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LOS ANGELES COUNTY : Self-Esteem Task Force Honors a Dozen People

Trying to emerge from the long shadow of the riots, Los Angeles County on Thursday honored a dozen people, including a Granada Hills teacher, for working to better the community.

“We all have to be concerned about what we can do as individuals” to improve the Los Angeles area, said Michael Lindsay, chairman of the county Task Force to Promote Self Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility.

One honoree was Granada Hills High School teacher Allan Kakassy, who helped develop the school district’s peer counseling program, now offered at 166 junior high, elementary and high school campuses. The program helps put students in touch with somebody their own age to help them sort out problems when they are unwilling to approach adults.

Counselors are students who work one-on-one to help others triumph over substance abuse, violent behavior and suicidal tendencies.

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