//Project Amigo – Transforming Lives Through Education

Project Amigo – Transforming Lives Through Education

Meeting for the week of May 18 – May 24, 2020

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: Project Amigo – Transforming Lives Through Education

Speaker: Heather Edwards

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you. Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

To properly attend this meeting, please:

  1. Read and watch the content below in its entirety.
  2. Complete the attendance survey.

Everyone is also encouraged to leave a comment in the Disqus section at the bottom of the page.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President Tzviatko:

ReCSV President’s Message for the week of May 18, 2020

President  Tzviatko

Guests, we are happy to have you join us this week!

As we see it, our flexibility as an online, asynchronous club allows a special type of service to Rotarians around the world: we make it easier for anyone to strive for and maintain 100% attendance. That keeps you engaged with Rotary’s events and ideas, and provides a moment of inspiration for devoting your creativity, talents, and resources to good causes.

You are certainly not required to pay anything in order to attend our meetings. However, if you would like to make a small contribution to our service efforts, you are welcome to do so in our secure Happy Dollars section down the page. This could be what you normally pay at your own club’s meetings for lunch, for example. Any amount is welcome, but first and foremost, we’re happy you’ve joined us, and hope you will share with others who we are and what we do to help inspire Service Above Self.

And don’t forget to fill out our attendance form so you get an email you can pass on to your club’s secretary!

The Four Way Test

The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Rotary's Four-Way Test

Members of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley from around the world

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾
Happy Birthday!!

Cecelia Babkirk (May 18)
Manou Shamsrizi (May 21)
Steven Shagrin (May 24)

From around the world,
Wishing you all the best, on your birthday and always!

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾

Members and guests, consider donating in their honor in our Happy Dollars section below.

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

Any bakers around here? Or I’m-stuck-at-home-so-I-will-bake-random-things people? No, just me? Okay.

Why did the students eat their homework?
It was a piece of cake!

Why did the birthday cake go to the doctor?
It was feeling a little crumby.

What did the cake say while it was cutting an onion?
I’m in tiers!

Weekly Inspiration

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

San Nicolas cookies are soft and delicious. But they’re much more than a yummy treat to the people of the Philippines. These cookies—named after an Italian saint—are said to possess healing powers. Chef and food historian Atching Lillian Borromeo makes them using a recipe and intricate wooden moulds handed down by her ancestors. The main ingredient? Egg yolk. We’ll let Borromeo tell you the reason why.

The Legend of the San Nicolas Cookie

Member  Spotlight

This week’s Member Spotlight is Susan Howell! Here is what they have been up to lately:

I had just gotten back to the PNW to settle in for another tax season as a CPA three weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic announcement. However, it was busy season and on that front all appeared to be quite the same. At least until mid-March. Then the government extended the deadline. The folks that would normally file the last month will now be late June not late March. Uh-oh.

Normal tax season went out the window. I struggled for things to do. I pulled out a very dusty sewing machine to attempt to make shorts for my 91-year-old mother in Oklahoma. One pair, two pair, three pairs, done! Now what? That question led to masks. Lots of masks. Masks for neighbors, family, friends here in the PNW. Then masks mailed to friends and family around the U.S. I spend the winter elsewhere. Somewhere sunny. Somewhere like Arizona. Somewhere like the Navajo Nation.

The Navajo are a nation of 170,000 with a caseload as of May 16th of roughly 3,632. Oregon has a population of four million, we have 3,541 cases. I am not sure if that is sad or obscene. I lean towards both. If you have ever driven around the Southwest, it is difficult to not see the beauty and pain in the hand that the Navajo, or for that matter, all Native Americans, have been dealt. Now a pandemic threatens the few Navajo remaining. I hope my masks help.

A list of needs for the Navajo Nation may be found at http://www.nndoh.org/donate.html




World of

Please welcome Rotarian Angelica Marotta from the Rotary eClub of Melbourne who stopped by during a previous meeting!

Angelica Marotta lives in a nice coastal town near Pisa in Tuscany, Italy, and is a cybersecurity expert. She’s a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA and the National Research Council (Institute of Informatics and Telematics – IIT) in Pisa, Italy. Forever interested in how cybersecurity intersects with society, Angelica has a background in cybersecurity, criminal justice, and ethics. In addition to her research activity, she teaches Ethical Management in Public Safety in the Homeland Security and Emergency Management program at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, NJ.

Being a busy professional but keen to make a difference, she has found the flexible formula of an e-club to be the best solution for her. Thus, following a long family tradition of Rotary service and community involvement, she decided to join the Rotary E-club of Melbourne, where she holds the position of Vocational Service Chair. Rotary has always been a part of her life, and to join Rotary was, for her, a natural step. She knew there would be a possibility to contribute towards the amazing initiatives that Rotary was involved with.

