CONCORD -- The handful of professionals and nearly two dozen students attending Concord Library's inaugural "Get Your Dream!" networking party Saturday said it was a good first attempt, and they want more.

"They should do it as often as they can," said 16-year-old Carolina Cervantes Romero, a student at College Park High School. She said she also would like "more variety in the arts."

Concord High student Samantha Bergum, 17, says having it more often will help it catch on with the students.

Samantha is a member of the Concord library Teen Advisory Board headed by Christina Gendron, library assistant for Teen Services.

Gendron said the idea for the networking party was the result of information received from the completion of "Predicting Success," a marketing analysis and program promotion undertaken in 2012-2013.

She said her teen advisers helped her get the word out about the event as well as advising her with feedback.

Samantha said she had hoped more students would show up, but of those who did, "a lot were early ... aren't too many stragglers. I am impressed."

Also impressed were the professionals volunteering their time to meet and talk with the students.

"One of the kids came up and gave me his resume," said Dan Piponi of Google in Mountain View. "He's done so much more than me when I was a kid; he should be giving me advice."


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The projects Piponi is currently working on, like most all projects at Google, are confidential, but he did talk about his two years spent on "Project Loon" to bring the Internet to remote and difficult-terrain areas beginning with New Zealand where Internet-enabling balloons were launched in June.

The balloons resemble white effervescent jellyfish and use a combination of wind, solar power and "complex algorithms" to stay in a fixed spot in the sky.

Samantha Vaughn, lead singer in the Heartstone Band, which performs "songs from Pink to Pink Floyd," said, "(Students) had some good questions. And they listened to what I had to say. They were very interested in learning."

While some were forward in approaching professionals, others were quiet, preferring to observe, such as Sequoia Middle School student Jessica Ogu, 11.

"I'm just watching, seeing what it's like," she said.

Jessica said she is interested in track. She said a friend had gone to a different networking event so she wanted to come to this one and see what it was like.

Pacifica-based teen rock band Haunted by Heroes provided entertainment, and Vaughn joined the audience to listen, noting that she would come back for another event if invited.

Also agreeing to return if invited were C.J. Lewis and Justin Gray, fitness trainers with UFC Gym in Concord, who talked with several students.

Though future teen networking hasn't been decided, teens and professionals both say they hope there will be more.

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