vic Legerton, an employee at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said
he was impressed with Amir's determination and detailed future plans.
"If you don't have a plan at the age you are now, and you're not
serious, don't expect to be successful," Amir said.