We’re standing at the edge of something amazing with all of the action happening for One Degree. Through the challenges and successes, I’ve grown to love One Degree even more and see how much our communities really need this. Personally, I have learned a ton about the kind of tenacity, grit, and self-awareness needed to launch a startup. And as I approach graduation (in 55 days), I’ve committed to working on One Degree full-time, and I’m sure I’ll need YOUR help more than ever to launch our organization.
3 MAIN PRIORITIES
In the last newsletter we talked about the new strategic direction we’re taking, which lead us to the following key priorities: (1) Solidifying School Partnerships, (2) Fundraising, & (3) Developing a Web Platform.
1. SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS
I remember back in my BUILD days that securing a school partnership was a time-consuming labor of love. We’re excited to tell you Cecilia Aguilar, Jasmine Abele, and Alison Traina have stepped up to lead our School Partnerships Team (SPT) in SF. They each bring great energy and experience in education. Special thanks are also owed to Shanif Sims, Swaicha Chanduri, Leslie Garner, Omar Butler, Cassandra Coe, Stefanie Eldred, Ruth Barajas and Sandie Stringfellow for supporting our goal.
The SPT set an audacious goal of securing 10 SFUSD school partners by the end of the semester (gotta aim high, right?). We’re close to securing two as of today, and if you’ve got connections with educators in SFUSD, recommendations for schools to approach, or if you want to join the SPT, please contact us!
In partnership with some amazing entrepreneurs at the Harvard Kennedy School, we’re throwing an event called Launch HKS, which will showcase the cool ventures that students are working on. Through this event, One Degree committed to raise $10,000 for our startup by May through major donations. Another daunting goal, but doable if you can help by approaching your or your friends’ companies for sponsorships. A couple of letters and phone calls can go a long way. Let me know if you want to help in this effort.
Most of our fundraising efforts recently have been applying for competitions, and below is an update of what’s in the pipeline:
- Harvard i3 Innovation Challenge – Awards Reception is tonight. We’re up against 2 teams for the Public Innovation Award for $10K! Join us! Thanks to Grace Chung for her superb videography skills.
- HBS Business Plan Social Venture Track – Thanks to my partner Ashley Halpin(HBS MBA 2012), we made it to the semifinals! Only 16 out of 49 made it to this round! Next up is submitting a full 30-page business plan by April 5 and presenting to a panel on April 12.
- MIT IDEAS Global Challenge – Thanks to my partner Deborah Hsieh (MIT Sloan MBA/HKS MPP 2013)! Semifinalists announced on by March 30.
- Echoing Green Fellowship – Finalists announced in mid-April. Cross your fingers!
- Harvard President’s Challenge – Finalists announced on April 2.
- UPenn Ed Business Plan Competition – Finalists announced on May 4
3. WEB PLATFORM
I’m also excited to announce that Tom Peng, director of IT at College Summit, joined our team as the technology guru! This saves me from sounding like an idiot when I talk to tech people as we develop our prototype. Tom brings a wealth of expertise in developing tech solutions that empower people and nonprofits.
Last month we asked you to connect us to tech experts, and this month we ask:
As we approach the summer, we’re looking for free office space in San Francisco. Do you know a company/nonprofit with an extra desk or two that they can lend us for the year or at least the summer? If the thought of figuring out these logistics excites you, sign up to lead this effort!
Lastly, I realize that we’ve been doing a lot of meeting and action lately, but not a lot of celebrating. Even the small wins, like reaching the semifinal round, should be celebrated. Stay tuned for a Boston 1° celebration!
For our youth,
Originally posted on One Degree’s blog.
Karla sent me this fascinating article in Fortune about how billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet are urging their billionaire buddies to give significant amounts of their money to charities. The article details how they set up intimate, clandestine dinner gatherings with handfuls of the nation and the world’s wealthiest people — Oprah Winfrey, Eli and Edythe Broad, Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, Chuck Feeney, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, to name a few.
They are driving to get the super-rich, starting with the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, to pledge — literally pledge — at least 50% of their net worth to charity during their lifetimes or at death.
Can you imagine what would happen if the super-rich gave away half of their net worth to the public sector? Can you imagine the incredible amount of opportunities that would create for education and health care reform, eradication of poverty, and clean energy solutions? We are talking about potentially adding $600 billion dollars in resources to the public sector — this scale of impact and this type of giving is unprecedented.