However, what she didn’t expect was how rewarding and powerful these activities were and how they would change her life forever. Her experience within the Rotary community began when she joined Rotaract in 2011, where she served as President of her local club. Her first interaction with Australian Rotary and Rotaract clubs came from her role as International Director during her time in Rotaract; it was through this experience that she had the opportunity to visit Rotary and Rotaract clubs in Sydney and Canberra and meet dedicated members, Presidents, and District Governors. After her international experience in Rotaract, she felt that she still had a desire to serve and decided to make a positive impact on the community through Rotary.


Through a Rotarian’s Lens

Sometimes a photo can capture an amazing moment. In this section Member Keith Marsh shares his incredible photography!
If you’d like to submit a photo for this section please contact Keith.

My garden has provided a number of sheltering in place photo ops. This is a rhododendron by our front porch. I used “focus stacking” (6-8 images) to provide the sharpest possible image.

Learn Something New

This section is curated by members Shags Shagrin and Rushton Hurley and aims to teach our members and guests something new, fun and useful! If you have any ideas on a fun trick or skill you’d like to share please contact Rushton or Shags.

And That’s How Jazz Was Born…

Shags here! Another great film I recall from my youth is A Song is Born (1948) featuring Danny Kaye as a music professor recording the history of jazz. (Synopsis from the internet: “A group of music professors, including Prof. Frisbee (Danny Kaye) and Prof. Magenbruch (Benny Goodman), are writing and recording an “Encyclopedia of Music”. A pair of window washers introduces the duo to a pioneering musical form called jazz.  Frisbee and Magenbruch start going to nightclubs to hear the new sound and become involved with nightclub singer Honey Swanson (Virginia Mayo), who is running from police because they want her to inform on her gangster boyfriend, Tony Crow (Steve Cochran).”)

My favorite scene is where they brought several musical forms together to become then “modern day jazz”. Some really great groups and names were part of the film. Part one can be seen here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBj_0UGbKN8.), where Danny Kaye scouts musicians for the recording, and Part Two is below. Enjoy!!

Louis Armstrong Benny Goodman Danny Kaye Laurindo de Almeida Nestor Amaral in A SONG IS BORN 2

Coffee With a Rotarian

A natural part of Rotary is the networking and the fellowship you get out of meeting other Rotarians. Coffee With a Rotarian is a monthly program of our club where we match participating club members for one-on-one virtual (or in some cases in person) coffee meetings, so they can learn more about each other. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we have Kelly from Munich, Germany reporting on a chat with Mitty from Fremont, CA, USA

Mitty and I held our CWR last week and we were joined by Yvonne as well. We talked about how we’re coping with shelter-in-place measures in our respective cities and the conversation eventually (inevitably) drifted to food. We’re all self-designated foodies and we always try to go on food adventures when we meet up in person – usually at the annual Rotary Convention. For now, Mitty and Yvonne are trying to keep their weekly Dim Sum tradition alive by picking up take-out from their favourite spot. After each meal, they ask each other ‘What are we going to eat next?’ I’m sure others are asking themselves this very question.

With all of us staying at home, it’s important to exercise and try our best to stay fit. Mitty said he invested in a Peloton to keep himself active while at home. He’s very pleased with it and explained the various features the stationary bike offers. You can take online classes, live or pre-recorded. There’s other classes on offer too, such as yoga, meditation, cardio, stretching and more. I’ve mainly been doing Yoga each day, but I also do Tabata once in awhile.

Another shared interest of ours is travelling. We actually met while travelling, when all of us attended the Rotary Convention in Bangkok in 2012. Fast forward to present day, Mitty frequently travels to speak at Rotary conferences around the world! Sometimes this requires him to get certain vaccines and take specific medication(s), depending on which country he visits. Due to the high cost of vaccines and medications offered by Travel clinics at home, Mitty researched other options and discovered he could save over (I’m estimating here) approximately 90% of the costs by getting his care at a travel clinic in Europe. He scheduled an appointment with KLM’s travel clinic in Amsterdam and received his care upon arrival – a useful tip for fellow travellers once we’re all able to travel abroad again.

It was great to reconnect with Mitty and Yvonne over a video call. I think this was the first time we ever did this. In our screenshot we decided to bring attention to supporting the Wild Walkers in Relay for Life. Please consider donating to the team to help support the American Cancer Society and other related non-profits.

Hope you all have a great week ahead. Stay safe!

We encourage all club members to participate in Coffee With a Rotarian. You can sign up here!

Relay for Life

This week, as we have before, we share the growing list of our members participating in our effort to fight cancer by raising funds for research, education, and programs for patients and caregivers.

We also share two more messages honoring or remembering those we love. Here is the link from Olu’s message: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dora_Akunyili

And finally this week, we add a trailer for a film put together by our own May Yam, who adds, “This project is very close to my heart, it has been a two-year passion project.”

Next week will be our last week this spring. If you haven’t joined in yet, please contact Rushton to share a message, or make a donation at: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/rushton

Service Report

Tell us about service you’ve done recently in your community.
Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


On the first meeting of every month, we feature service reports from club members for the previous month. Thanks for your service everyone!

