The Bold Faced Blog™

June 23, 2016

Alternatives in Action Reflection

Posted 2 years 240 days ago by Agnes Uboma
Day of Event

Even from my perspective as an adult volunteer, Presentations of Learning 2016 at Alternatives in Action was a day filled with motivation, dedication, and a sense of accomplishment. Although it was not my first time participating as a panel “judge,” I found myself fighting back proud tears as the students’ spoke of their personal struggles and shared examples of perseverance. To hear 14, 15, 16 and 17 year-old students admit to constant worry and being “stressed out” from family-life and societal issues, and yet hold their heads high with pride as they stated their academic goals and achievements, was enough to spellbind all of the working professionals in the room.

How could it be that in the heart of such breathtaking geography known as the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area there lives such ugly pain among our society’s most precious assets—our kids, our future? 


It’s nice to think that we are important as we suit up in our pricey labels, hop into our expensive vehicles, and stand in line for overpriced coffee before walking into our respective places of business to “hit another target” or “produce another deliverable.” Spending time in a classroom filled with first and second generation ESL learners and children who look like me, beautifully-brown, proved to be cathartic. It reminded me that perceived success and contributions in the workplace is all for naught if we do not pause to share our knowledge, time, and good fortune.

I too went to school with children affected by similar circumstances, but because of family, personal spiritual beliefs, and community role models who told me that I was a leader, I now hire premier executives across the United States. I like to think that our nation’s future Speaker of the House, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, or world renowned artist was in that class or at that school. Who knows? What I know is that I’ll do my part by showing up every time I can just to tell our kids that we are all depending on them to be someone great and that they already are.

About Alternatives in Action

Alternatives in Action High School was originally founded as The Bay Area School of Enterprise in February 2001, when a group of ten youth working in partnership with adult experts, designed, wrote, and submitted the first ever youth-initiated charter school petition in the country. After receiving a unanimous vote of approval from the Alameda Unified School District Board of Trustees on May 16, 2001, the school opened in September 2001. The school is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

At the start of the 2014-2015 school year, the high school relocated to East Oakland’s Seminary Neighborhood, where it will serve as the anchor for a vibrant new community Youth & Family Center.

If you’d like to learn more about Alternatives in Action, volunteer, or make a donation, you may contact them here:

Alternatives in Action
3666 Grand Avenue
Suite A
Oakland, California 94610

Phone: 510-285-6290


Categories: categorySocial Impact

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