Check out the rest of the article as it was a fascinating read.Â It prompted me to think about a post I wrote a while ago about Personal Philanthropy Plans — creating a culture of giving in our own personal lives no matter how big or small your income is. As evidenced by American generosity (particularly around the natural disasters our world has faced in the last year in Haiti and now the gulf), people want to make an impact. Now how can we systematize and build that into the fabric of our culture so that people give regularly? So that giving isn’t just a knee-jerk reaction, but a thoughtful proactive approach? With trailblazing role models like Gates and Buffet as advocates for the philanthropic sector, I think the millennial generation is headed in that very direction…
Let’s face it, given the state of the economy, most of us are a little more strapped for cash this season. But that doesn’t mean you should skimp on your values. Here are some ideas for shopping this holiday season that will satisfy both your conscience and perhaps your pocketbook.
- Buy handmade – Who doesn’t love receiving something that was made by a real person? What’s even better is buying something from a young entrepreneur. BUILD’s annual Holiday Sales Bazaars are a great place to find unique hand-crafted gifts that were made by teenage entrepreneurs at affordable prices. (Dec 5 in East Palo Alto and Dec 11 in Oakland)
- Shop with your values in tact – Worldofgood.com is a marketplace where you can purchase unique gifts that also promote a myriad of social values, like eco-friendly production, economic empowerment in developing countries, and animal welfare.
- Make it yourself – Awesome site Instructables.com has hundreds of user-uploaded how-to videos for how to make pretty much anything: chocolate truffles,Â gift tags, flip book, note cards, and more.
- Give money to the recipient’s favorite philanthropy – This is a no-brainer, and always a good choice as we find our lives getting more and more cluttered with presents we probably won’t use. If so here are some of my recommended nonprofits to give to: BUILD (duh), College Summit (duh #2), and San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.
- Or how about… Buy NOTHING?Â
I have my qualms about our society’s hyper-consumerist nature, especially when the holidays roll around. But I realize that people will still go buckwild for today’s Black Friday retail debacle, to the point that tragedies like this here and here happen.
Hopefully this little guide will help ease some of those holiday shopping blues and will bring the meaning of humanity back to the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving… what a wonderful time of the year. This year i am taking 6 glorious days off and spending it with my family in Las Vegas.
And because I have so much time off from work and San Francisco, I’m working on a new efozzie site design and a blog overhaul. I’m attempting to convert from Blogger to WordPress. Let me know what you think. 😉
If you miss the old site, you can still visit it here.
Karla and I drove down to LA (and I drove back up with Amber) for USC’s annual display of decadence and abundance known as Homecoming. It was a great little weekend trip with lots of driving, imbibing (not together OF COURSE), and catching up with friends, and here are some fun pics from the weekend.
Little can be said about the secret rituals behind the training of a Rap Director… but I have some exclusive pictures from my two-week training back in June. If you remember, the training took me first to Baltimore, Maryland, then Virginia to Fredericksburg and then Williamsburg. I got to know nice other trainees extremely well (some would say too well), and more importantly, I got to know myself more.
I can easily attribute my recent success with BUILD’s Boot Camps to this training as it has made me a better facilitator.
Anyway, here are some choice pictures from the action-packed, tiring, and life-changing two weeks of training.
I’ve been super busy the last few weeks because of:
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Good Lord! I finished reading the last installment of the Harry Potter books, and was so impressed by the artistically written action-packed sequences. This book is pretty close to being my favorite Harry Potter book (next to the Prisoner of Azkaban). And with that I was kind of sad to read the last few pages.
2. BUILD Business Boot Camps
I facilitated two at my site and supported two others (in Oakland and East Palo Alto). Basically I’ve been in “Boot Camp mode” for over three weeks.
Man. I am tired.
Good Lord. Kids are tiring!
But I would not trade it for anything, and this year, I had no “Boot Camp Breakdowns.” If you remember from my posts from last year where I literally was sobbing on the drive home. This year’s Boot Camps were so successful and reminded me of why I am doing the work that I am doing. The students come back in about a week and a half, and I can’t wait!
Did I mention that I went to Boston in May with four of my superstar students? Well here’s some proof: