Blog

Putting Theory into Practice

By Faith Network of the East Bay
March 1st,2016

St. Mary’s College in Moraga requires their students to be engaged in the community. One of the available classes is entitled “The Least of These: Marginalized Children in the Bay Area”. Under the leadership of instructor Mitali Perkins, students read, discuss, and write papers about the impact of hunger, violence, and under-resourced schools on children.

In an Oakland school library

Ten students partnered with Faith Network, serving with the Faith Network staff and volunteers in our Excel Reading clinics, libraries and STEM labs. Our elementary school scholars loved having the college students read with them, conduct STEM activities together, and talk about college in their future. They weren’t the only ones who loved the experience. Here are excerpts from St. Mary’s students’ reflections.

“During the past two weeks, I never once felt pity when working with a child. Instead, I had the warm fuzzy feeling in my heart that made me want to better myself. I believe these children have changed me for the better and changed my outlook on life.”

Helping at the STEM computer lab

“These children are stronger than we think because they deal with struggles I forget about. I worry about my iPhone dying too fast, while these kids worry about what to eat and where to live.”

“The principal at Prescott Elementary left us with one strong piece of advice. Instead of asking ourselves ‘What do I want to be when I grow up’, we should ask ourselves, ‘What do I want to change in the world?’ “

“Although I may not have changed any child’s life in the short two weeks, they have changed mine. They have opened my eyes… I feel like this course and experience with Faith Network has expressed a calling for me. This is something I want to do. I want to warm the children’s hearts in the same way they have warmed mine.”

President’s Corner

By Faith Network of the East Bay
March 1st,2016

Lackana Sot, senior at Oakland HS

At the close of a recent community gathering at Oakland High School, I was approached by a student, a young man I did not recognize. He politely introduced himself. “Mr. Roth, my name is  Lackana Sot and I want to thank you for making it possible for me to attend the Mission Springs Science Camp when I was a fifth-grader at Buckhalter Elementary in 2009. I especially remember the rock climbing exercise. I was terrified of the idea of being suspended so high in the air with only a rope to keep me safe, and thinking that I would stop about a quarter of the way up. However, as soon it was my turn, I remember scaling that wall in no time at all. I had forgotten about being scared because I found something new that I enjoyed. This is where I really started breaking out of my shell to explore new experiences.”

What an amazing encounter! I thought to myself, “You never know what might make a lasting difference in a student’s life.” Still climbing, Lackana is a senior at Oakland High and applying to UC universities, leaning toward majoring in biology or computer science.

For the children,
Randy

“When I’m at home in Oakland, I have to stay indoors when it’s dark,
but being out here tonight, I feel free.” – Fifth-grader at Mission Springs

Hope for Children Now Benefit Gala

By Faith Network of the East Bay
March 1st,2016

  • I want to volunteer, BUT I don't know where to start.