//Students Rising Above: Supporting First-Generation Students To and Through College

Students Rising Above: Supporting First-Generation Students To and Through College

This is the meeting for the week of March 5, 2018 through March 11, 2018

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program: Students Rising Above: Supporting First-Generation Students To and Through College
Program Description: The presentation will share the mission, goals, and successful results of the non-profit organization, Students Rising Above, through the lens of Executive Director, Carolina Martín and two alumni of the program, Cindy Dam and Gerry Zaragoza. They will share how the program reaches out to underrepresented communities and empowers students with drive and potential and delivers remarkable, life-changing results through college education. SRA enlists comprehensive support, personal relationships, and career guidance, and it has become the most successful college completion program in the nation with a 90.5% student graduation rate. Alumni Cindy and Gerry will also share their personal stories as first-generation college graduates and provide insight into how SRA directly supported them to and through college and into the workforce.
Speaker: Carolina Martín, Executive Director of Students Rising Above

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; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President-Elect Andrew:

Greetings members and guests,

Welcome to the Rotary e-Club of Silicon Valley. Each week, we bring you stories about innovation, entrepreneurship, or education all in the name of service.

Spring is nearly here and, as a gardener, I’m thinking about what to plant next in preparation for what may bear fruit in the summer. As your president-elect, I’m also thinking about what to work on for the club and how it might look in the coming seasons. For instance, I’d love to see more service events and socials. We have so many beautiful recordings and I hope for that to continue.

We still have opportunities for people to join the Membership, Service, and Programs committees. With more hands to make the work lighter, we’ll only need a time commitment of one hour a month in order to get a beautiful program every week, a local and an online social a month, and a service event a month (not to mention our annual projects)!

So if one or more of the committees for Membership, Service, or Programs look like something you’d like to participate in, please feel free to contact me at pe@siliconvalleyrotary.com. I look forward to working together to make wonderful things happen.

Yours in service,

Andrew Taw, President-elect
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

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!”

From Yvonne: “This week our jokes come from President-elect Andrew Taw! Here are some spring-themed jokes to get you ready for April! Thanks Andrew for the jokes!”

When do monkeys fall from the sky?
During Ape-ril showers!

Can February March?
No, but April May!

Why is everyone so tired on April 1?
Because they’ve just finished a long, 31 day March!

Weekly Inspiration: Battle of the Boxes – Box Wars

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change. This week we feature a video from Great Big Story on the human condition – inspiring fun and laughter across demographics.

Ready for combat? Grab some cardboard, tape and hot glue for a battle of epic proportions. Welcome to Boxwars, the bizarre medieval-inspired sport that’s given adults the chance to play. Participants get together to create a full range of battle gear using nothing but reclaimed cardboard and packing supplies. Originally devised by a small group of friends over drinks, Boxwars has grown to become a global phenomenon, with teams across Europe, Australia, the United States and Japan.

Battle of the Boxes

Would you participate in Box Wars? Should we start it up? Share with us in the comments!

For Members Only: Updates

This segment of the meeting is dedicated to our club members. This section includes announcements and new initiatives. Guests, you are welcome to read this section or just skip it.

VOTING for next year’s 2018-19 Club Officers is being sent to your inbox this Monday evening, February 26th! Be sure to keep an eye out and vote! 

Members, if you did not receive an email regarding voting by Tuesday, February 27, please reach out to President Stephen at president@siliconvalleyrotary.com

Past Member Announcements:

  • Member namebadges delayed but will be shipped out in February
  • Active members now have yourname@siliconvalleyrotary.com email forwarders! Your forwarder should be your full first name plus the first initial of your last name. Emails going to your @siliconvalleyrotary.com email will be forwarded automatically to the email you have on file with our club. If you want your email forwarder changed to a different variation of your name, please email Webmaster Mitty at mittyc@siliconvalleyrotary.com.
  • Members Only Facebook Group: If you haven’t joined our members-only Facebook Group, consider joining! Request an invitation from mitty@siliconvalleyrotary.com
  • Service Blotter Submissions: Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey

Our Events & Projects

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

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!


