Impacting lives with Laptops for Good

This is the meeting for the week of July 3, 2017 through July 9, 2017

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program: Impacting lives with Laptops for Good
Program Description: Learn about the origins of the Laptops for Good project started by member Andrew Taw
Speaker: Andrew Taw, Educator & President-elect of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

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!

Message from President Stephen

Welcome to the 2017-18 Rotary Year!

My name is Stephen Zhou and I am the new President of the Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley for the 2017-2018 year!

First off, welcome to a new Rotary year, everyone! For my year as President, my number one goal is to work toward engaging more members in our club. Since we are an E-Club, I would like each member in our club to get to know one another on a deeper level so that we can all enjoy serving alongside our friends. In order to do that, I will need everyone’s help! For our members reading this, you can be a great help by emailing me suggestions on what cool projects we can start to help not only engage more members of our club but also to improve someone’s experience of being in our club. For example, Tzviatko has done an incredible job spearheading the Coffee with a Rotarian program and I know each of you have great ideas that are just waiting to have someone initiate! I am the type of person that loves teamwork and I would be absolutely thrilled to hear what each and every one of our club members would like to see happen in our club. In other words, how can we make this club a better experience for you all?

Let us work together to make our club the best club in Rotary and have 2017-2018 be the best Rotary experience for each of us!

Yours in service,


Stephen Zhou, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]ary.com


Weekly Inspiration: Westworld’ IRL: Creating Lifelike Synthetic Human Cadavers

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change. This week we are featuring a video from Great Big Story on lifelike synthetic human cadavers.

SynDaver Labs is in the business of flesh… faux, synthetic, creepily lifelike and anatomically accurate human flesh. The Tampa-based company builds hyper-realistic, synthetic cadavers for use in medical research. Each specimen they create is made to breathe, bleed and act just like a real human. A tour through the company’s lab is like something straight out of the television series “Westworld” — minus the never-ending narrative loops.

That’s a LOT of food every day!


Coffee with a Rotarian: Raquel

Getting to know our fellow members and Rotarians is an important part of Rotary. Our club runs a regular initiative called “Coffee with a Rotarian,” where members are paired with other Rotarians to get to know each other in a 1 on 1 coffee session either in-person or virtually. These Coffee with a Rotarian initiatives are spearheaded by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we feature a coffee session between members Tzviatko Chiderov and Nathan Gildart!

Here’s what Tzviatko had to say about Nate:

Here’s what Nate had to say about Tzviatko:

Thanks for sharing!


Youth Service Update: RYLA

Empowering the next generation of leaders is one of our core missions. This segment of our meeting is dedicated to updates about our Youth Service programs such as Interact, Rotaract, and RYLA.

From our Youth Service Chair Yvonne:

“This past week, our district held its annual Camp RYLA, a leadership camp for high schoolers. We sent the incoming president of the KIPP San Jose Interact Club, Marilyn Nguyen, and she had this to say: ‘I’m glad that you guys gave me the opportunity to meet and create such powerful bonds with people. At the same time, I was finally able to understand who I am as a person and leader and what I actually want for myself. I know it sounds extremely cliche but RYLA allowed me to narrow down on my own strengths and areas of growth.’

Mitty and I also had the chance to be counselors for Camp RYLA this past week, and we connected with Marilyn while she was there.

We’re super proud of Marilyn and know that she will be a great leader! Keep an eye on this section for upcoming Interact events that we can support.”


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.

Ring in the New Rotary Year! 

Welcome to our new Rotary year!

Past Member Announcements:

  • Club Fundraiser on August 6 “A Taste of Good with Rotary” in Livermore, CA: Looking for help, donations, gift prizes, etc! Email Andrew Taw
  • Message from Treasurer-elect Heather on Automatic Dues: Make sure to check your emails! We are switching our system over to automatic dues rather than manual payment. Treasurer-elect Heather has more info for you!
  • TRF Challenge coins: Members who donate the following amounts will receive the following coins: $1000 – Gold, $500 – Silver, $200 – Bronze. Go ahead and request your Challenge Coin via the online form here then! 
  • 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!

Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley

Fremont, CA
129 Members & Guests

Calling all service-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, and community leaders! This group is for anyone interested in innovation, community service, education, business networking,…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Upcoming 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 [email protected]

Sunday, July 9 – Club Content Jam Session & Changeover 9AM to 2 PM

Join us on Sunday, July 9th for our Club Content Jam Session and Changeover event! All members are welcome and prospective members to join us for the content jam session from 9 AM to 11:30 AM. The content jam session is a quarterly event where we get together to curate and store different pieces of the content for upcoming club meetings. This is a great opportunity to contribute to an upcoming meeting, while doing some club service!

Starting at 11:30 AM, we’ll be transitioning over to our lunch at from 12 PM to 2 PM. The lunch will be our official “Changeover” event, where we officially pass the torch to President-elect (soon to be President) Stephen!

Location to be emailed out to members. Guests looking to come should reach out to us directly at [email protected] or [email protected]

Special: Club Charity Fundraiser “A Taste of Good with Rotary” – Sunday, August 6, 2017 at Retzlaff Vineyard in Livermore, California

Save the date for Sunday, August 6, 2017 for our club’s first annual charity fundraiser! This delicious food and wine lunch event will indulge your taste buds while we enjoy amazing company, live music, silent auctions, auctions, and ticket drawings. More info coming soon.

Our club’s event chair: Andrew Taw


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 dollars went towards powering our club’s projects and service grants.

Thank you to member Catherine A. for her $20 donation to the Polio Plus fund! Catherine had this to say:
“I’m grateful to be part of Rotary International, where members fund extraordinary work to improve the health of families in many nations, at no cost to recipients. I also celebrate and support Bill Gates, this month’s speaker, who with his wife, Melinda, supports a move to Universal Healthcare in the US, where new legislation is needed to serve all U.S. citizens who need (and deserve) free health care, funded by taxes, without regard to patients’ income or preexisting conditions. I applaud what Mr. Gates’ said on that issue, during a Q and A with Australian students recorded by ABC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmVE9rGQPJ0”

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his $15 donation to Polio Plus fund! Rory had this to say:
“Usually I log in on Monday mornings. I didn’t do that this week because I was in NC visiting the grandkids. All is well. Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.”

Thank you to member Brian Liddicoat for his generous $15 donation. Brian had this to say:
“Good summer about to get great when kids both go to away-camps next week. Looking for some special alone time with my wife!”

Thank you to member Nathan Gildart for his generous $10 donation to the Polio Plus fund. Nathan had this to say:
“For the Polio Plus effort. Great work Bill, Melinda and Rotary!”

Thank you all for your donations last week!

This week’s happy dollars donations will be going to help fund our club projects and service grants!

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.

So what are you happy about? Share with us below, and help support one of our future leaders!

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 about The Final Stretch to End Polio:

Member Mark Dohn (USA) had this to say:
“What a meeting! Congratulations Mitty and welcome Maxi. Between the Big Idea video feeding 40,000 people a day and Bill Gates speaking – and committing – to the eradication of polio, one key ingredient stands out: the people who work and volunteer to make our world a better, safer, happier and healthier place. Humbled and proud to be a member of the club and of Rotary.

Member Maxi Bustos (California, USA) had this to say:
Mitty, congratulations for the successful leadership of our club this rotarian year. Thanks for inviting me to the club and for your hard work! Stephen, best wishes for your presidency, all my support for you 🙂 Excellent message from Bill Gates in Atlanta, it was very exciting to see it in person! Thanks again for the warm welcome 🙂

Member Richard Knaggs (South Africa) had this to say:
Thank you for an amazing year Mitty and for the connections you have made. I believe it has been very successful and you have performed an outstanding job. Welcome Stephen we look forward to a wonderful year with you. What a great video on the MEGA Kitchen. We definitely need more of those around especially in South Africa. The question I have about that is how do they fund it? I never knew that Bill Gates was so passionate about the eradication of Polio. It was inspiring to hear it from him.

