Monday, December 21, 2009

Story of Giving from Stan and Judy Burwell

A few years ago a close friend 'volunteered' me for the Role Model Program here in San Jose. The program sends a volunteer out to 'at risk' Elementary and Middle schools in San Jose where we spend one hour a week, for 8 weeks, talking to kids about the value of education and about what I term 'Life Skills' . I've been at it now for about 5 years and have truly enjoyed each and every class. Every class is different, and every bunch of kids is different. Because I'm an 'old' guy and tough, I have been sent to Middle Schools where the kids are a little tougher to control and 'direct'.

It has been an amazing time. It's so fun and rewarding to watch the kids learn to think about things in their lives that they've never thought of before or have felt those 'dreams' were well beyond their means and abilities. One of my key questions is when I arrive I ask them, "Who would like to go to college?" and most raise their hands. Then I ask, "Who thinks they really WILL go to college?" and the number drops to below 5 usually. After the 8 weeks, almost ALL the kids think they CAN and WILL go to college, simply because I tell them they can and how to do it.

Children and their education are our future. We ALL need to take the time as parents and as members of society to think about this and find a way to help. The Role Model Program is one great way. (

Have a VERY Merry Christmas and a GREAT New Year.

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