Upcoming Events for March:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

March 31, 2018 – Service Project: Event Assistance with Gardeners, Landscapers, & Urban Farmers at The Plant Exchange in Oakland, CA 

Join us for a lovely morning to help set up for The Plant Exchange, an event that encourages reuse, recycling and organic living. This community-wide free event is where gardeners, landscapers, urban farmers, and beginners come to exchange plants, equipment and information about ways to make our urban environment more sustainable, aesthetic, and healthy. 
Set-up is from 8:00am – 12:00pm. The event is from 12:00 – 4:00pm. The plan is for us to help set up and to check out the event during the first half hour or hour of the event before we head over to lunch (location: TBA). Please remember to dress comfortably in closed-toe shoes.
The event location:
Ability Now Bay Area
4500 Lincoln Ave
Oakland, CA 94602
Please contact President-elect Andrew Taw at pe@siliconvalleyrotary.com if you can attend.

Other Upcoming Club Events:

  • June 1-3, 2018 – San Jose, CA – Rotary District Conference for our home district, District 5170 – conference activities begin Friday night at 6 PM, includes an all-day Saturday conference, and Sunday morning service projects in San Jose
  • June 22, 2018 – Toronto, Canada – Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley’s RI Convention Friday Happy Hour in Toronto from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
  • June 22-27, 2018 – Toronto, Canada – 2018 Rotary International Convention
  • August 2018 – Our eClub’s second annual charity fundraiser is coming up! More details coming soon!

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

What would you like to do?

Hey Members! What would you like to do? We’re working on putting together some exciting socials and impactful service projects for our upcoming quarter’s event calendar. Let us know what you want to do by posting in our members only Facebook Group (if you don’t have access, please request it with Webmaster Mitty). Remember, you’re only taking advantage of the full impact of Rotary when you’re stepping up to get involved.

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!)

Last week’s happy dollar contributions went towards supporting our Interact high school students attending leadership training events such as PWR and RYLA. Here are some of the happy dollar messages from last week:

Thank you to member Monique Ziesenhenne for her generous $15 donation to The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund. Donations to the TRF Annual Fund not only help power Rotary projects worldwide, but also give a dividend portion back to our club in 3 years for our own club’s projects. Monique had this to say:
“Happy that the Olympics were so exciting! Cannot wait for 2022. TRF-Annual Fund, please!”

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his generous $15 donation to The Rotary Foundation’s PolioPlus Fund! Rory had this to say:
“We finished the insulation last week. Now we’ve moved on to sheetrock this week. Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.”

Thank you to guest Brian Liddicoat for his $15 donation! Brian had this to say:
“Wow! Just had a great Zoom meeting with the great Chris Cochrane: what a fascinating guy!”

Thank you all for your donations last week!

Happy dollars is also a great opportunity to share with the group about something good that has happened to you, while giving back to a great cause. This week’s donations will go to powering our club’s projects and helping with sending Interactors to PWR and RYLA!

So what are you happy about? Share with us below to help with doing good around the world.

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

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 six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting featuring the program on About Palo Alto University:

Member Mark Dohn (USA) had this to say:
“Thank you Dr. O’Connor for sharing with us what is clearly a unique and forward thinking program. As an educator, I have work closely with school psychologists in low-income and incarcerated/adjudicated youth programs to make sure that they received the support and counseling that they needed. Welcome Celine and I hope to hear more about your work in Belize with Rotaract!

Megan BreyerMember Megan Breyer (California, USA) had this to say:
“So much goodness this week! Welcome, Celine! It’s great to have you. I look forward to getting to know you 🙂
Dr. O’Connor, thank you for the presentation! I have seen signs for PAU a million times and always wondered about it. What a great resource nestled right into the Bay Area!

