March 14, 2002
On Thursday, March 14, Offensive Line Coach Mark Weber and junior Offensive Tackle Mike Saffer visited Kester Avenue Elementary School in Van Nuys for the 10th Annual Senate Bill 65 Career Awareness Day. The Bruins joined other members of the community, including law enforcement, military, medical, entertainment, legal and political representatives, to talk to the students about their respective careers.
This marks the third year that Coach Weber has participated in this event, a visit he looks forward to every time. "I just love coming to the school and talking to the kids about my job. They are so bright and always ask really good questions. And it's a special visit for me because this is where I went to elementary school. I used to come back and talk to the kindergarten classroom which was still taught by my kindergarten teacher up until last December when she retired. It's really an amazing experience."
Since starting the Career Awareness Day and other community outreach programs designed to illuminate new possibilities for students, the school has seen a rise in overall attendance and now records more than 97%. The Bruins were happy to be a part of this event and hope that their words will offer encouragement and new ideas to the students as they think about their own futures.
Saffer, a frequent participant in such community visits, commented, "I think what we and the other people here have to say is important to the children at this school. Personally, I enjoy getting the opportunity to spend time with them and telling them about my experiences as a student-athlete at UCLA. It's funny, though, they have so many questions about playing football and what it takes to get into a school like UCLA. It really makes you appreciate everything that you have here and helps to keep it all in perspective."
The Bruins signed autographs and took several pictures with the children before heading back to the UCLA campus.