TGI’s Holiday Challenge Featuring Marcus Austin!

22 Dec

Marcus and Michaela

Marcus with UCB grad student and Street Scholars volunteer, Michaela Simmons.

One of TGI’s most stalwart members, Marcus Austin, talks with Michaeal Simmons about the importance of TGI and Street Scholars in his life.

How did you get involved with Street Scholars?
After I was released from prison, I was looking for an opportunity to learn how to use the computer, and found classes at the Gamble Institute. I took that opportunity and I turned it into being part of the Gamble Institute. Then a few of us at TGI started the Street Scholars Program because … well who knows better what people coming from jail need than ourselves? People learn better from people that have actually had the experience. I did a decade and a half in prison. I’ve been home for three years now. I’m very excited with the prospect of being able to move forward with my life and to help others.

How has Street Scholars helped you with your education and your life?
They’re helping me with resources to move forward with my life. I have a sense of belonging with my Street Scholar family; they’ve helped me not just with education, but also with life. My housing situation was in turmoil about a year and a half ago. I was stressed out because I was tapping out of the transitional housing and had to do it on my own. I needed someone that could help me acclimate to life on the outside, and Street Scholars was there.

What do you love most about being in college?
Learning new things. I’m 56 years of age and I graduated from Laney College this past May, and will be finishing up at Merritt soon. I feel like every time I come here and step onto campus, I’ve opened up the opportunity for me to learn something new.

Why should someone give to TGI and the Street Scholars Program?
You’re not just making a donation, you’re helping someone fast-forward their life. Even though we’re here on campus, life still takes over. As formerly incarcerated people, we still have other issues in our real lives. But, like myself, we’re sticking to our guns, and we’re showing up to class everyday; we’re moving forward with our educations and our lives. There is just much so change you can create in these students’ lives with a donation to TGI!

Thank you Marcus for all you do for TGI.  You are wonderful and we love you!  Help create change in students’ lives, donate today!

How much should you give? No amount is too small (or too big!) and every dollar helps. Here are some ways your contribution will support Street Scholars.

$1000 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one academic year (two semesters).
$500 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one semester.
$250 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars Summer Leadership Training Program.
$100 provides a month of sustenance (snacks and drinks) for our hungry scholars!
$50 provides program materials for one scholar for one academic year (two semesters).
$25 provides program materials for one scholar for one semester.

All contributions are tax deductible. You will receive an IRS receipt within two weeks of your contribution.

READY, SET, GIVE! Help us reach our goal of $12,000 by December 31, 2014.

CLICK HERE to donate now!

To donate by check – make checks payable to: The Gamble Institute.  Mailing address: The Gamble Institute, c/o Elizabeth Marlow, 5214F Diamond Heights Blvd, No. 134, San Francisco, CA 94131-2175. THANK YOU!

TGI’s Holiday Challenge Presents Ron Moss!

15 Dec
Ron and Michaela
Ron, with Michaela Simmons, our wonderful grad student volunteer.

Ron Moss, our fantastic new Assistant Director, talks with Michaela Simmons about becoming involved with Street Scholars.

How did you get involved in Street Scholars?
I never saw myself as a college student. I dropped out of high school in the 9th grade. I came to community college for the structure and in a few short years, I’m a senior at UC Berkeley. I look around and still don’t believe it. I wanted to share that. Everyone is always telling the formerly incarcerated to go to school to improve their life, but nobody tells them how. I joined the Street Scholars team to help demystify the educational process.

How is Street Scholars helping you with your education and your life?
It keeps me grounded. I’m a senior at UC Berkeley now. But I’m not even sure I’d be there; I wouldn’t have been confident in my ability to be successful at this level of academia had it not been for the support of Street Scholars. As a mentor, I’m giving support, but in that process, I also receive support and encouragement.

What do you love most about being in college?
My whole perspective really changed when I read Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed; it set me free. I grew up during the Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Movement. They weren’t teaching in school what I was learning in other environments; there was a disconnect. So, I dropped out of high school in the 9th grade because I just wasn’t engaged. But in 2009, I realized that despite my 20 years of work and life experience, jobs were hard to come by without a degree. So, I made the decision to come back to school. I began by taking a vocational program, then got an AA, then went on to a 4-year university. Right now, I’m applying to the Social Welfare Master’s Program at UC Berkeley. I’ve become an avid, voracious, life-long learner.  I’m just going to keep going for as long as I can. I want to see where it leads.

Why should someone donate to TGI?
The work that we do with formerly incarcerated students cannot be underestimated. We work with a population that has been perennially marginalized, perennially underrepresented, and we as an organization are trying to change that narrative. We want to change not just how the community sees them, but also how they see themselves. We want them to discover, just as I did, that education is a form of empowerment. Making a financial donation is not a lot to ask to help create this shift in the trajectory of the lives of the formerly incarcerated.

Thank you, Ron! We love you and are so proud of you!  Help us shift the trajectory, donate today!