Member Nathan Gildart (Japan) had this to say:
Nate - Picture of Cookie MonsterDr. O’Connor, my students will be impressed to hear that you have an LGBTQ Psychology component to your course of study. I’ve got several students who want to pursue studies in social justice when they compete high school, and a couple currently studying IB Psychology as independent learners (one of our recent guest speakers, Kiana Pollard, for example). The training clinic is very innovative, and the “cultural competency” you mention is brilliant (and I appreciate the mental health care agency). Related to your tele initiative, you might be interested in www.telljp.com, a mental health care NPO in Japan that has been active for almost 50 years and has a phone “lifeline”. Great work you’re doing and I enjoyed hearing the background to the institution. Yvonne, love the Cookie Monster!

Member John Lozano (California, USA) had this to say:
“Dr. O’Connor, thank you for your presentation. I have seen your campus sign for many years and like many people, wondered about your campus programs. I met a student in your program several years ago and she talked very highly of her experiences and training she has received so far. As an educator, I see the benefits of helping students develop a strong emotional foundation to improve their school success. I would love to hear more about hour programs and the work you are doing with K-8 or high school students. Thanks again for the information. Welcome to the club, Celine!“

Member Carlos Gabuardi (Mexico) had this to say:
“Welcome to the Club Celine!!! I was really moved by the message of The Tree. Congratulations Dr. O’Connor for the University of Palo Alto, for all the good work you are doing there and for the innovative programs and ideas you are implementing there. I assume the business model issues is a great challenge for for higher education today. Carlos

Member Brett Sham (Sydney, Australia) had this to say:
Brett's shared photoCeline, welcome to the club! Maureen, thanks for a great presentation. Yesterday was Clean Up Australia Day. We joined with some local Rotaractors to clean up a local park. Here’s a photo of us at the end with the trash we collected in the shape of Australia! (Photo credit to the club’s Instagram account) [See photo to the right]”


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: Students Rising Above: Supporting First-Generation Students To and Through College

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest speaker is Carolina Martín, Executive Director of Students Rising Above.

Carolina Martín is a recognized leader in supporting the well-being of young adults and children and has served in executive level positions at several nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco-Bay Area. For the past eight years, she was Senior Vice President of DonorsChoose.org, where she was responsible for building new corporate partnerships. Before that, she served as Executive Director of Summerbridge and worked at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, where she served as the Director of Community & Scholar Relations. A former elementary school teacher, Martín also served as Vice President for Hispanic Initiatives at Sallie Mae in California. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of San Diego.

Cindy Dam is a Students Rising Above alumna from the class of 2015. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master’s Degree in Urban Education, Administration and Policy through Loyola Marymount. She served as an AmeriCorps member through Teach For America in San Pablo, CA. Currently, she is the Career Development and Alumni Program Coordinator as well as a College and Career Success Advisor for Students Rising Above. Cindy is passionate about working with students and communities in need to bring about transformational change towards educational equity and excellence.

Gerardo Zaragoza is a Students Rising Above alumnus from the class of 2011. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Yale University in 2015 and is currently a Data Scientist at Facebook in Menlo Park, CA. Gerardo is interested in advocating for and mentoring LGBTQ and other underprivileged but deserving young people to enter the technology industry. He is a Director of Programing at the national Out For Undergrad Technology Conference and also volunteers regularly with Students Rising Above.

Members and guests, please welcome Carolina Martín to our meeting!

Students Rising Above by Carolina Martín, Cindy Dam and Gerardo Zaragoza

Related Links:

Share with us your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

If you have questions for Carolina, feel free to ask in the comments!

Upcoming Program 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.

Upcoming Recordings:

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, you are welcome to join us. Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. Please note the timezone for all recordings are listed for San Francisco, California, USA time (Pacific Time).

You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey…

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

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below 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!

Fill out my online form.
2018-03-05T17:06:49+00:00March 5th, 2018|19 Comments