28 September 2011

Valentine’s Day On The Bay

I just discovered three very old blog posts (circa 2007) that seem to have never been published!  They are from my epic road trip across America with Malena (pictured) on our journey to document the incredible world-changing ventures of young people across America.  It may have been four years, but the stories are still super inspiring!  Enjoy!

The big February 14th extravaganza started with a catch-up morning and drive into San Francisco from Berkeley. That was, of course, after we went back to Benecia High School so I could pick up my computer power cord I had left there the day before. So far I’ve forgotten an audio cable at a school in LA, my power cord in Benecia and my retainer at the La Quinta (which I later remember and recovered). ON. A. ROLL.

We decided to celebrate the big day by heading to the Golden Gate Bridge to take in the view and “light” sea breeze (read: howling winds that almost through us into the water). It was quite the little photo shoot.

From there it is on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Trasit) and out to Oakland to meet with SHATO, another SAGE team who has launched a computer technology assistance program that works to maintain and expand technology opportunities in high schools throughout Oakland. They do troubleshooting, train teachers and even build computers, all for the sake of making sure kids in their community are tied into the information age. Just as a sidebar, they showed up DRESSED TO IMPRESS – suits, ties and skirts. I felt like I was at an IBM conference.

What’s so inspiring about their work is that they’re taking action in a community where change and action aren’t exactly the norm – yet. Oakland, as they told me, is one of America’s most struggling cities, and “kids don’t think good stuff is possible for them, so they don’t try hard and they don’t believe they can do better.” Their technology teacher new better and challenged them to push the envelope. “It all started so we could prove him wrong, and now we all believe we can do better. Two years ago college wasn’t something we talked about, and now it’s like, ‘where are you going to college? It’s real. It’s a reality.”

Talk about the power of being a changemaker! Not only are they are impacting their schools, fellow students and communities, but they’ve changed their own attitudes and redefined their own futures. It don’t get much better than that.

Ok, north we go – My friend’s Llama farm in Oregon is our next pit stop. Woo!

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