Pride and Excitement for  Youth Opportunity Scholarship Recipients
by Reina Lopez, Administrative Assistant
The Lampert Byrd Foundation and PVF have been partnering together on the Youth Opportunity Scholarship program since 2011, and in that time have awarded students over $890,000 in more than 3,000 scholarships. While one might think summertime is synonymous with freedom and vacation, for many low-income youth, it can be quite the opposite. As parents continue to work the summer months trying to make ends meet, many families do not have extra funds to put their children in summer camps or lessons. For some students, summer becomes an extended stay at home. The YOS scholarships allow students to make use of their free time in a fun and rewarding manner.
Maya Nieto, the Alumni & Student Engagement Manager at Aim High, writes: "At Aim High we open the YOS program to all current students. Families hear about the scholarship during family orientation night prior to the summer program starting, and then have three weeks to complete and submit the student application. Each campus has a designated staff member there to support families and student with seeking out an activity and completing their application."

This summer we received applications from students all over YOS partner site Aim High's 18 campuses located in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, San Rafael, Redwood City, East Palo Alto, Napa, and Truckee/Tahoe. Our 165 scholarship recipients this year participated in everything from cooking and art to karate and music lessons. While all the students' application essays were full of genuine sincerity, they ran the gamut from heartwarming to heartbreaking:
photo from Aim High
"Ever since I was little I made super wacky creations in the kitchen and forced my family to try them. One time I even peeled grapes and cooked them inside a quesadilla. I'm passionate about this subject because I love food and ever since I was little, my dad and I cooked quesadillas in the kitchen. I love how food brings people together and shows our love for one another in my Mexican culture. I would love to see if I can follow this passion of mine and possibly become a chef. You'll never know until you explore it." Jason, 7th grade

"I'm very excited about the chance to learn tennis if given the scholarship. Although I think I'm playing it the wrong way, I seem to like tennis and it looks like it can be the sport for me. I see my parents struggle as we live check-to-check so I know there is no way they can afford tennis lessons for me. I'll forever be grateful if chosen for the scholarship, really take advantage of the opportunity, and not just waste it." Matthew, 7th grade
"Once students receive the good news that they have been awarded the scholarship it is clear that they feel a sense of pride and excitement. For many of our students, this will be the first scholarship they have ever received so it is definitely a big deal for them and their families."
"I want to explore how to play a musical instrument, and maybe I can get a career or job with it. I am a triplet and play soccer, and I am currently learning how to swim. I should be chosen for this scholarship because it would help me and my family get something that we never knew we could get. Since I am a triplet it costs a lot of money to afford piano and guitar lessons. I feel if I learn the guitar and my other two brothers learn the piano and drums we can make a band and we can share it with my family and maybe with the world." Diana, 8th grade

"I don't feel prepared for the pressure that middle school will expose me to. I wanted to enroll in a boxing program, and even though I would have to travel across San Francisco to get there, I think it will be a good fit for me. I have a lot of siblings (4 children) and our money is limited. I am small and skinny, but this program could provide me some motivation. This is my first scholarship, and it would be nice to try something out for the first time. I hardly have the opportunity with my mom's limited income, so I would appreciate the opportunity." J, 6th grade
"Many of our students write about the struggles their families suffer financially and recognize how a scholarship helps to alleviate the stress and pressure there can often be when trying to pay for extra-curricular activities," says Maya. "Once students receive the good news that they have been awarded the scholarship it is clear that they feel a sense of pride and excitement. For many of our students, this will be the first scholarship they have ever received so it is definitely a big deal for them and their families."
Build Your Own Computer Lab -
Supporting Emerging Tech Leaders
Guest blog post by Samantha Solomon, 2018 Bay Area Inspire Awards recipient

At the start of 2018, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (PVF) awarded grants to six young Bay Area residents with fresh ideas for building better communities. These awards were made possible through the Bay Area Inspire Awards, which provides $5,000 grants to 18-30 year olds living in San Francisco, Alameda, and San Mateo Counties. Below is a report written by one of these awardees, Samantha Solomon, who used her award to give students at LIFE Academy access to computers and provide students with the opportunity to better understand how computers work. Her project involved middle and high school students building their own computers, to be used for a computer lab in the library and as tools for those who want to learn coding and pursue more work with technology.

The Inspiration

In a state where 986,000 people were unemployed in September of 2017, it would seem that one of the best ways to equip kids for a choice-filled future is to make sure they are fluent in the skills and thinking associated with tech work. Regardless of what students' goals are for themselves, it is our job as educators to make sure that students have access to the skill sets and knowledge that will allow them to enter college or the workforce in a competitive position - or better yet, give them the skills to execute their own unique vision of their lives. Public schools provide the opportunities and resources to support more people of color in accessing the widely available and lucrative tech work that exists in California.

Their absence is a missed opportunity for individuals and for their absent perspective in the workplace and products that exist.

BUT, we can't just be educating students to become future tech workers - we need to be educating them to become future tech leaders. The students who are served by my library today need to be people on hiring committees, the people creating the culture, and the people mentoring the future students served by this library.
About the Editors
James Higa
James Higa, Executive Director, brings 28 years of executive experience from Silicon Valley, working with Steve Jobs to change the face of technology. He was at the birth of the personal computer revolution as a member of the original Macintosh team and was deeply involved in the creation of many products and services at Apple over 3 decades. He has a long history of public service as a board member of Stanford's Haas Center and in grassroots relief efforts.
Bill Somerville, Founder, has been in non-profit and philanthropic work for over 50 years. He was the director of a community foundation for 17 years, and in 1991, he founded Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. Bill has consulted at over 400 community foundations, on creative grantmaking and foundation operations. Bill is the author of  Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker
About PVF
PVF is a demonstration foundation practicing unique forms of grantmaking and innovative philanthropy. Our primary interest is in the creative and significant use of the philanthropic dollar.
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