Member Angela Hoang (Sydney, Australia) had this to say:
“Thanks Mitty for all the efforts you’ve put into the club, it’s really cool to see it going from strength to strength and Stephen if there’s anything you need assistance with to keep the momentum going you know us Aussies are ready and willing to help 🙂 Welcome to the club Maxi, it was great hanging out with you at convention (the shirt in your video was the one you bought at the House of Friendship right?) and it was great meeting Raquel too at some of the events! It was really nice meeting club members and being there for Bill Gates’ speech was quite a special moment – so great that the speech could be uploaded so those who couldn’t be at convention could see it anyway (sharing is caring!). Have a great week everyone, sad to say we’re on our way back home but it’s been an amazing trip and thanks to everyone who made it extra special 😊

Member Catherine A. (California, USA) had this to say:
Thanks so much for your leadership, Mitty! I enjoyed meeting you and Yvonne during my new member interview. This member is so grateful for your past guidance and assistance, since joining the SV eClub family! As someone from a food-driven family, I also loved the Shri Saibaba Temple story. Sanjay Kumbar, tasked with feeding 40,000 people a day at the temple, seems to have the most gratifying and challenging job on the planet. (Welcome again, Maxi!) The SV eClub team did a great job in posting the 2017 RI Convention keynote by Bill Gates. What an incredible opportunity for Rotarians who traveled to Atlanta this year! Aside from the outstanding two-for-one matching grant to Polio Plus pledged by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, I particularly enjoyed Gates crediting Rotarians and their contacts overseas with helping to build trust between global communities and injection providers, so those needing immunizations would accept vaccines and other healthcare as safe procedures for their families. The Emir who partnered with Rotary and consumed a vial of vaccine to demonstrate its safety, was a wonderful anecdote. I hope Rotarians will work with Bill and Melinda Gates on issues closer to home, where collaboration and alliances could create similar positive healthcare outcomes for all U.S. citizens, the elderly, families and the poor in our communities: In an Australian interview in 2013, Gates stated that the U.S. is “long overdue” in enacting national legislation “to adopt Universal Healthcare.” Gates seems to understand that the current free-market U.S. healthcare system, with its artificially-inflated medication costs, inflated procedure costs and exorbitant hospitalization/nursing home costs, plus sky-rocketing medical insurance costs, works essentially as a death decree and road to bankruptcy for families, the elderly, the seriously ill and those dealing with chronic diseases, who can’t afford basic life-saving medications and all available healthcare services. Universal health care, according to Gates, “should have been adopted in the U.S. years ago” to mirror the more compassionate, government-paid healthcare systems adopted for citizen care in other civilized countries across the globe. I agree with him completely.

Member Megan Breyer (California, USA) had this to say:
I can’t tell you how excited I am that this is this week’s program. I woke up this morning to a post by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation being shared by many of my Rotarian friends – it was a simple thank you note to Rotarians for everything they’ve done to eradicate Polio thus far. It’s been so amazing to grow up in this organization and to have heard the updates throughout the years. To know that there is support for this around the globe because of this impact is absolutely incredible. Thank you for making this it’s own program! A special thank you to Mitty for all that you’ve done. I’ve only been involved with this club for a few short months but your passion for Rotary and your care for others is very evident. Looking forward to getting even more involved under President Stephen!

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: Impacting Lives with Laptops for Good

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest this member Andrew Taw, who tells us about the origins of our club’s Laptops for Good project.

Andrew Taw is an educator by day and a grant writer by night. He manages academic programs for HNU Upward Bound, a program that helps low-income and first-generation students get into college. He has recently written and been awarded $4.3 million in grants to serve 200 more students every year for the next five years. This week, Andrew presents a new Club project, Laptops for Good, to provide laptops to low-income college-bound students with a strong history of community service. If you are a Club member who is interested in joining the committee to work on this project, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Over a year ago, Andrew started a side project called “Laptops for Good,” designed to help service-minded students from low-income families succeed. In this week’s program, Andrew shares with us the origins of the Laptops for Good project and where it is going.

Please join us in welcoming member Andrew to the stage!

