From OLG 8th Grade Teacher, JC Santos:
On Saturday, April 25th, four OLG 8th graders accompanied me to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor’s Center to represent the Juan Diego Project at their annual Teen Action Fair. We were one of about twenty local groups that were on hand to share with the general public about how we engage teenagers in service and social justice. Anna spoke about her work to help build a local children’s hospice care facility – something very rare in our country – and Dominic F. discussed his outreach with Westside Baby. Eleanor highlighted her experience at Food Lifeline, and Isabel shared her stories of removing invasive plants with Earth Corps. We were in the midst of some very powerful projects, from groups that worked to end human trafficking here in Seattle and beyond, to groups that promoted racial equality, to groups that supported education in impoverished communities in India, and so many others. The one common thread we all shared was a belief that youth have the ability to make the world a better place now. I felt inspired to see so many young people, just like all of our students at OLG, building their foundation of service at such an early age. It was such an honor for us to be a part of a day that celebrated youth activism and to have a platform such as the Gates Foundation to amplify our messages. Thank you to the students, their parents, and especially Mrs. Wilson for also speaking about the school and the Juan Diego Project.