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International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) Founder Carol Rowen Selected for Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque Award at FTA Luncheon

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 20, 2009 -- "Whoa, I can't believe it," said Founder & CEO Carol Rowen, International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) when her named was called out as the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce's 2009 Winner of the 76th Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plague Award yesterday (Tuesday, May 19, 2009) at The 83rd Foreign Trade Association Annual World Trade Week Luncheon & Trade Fair.

The Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque is give each year to an outstanding member of the world trade community in SoCal who has contributed above and beyond his or her job requirements throughout a long career in international trade. The criteria for the award are:

•    International experience

•    Contributions to the community

•    Involvement on boards/organizations

•    Interaction with today's youth through teaching, mentorships and workforce education

The First STOBP award was first given by the LA Area Chamber of Commerce in 1933, Olafson was President of the Foreign Trade Assn. of SoCal in 1928.

"I would not be here today if it were not for the Port of Los Angeles and the international trade industry and others who have support our growing organization over the years," said a teary-eyed Rowen. "There are a lot of people who have faith in what we are trying to do for economically challenged high school students."

Keynote Speaker Derek Shearer, chevalier professor of Diplomacy & World Affairs, Occidental College, Los Angeles, congratulated Rowen during his address to about 300 plus attendees. "The Foreign Trade Association should put more pressure on California, the City of LA, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the LAUSD board to include international trade as part of the regular curriculum, and not in just two or three high schools, but all of them. ITEP is doing a good job," Shearer said, noting that many graduating students lack education on International Trade and the world around them.

Carol Rowen, a longtime activist and businesswoman, founded the International Trade Education Program in 1999. The non-profit organization introduces high school students to careers in maritime trade, transportation and logistics.

Speaking of international trade, Shearer said: "(The North American Free Trade Agreement) will not be renegotiated, and don't worry about free trade with Columbia or Panama right now, most of those deals are political rewards. President Obama's number one priority is getting the country out of a recession. Obama, who got his education at Occidental College in California, has a new foundation. He is working on health care reform and retooling the auto industry, which both will impact international trade."

ITEP programs assess the needs of the high school and the surrounding transportation, logistics and industry needs. Schools with which ITEP has worked with have needed to boost graduation rates, decrease dropout rates, and enhance standardized test scores. Even those students who did graduate from these struggling schools rarely had opportunities or motivation to pursue further education or employment. ITEP helps design programs to fulfill those needs.

Rowen noted that, transportation and logistics industries suffer from a shortage of qualified workers along the hubs and arteries of international trade a big part of the nation's economic driver.

International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) is amongst scores of nonprofits and charities that rely on donations for operation. ITEP, a 501C nonprofit, offers economically disadvantaged students educational opportunities and experiences not offered in their schools or neighborhoods.

Through ITEP, Rowen unites business professionals, educators and parents in establishing international trade academies to help meet the needs of the expanding maritime trade industry while providing exceptional opportunity to economically underserved students.

A model program is active at Banning High School in Wilmington with newly formed academies in Carson, Barstow, San Pedro and Oakland. Rowen is also co-developer of an international trade certification program for high school students to be available to California graduating seniors.

Rowen currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) for which she is also a member of its Transportation, Workforce Development, and World Trade Center Committees. She also sits on advisory boards for Cal State Dominguez Hills, UCLA Extension, and Santa Monica College.

"We're like a small business, every dollar donated to ITEP is the key to our survival," explained Rowen. "Large and small companies are going to think twice about donating to charity and they keep our organization running to help students beat the odds."

[Editor's note: For media interviews please contact Aida Mayo or George Mc Quade, call 818-340-5300, or email: Publicity (at) mayocommunications. (dot) com or visit: www.mayocommunications.com. For more about ITEP visit: www.itepinc.org.

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This press release has been reprinted from PRWEB per the terms and conditions of the copyright notice.

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