Dear friends, colleagues, and people I met on the subway:
This is one of those messages where I ask you to support a cause… with money! Because for my birthday this year (December 9), I would like to raise $6000 to aid the 1300 students supported by Alternatives in Action.
Alternatives in Action is helping kids in one of America’s most dangerous cities – and they need your contribution. Donate Here.
…or you could read a little more. When I left teaching for the private sector, more than one of you predicted that I wouldn’t be able to stay out of education. And you were right! While I love my job, I missed being a part of an important movement – getting students in difficult circumstances to a place of safety and choice. And so, over a period of time, I joined the board of the non-profit, Alternatives In Action. AiA does one thing: takes kids who have it tough and gives them a choice – a choice to pursue the best. AiA operates a handful of kid-oriented community programs that address leadership and college readiness as well as a very special high school that focuses on a student’s right to pursue success, even if it appears so very far away. These opportunities are in and around the city of Oakland — perhaps most famous for its annual inclusion on lists with titles like “The 10 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities” — where just walking to school is a battle. Will I be offered drugs? Will I be mugged? How will I be able to resist joining or being hurt by a gang today? And yet, our young people act audaciously under the guidance of AiA mentors and teachers by organizing multi-city peace movements for their communities; hosting local election forums; and, in some ways most heroically, convincing a community to build a soccer field. I can’t say enough about this organization, the compassionate staff, or the young leaders they are creating. But Alternatives in Action could do so much more! Your donation will help Alternatives in Action expand their programs to take in more kids.
If you’d like to learn more, I invite you read about Edith, the oldest of three children and the daughter of immigrant parents from Michoacán, Mexico.