Thursday, August 21, 2008

Experts address future leaders

Black Future Leaders Board Member Marion Black, Acquire Educational Services owners Suzy and Craig Aguillard, Rialto Unified School District Superintendent Edna Herring (a mentor of Craig Aguillard) and Black Future Leaders Board Member Lois Carlson. Craig Aguillard was a guest speaker to the Black Future Leaders Class of 2008 on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Craig Aguillard (back, left) with Rialto Unified School District Superintendent Edna Herring and her daughter Ariana (front, right) and Black Future Leaders Class of 2008 members: (Back row: Pascal Sodermann, Brittani Ojogho, Daniele Smart, Front row: Valerie Sharp, Dominique Mackey, Montoya Washington. Aguillard was a guest speaker to these students and others in Black Future Leaders Inc. on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Guest speaker Craig Aguillard speakers to members of Black Future Leaders Inc. on Saturday, Aug. 16.

(San Bernardino, Calif.) Craig Aguillard, president and founder of ACQUIRE Educational Services in Rialto, California joined Edna Herring, superintendent of Rialto Unified School District and other Black notable educators, local politicians and business leaders to address the 2008 class of Black Future Leaders Inc. at California State University San Bernardino’s Chaparral Hall on Saturday, August 16th.

Black Future Leaders Inc., is a leadership development program for high school achievers created 22 years ago from an idea of Dr. Jean Peacock, now a professor at California State University San Bernardino. With the assistance of community members and present board members Lois J. Carson and Marion Black, a model program was developed which is still in use. “Black Future Leaders’ mission is academic excellence through leadership training,” says Carson.

Students must have a 3.0 grade point average or better, and take college preparatory classes and show a serious commitment to achievement and becoming successful and more productive in their community. Each year students are encouraged to enroll in the program while in the ninth grade and to remain until graduation. The students come from schools across the Inland Empire.

Craig Aguillard spoke to an elite group of 25 high school students who were part of the class of 2008 Black Future Leaders’ Summer Resident Component hosted by California State University San Bernardino. Aguillard’s theme was “change and empowerment,” based on the exciting events of this year, stressing the value of education and the importance of becoming successful leaders within the community.

Aguillard shared his experiences as a student attending schools within the Rialto Unified School District: Myers Elementary, Frisbie Middle School and Eisenhower High School where he met his mentor, Edna Herring, who was then acting Principal. When faced with the decision of making the right career choice for his future, Aguillard attributes his success to the importance of a solid academic background instilled by his parents and mentors.

Aguillard was raised in a two-parent home, with both attending Southern University, an historical Black college in Louisiana. Their support and high expectations of academic excellence were instrumental to his success in business and his career path.

Aguillard went on to attend California State University at Northridge majoring in Computer Engineering, however his passion to help others led him to change his major and he successfully obtained his B. S. in Sociology. “ Educating students is my heart’s desire, ” says Aguillard. While at Cal State Northridge, he became a college recruiter and went on to receive his Master’s Degree in School Administration in Education at Loyola Marymount University.

While working with the Inglewood Unified School District, Aguillard collaborated with a colleague to create the “Summer Academy,” a program developed to promote empowerment and continuous academic success. Aguillard says, “The Summer Academy was created based on a need for us (African American students) to be on the same level as other students who were excelling in school.”

Aguillard illustrated key points on being successful and always pursuing your passion and dreams as elements contained in his philosophy on entrepreneurship to the group of attentive high school students. “Find out what it is that you want to do in your life and allow your passion to drive you,” says Aguillard. “Helping somebody along the way to your success is the best way to keep the door of hope and opportunity open for the next generation to come.”

About ACQUIRE Educational Services
Craig Aguillard and wife Suzy Aguillard are the owners of ACQUIRE Educational Services in Rialto. They provide tutorial services designed to supplement regular school day programs in mathematics, English language arts, computer skills and English as a second language. ACQUIRE Educational Services is a California authorized Supplemental Education Service provider servicing Rialto, Fontana, San Bernardino, Colton and Upland unified school districts. ACQUIRE Educational Services provides free tutoring and instruction to those who qualify. Their office is located at 1188 West Leiske Dr., Suite 100, Rialto, CA, 92376. For more information contact ACQUIRE Learning Center at (909) 875-3356 or visit their website at