Help the vulnerable in your community during COVID-19

Helping Hands Community | Grassroots COVID-19 Response

Helping Hands is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the most at-risk people in our community stay safe at home, while getting the supplies they need. It works by connecting local volunteers who can run critical errands, such as grocery shopping, with the most vulnerable members of our community.  If you or someone you know needs help, fill out a request. If you are healthy and able to volunteer, please sign up to help. Together, we can help flatten the curve of COVID-19 by protecting our community’s most vulnerable.

Additional resources:

Club Announcements

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we do regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of the events and service projects listed here.

Past Events:


Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

District 5170 Events

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email inquiries@siliconvalleyrotary.com

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.


Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Here are the happy dollars contributions from last week!
This section is usually updated on the early hours of Saturday, so contributions made over the weekend may not be listed here.

MONIQUE ZIESENHENNE made a $25 donation.
Happy to help with Seacacar!

Martha & Leo Twiggs made a $Other Amount donation.

Penny Bollinger made a $Other Amount donation.
We are very excited to be part of the Seacacar project and plan to travel their with Kim Covill in the near future. We are also going to give $30 a month to Paul. Service Above Self, Terry Hanvey and Penny Bollinger, members of the Rotary eClub of the Southwest, USA

Rory Olsen made a $20 donation.
All is well. Weather is warm and sunny. Please apply my gift to polio plus.

Fill out my online form.


Selected Comments

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select a few comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.


Here are the comments selected from last week’s meeting.

Nathan Gildart said:

Thanks for the birthday wishes folks (creeping up on half a century!), and Mark, great chatting a few weeks back! Loved the GBS and gags again.

Jim, thank you for the provocative presentation. I think something people often forget (or just don’t know) is that we are still using a mass education, Industrial Revolution era model for education that was designed to create workers for an industrial economy. We are slow to adapt, though efforts such as yours (and that of recent guests from the Future Design School) are hopefully moving education forward. Mark made a good point in that the world doesn’t work in the way that we teach kids. The pandemic has made a lot of open secrets in education quite prominent. I find the relationship between primary, secondary, and post-secondary education to still be quite disconnected, as well as that of the connections between education and the workforce. Employers often say that graduates have to the learn the skills they hoped would have been learned before entering the workforce. Regardless, education and employment will be reimagined by the pandemic.

Ferheen Abbasi said:

Happy Birthday, Nate!!!!

The video about the Hemu Village was so fascinating! I tried to snowboard once and failed miserably – is Skiing easier? Haha. Olu, thank you for your member spotlight! You are doing such good for your community!!! Colin, thank you for stopping by our meeting! Keith, what a cool picture!! Gorgeous bread video!! Thanks Rushton! Loved the CWR update, Tatiana and Rushton! Thank you to everyone who donated to our fundraiser for the village of Seacacar!!!! Finally, thank you Jim for your wonderful presentation. I learned a lot during the live presentation.

Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne said:

Really wonderful ideas to think about! I agree that we need to re-think education and what provides the best background for students. Teaching to pass a test is really the worst. Thank you so much for your great work and leadership in this area, Lord Jim Knight! Enjoyable program, all! Thanks.

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Project Amigo – Transforming Lives Through Education

Speaker: Heather Edwards

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, and how those contribute to service to others. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for leading our club’s Programs Committee in finding us amazing speakers each week.

The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley seeks to explore perspectives on service from across the world. The views of the speakers in our programs are their own, and unless stated otherwise, are not necessarily reflective of the views of our eClub nor Rotary International.

If you have an idea for a cool speaker, please feel free to reach out to them directly
or submit THIS FORM so our Program Committee can contact them!

In this program, Heather Edwards, the Development Director of Project Amigo, will update us on what developments have happened with Project Amigo since the last time we heard about this wonderful program in late 2018. We’ll also hear about how Project Amigo has adapted during the novel coronavirus crisis.

Heather Edwards lived in Germany and Oklahoma before her family settled in Oregon where she graduated from Marist Catholic High School. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a focus on international development economics. She has worked in community and economic development and nonprofit development since 2005. She has been active in the Metropolitan Rotary Club of Eugene since 2009. She is their chair of public relations, a member of their foundation board, a Paul Harris fellow and a GSE alum, (Denmark 2014, Distrikt 1480).

In 2016 she went to Project Amigo for the first time. She fell in love with the program and became their Development Director in December of 2019. She enjoys traveling, dancing, running and quality time with friends and family.

Members and guests, please welcome Heather Edwards!

Heather Edwards presents to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

To learn more:


Share your thoughts or ask our speaker a question in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

Upcoming Program Recording Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always http://zoom.siliconvalleyrotary.com/. You are welcome to join us! Please note the timezone listed for all recordings is US Pacific Time (San Francisco, California, USA).

If you can’t join the live recording, please send your questions for an upcoming speaker to programs@siliconvalleyrotary.com.

You’re Almost Done! Please complete The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done.

We have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

For all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Important: Once you submit the Attendance Survey below, please make sure you see the confirmation message. If you get an error message instead, please try the ‘submit’ button again, and if that doesn’t work, please refresh the page and it should work fine. Thanks!

2020-05-19T18:10:53+00:00May 18th, 2020|0 Comments