Related Links

Leave a comment!

Feel free to ask Andrew a question in the comments!


Upcoming Program Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 45 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Upcoming Recordings:

  • None at the moment!

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, please email [email protected] with your request. Requests will be checked up until 5 minutes prior to the recording time. Please note the timezone is all California, USA 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.
  • Good start, Stephen. Your request to systemize programs and involve all members in gathering topics and people to record is on target. It’s a long term solution which will nake the office of eClub President more attractive.

    • Stephen Zhou

      Thanks Chris! Looking forward to this rotary year with everyone!

  • Tzviatko Chiderov

    Andrew, it must feel great to know that you’ve had an impact in these kids’ lives. Great work! You sort of touched on this a bit, but have you thought about incorporating a mentorship program as part of your efforts?

    • Andrew Taw

      Absolutely! A part of looking for committee members is in hopes that we do just that!

  • The video about the synthetic cadavers was amazing – a nice example of bringing excellence to a need many aren’t aware of. Nate and Tzviatko, most cool to hear from you guys, and the Australian history was a nice bonus.

    Andrew, what a powerful realization it was that students might lose their momentum in college because their families ask for help via the money the students receive to address their educational costs! I love that your experience helping low-income students get to college is now going into helping students succeed in college. I think you will be able to make a difference addressing the statistic that just over 9 in 10 lowest-quartile students entering college don’t finish.

    Stephen, welcome to the captain’s chair! I know you’ll do a great job this year.

    Finally, I hope more of us will share visuals in our meeting comments this year! Here’s a shot I took this morning as folks in our community were getting ready for the annual July 4th parade.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e43d4c23a1df833a8799f941507ef25868c736065432b1f406b04cbd27174dc6.jpg

  • Cecelia

    Stephen, congratulations on becoming the President of arguably the best e-club in the Rotary world! One of the things I admire about your members is that you don’t just participate in doing good, you lead the way by seeing a need right in your professions and creating the structure through which you can respond to the need. I look forward to joining you in those endeavors and bringing an element of internationality to the club. Happy 4th, everyone!

    • Stephen Zhou

      Thank You Cecelia! Looking forward to working with you to make our E-Club even better!

  • Sandra Young

    Andrew I really enjoyed learning about your program. I am looking to join the e-club and when I do I will differently contact you about getting involved in the project.

    • Andrew Taw

      Glad to hear, Sandra! I look forward to being in touch with you soon!

  • Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne

    Welcome to your year, Stephen! Congratulations. I am especially happy to learn more about Laptops for Good and to learn about how the Club will support it going forward. Nice overall meeting this week. Thanks!

  • Keith Marsh

    Congrats to Mitty for a great year and we are looking forward to a super year from Stephen. Andrew, thanks for your program. We are signed up for the fund raiser and look forward to seeing you all there.

    • Andrew Taw

      Sounds great, Keith! I’ll see you there!

  • Catherine A

    Congratulations on the beginning of your year, Stephen!
    Andrew, I was so excited to learn of a fellow HNU graduate who is doing such great work for deserving Bay Area kids. (I haven’t been back since I graduated many years ago, since I moved to another region for work and graduate school.) Hearing about your Upward Bound program, plus the snacks, laptops and folios for students, was awesome. I like your idea of a committee to help students network and achieve their goals, plus the future Google tie in. (Side note, there is now a small, self-driving vehicle at Santa Clara University which is being used to shuttle students across the grounds over sidewalks. My friend and I got a test ride last fall, when the golf-cart-sized vehicle was being programmed.) Perhaps someday we will have community based, self-driving cars taking students from homes to schools and colleges, so they can study while they are stuck in Bay Area traffic. Somehow, I believe you are just the right person who could find funding and backing for that kind of project, since many low income students are hampered by chronic transportation challenges. Good job!

    • Andrew Taw

      As a person who abhors traffic, self-driving cars really can’t come soon enough! With so many low-income families holding down multiple jobs having free, safe, and efficient transportation for students to independently get to important opportunities outside of school like clubs, internships, etc would be huge!

  • Leanza Tupfer

    Congratulations Stephen, and Mitty thank you for all that you’ve done this year.

    Andrew – please let me know if I can help in any way for Laptops For Good, this is such an awesome program and deserving opportunity for students in need of laptops! Also if anything is needed for the Club Fundraiser on Aug 6 🙂

    Responding to the Westworld IRL video, it’s amazing that now we have the technology to create life-like cadavers that “react” as a human would to surgical operations and real world conditions. My thoughts are that building a more accurate model of a cadaver for human research is that it will allow physicians to empathize with how the research and procedures they perform could affect the human body, which hopefully leads to better understanding and improved medical care for when procedures are performed on real human bodies.

    Hope everyone had a great July 4.

  • Rory Olsen

    Thank you for another interesting program.

  • ShagsCA

    Great meeting, and fantastic program, Andrew! Looking forward to this Sunday’s Club Content Jam Session at my place, as our face-to-face socials are an important part of an e-Club.

  • Nathan Gildart

    Thank you Andrew, and a great first meeting Stephen! I hope I can contribute more to Laptops For Good – it’s a great programme you’ve created Andrew. Hopefully a Google sponsorship can become a reality. (or some other corporate sponsorship) The folios and care packages are a good idea and will leave a mark on the students receiving them.

  • john lozano

    Congratulations Stephen on your new role in our club.

    Andrew, thank you for your presentation, great stuff.

  • Hardeep Kaur Singh

    Congrats, Stephen! And thanks, Andrew!
    Loved the weekly inspiration with the syndavers, especially as a medical student who dissected cadavers during her first semester. Super cool!

  • Brett Sham

    Andrew, congratulations on developing such a powerful and impactful project. It’s amazing that we forget that some of the things we take for granted can be so valued and have such a meaningful change on another person’s life.

    Nate, great video – I’m not even sure that I’ve ever been to Cockatoo Island. Such a shame I wasn’t in Sydney when you visited.

  • Angela Hoang

    Congrats Stephen on your first meeting as President, a great sign of things to come! Andrew I think it’s really inspiring to see someone whose idea for a great project has come to fruition. What a wonderful cause and thank you for filling us in on what you’ve been up to – I think it helps us all feel a bit more connected to each other!

  • Stephen, congrats on your first meeting, you were prepared and trained to do your better as president and we are here to help you.
    Andrew, when I have the opportunity to see people helping other peoples I feel a big proud and happyful, I know that, you are Planting small attitudes to reap great fruits.

  • Richard Knaggs

    Welcome Stephen. Wait until those Cadavers come alive then we will have a real Zombie Apocalypse. 🙂 Great work Andrew, wishing you huge success and rapid support from Google in your Laptops for Good programme. If I may make a suggestion, perhaps including an Internet connectivity device and mobile data package (for 1 year) in your ChromeBook Care Pack could students in low income families. It could also help you get a mobile provider on board. Of course I am assuming that Internet access is not ubiquitous and free in the US. All the best.

  • Fernando Morales

    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for the presentation Andrew. I appreciated you showing numbers to bring attention to an issue. I think you make a great point- it’s one thing to get to college and another different financial challenge is to stay and succeed. This kind of project goes a long way in helping students overcome these challenges.

  • Maxi Bustos

    Stephen, welcome and my best wishes for your presidency!
    Andrew, thanks for your presentation and congratulations for your efforts! Please let me know if you need help contacting someone at Google 🙂

  • Good job Stephen… you’re a pro already
    Andrew it was so good to hear about you and what you are up to. It is a great cause as the price of education is skyrocketing. I will definitely be at the event and hopefully be bringing a crowd with me!!

  • BDL

    Stephen, hope you have a GREAT year as President.
    Andrew, excellent stuff, thanks so much!

  • Raquel D. Juncal

    Great first meeting, Stephen! Love the Westworld IRL video 😀

    Andrew, thanks for your presentation. Fantastic program!

  • Nicole Pham

    Wishing you a great year as President Stephen!! Thanks for the program Andrew. I admire your compassion for this project! I hope this year we can contribute more laptops!

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Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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