How much should you give? No amount is too small (or too big!) and every dollar helps. Here are some ways your contribution will support Street Scholars.$1000 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one academic year (two semesters).
$500 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one semester.
$250 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars Summer Leadership Training Program.
$100 provides a month of sustenance (snacks and drinks) for our hungry scholars!
$50 provides program materials for one scholar for one academic year (two semesters).
$25 provides program materials for one scholar for one semester.

All contributions are tax deductible. You will receive an IRS receipt within two weeks of your contribution.

Help us reach our goal of $12,000 by December 31, 2014.

CLICK HERE to donate now!

To donate by check – make checks payable to: The Gamble Institute.  Mailing address: The Gamble Institute, c/o Elizabeth Marlow, 5214F Diamond Heights Blvd, No. 134, San Francisco, CA 94131-2175. THANK YOU!

TGI’s Holiday Challenge with Mr. George McGhee!

8 Dec

George 2

Recruited by his friend and mentor, Marcus Austin, George joined Street Scholars in January 2014.  He was an important part of the Street Scholars Summer Leadership Training Program and participated in creating the “Street Scholars Info Guide”, a student handbook for succeeding at Merritt College.

For George, the Street Scholars program encouraged new connections to other students and supported his academic work.  “It helped me stay focused on my school work and stay in touch with other people,” says George of Street Scholars.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in school and everyday is a different challenge but I really enjoy learning.” While at Merritt, George received a certificate in Landscape and Horticultural Design and is one semester away from receiving his Associate Degree (way to go, George!).  Most recently, George was thrilled to find part-time work as a gardner, a job that will enable him to use the skills he gained at Merritt.  The job also compliments his education, “I want to take more botany science classes.” says George.

George recommends contributing to TGI and the Street Scholars program.  “It’s a good thing to do. It helps us out. And you can help someone else out.”  Right on, George!  We love you and are so proud of all you have achieved!

Do what George recommends: Help us out and make sure we reach our goal of $12,000 by December 31!

How much should you give? No amount is too small (or too big!) and every dollar helps. Here are some ways your contribution will support Street Scholars.

$1000 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one academic year (two semesters).
$500 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one semester.
$250 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars Summer Leadership Training Program.
$100 provides a month of sustenance (snacks and drinks) for our hungry scholars!
$50 provides program materials for one scholar for one academic year (two semesters).
$25 provides program materials for one scholar for one semester.

All contributions are tax deductible.

CLICK HERE to donate now!

To donate by check – make checks payable to: The Gamble Institute.  Mailing address: The Gamble Institute, c/o Elizabeth Marlow, 5214F Diamond Heights Blvd, No. 134, San Francisco, CA 94131-2175.

THANK YOU!

TGI’s Holiday Challenge Starring Victoria Perez!

1 Dec

Victoria

Victoria Perez is truly one of the stars of The Gamble Institute (TGI) and Street Scholars.  Victoria first came to TGI in 2011 as a student in our computer literacy and compassionate communication classes.  She quickly emerged as a leader and committed member of the TGI family. In 2012 Victoria joined the Leadership Team and worked with her teammates to develop the Street Scholars Peer Mentoring Program. As a mentor, Victoria greets everyone with a smile and a hug. Her energy alone makes students want to do better for themselves!

“It’s an opportunity to give back. To listen to other people. To hear them out and encourage them.” Victoria says of being a peer mentor. “I also learn from them [the students].”  Victoria is a Merritt College student herself and enjoys academic life.  “I like learning something new every day.”

For Victoria, making a financial contribution to TGI in support of Street Scholars is “a way to support us so we can support the students.  Your donation helps us continue to listen to the students especially when they are overwhelmed.  We can really hear them out.”

Thank you, Victoria! We love you! You are an important part of Street Scholars and TGI.

Hear us out! Help us reach our goal of $12,000 by December 31, 2014.

How much should you give? No amount is too small (or too big!) and every dollar helps. Here are some ways your contribution will support Street Scholars.

$1000 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one academic year (two semesters).
$500 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one semester.
$250 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars Summer Leadership Training Program.
$100 provides a month of sustenance (snacks and drinks) for our hungry scholars!
$50 provides program materials for one scholar for one academic year (two semesters).
$25 provides program materials for one scholar for one semester.

Make tax-deductible contribution to TGI today.

Click here to donate on-line.

To donate by check – make checks payable to: The Gamble Institute. Mailing address: The Gamble Institute, c/o Elizabeth Marlow, 5214F Diamond Heights Blvd, No. 134, San Francisco, CA 94131-2175.

THANK YOU!

Support Street Scholars – Take Part in TGI’s Holiday Challenge!

24 Nov

Front Cover 1

WELCOME TO THE GAMBLE INSTITUTE’S 2014 HOLIDAY CHALLENGE!

It’s been three years since TGI held a Holiday Challenge and we are thrilled to be returning once again to our signature fundraising event.  TGI and its Street Scholar Peer Mentoring Program are stronger than ever thanks to funding from Alameda County Innovations in Reentry and Merritt College. Still, to continue our meaningful and effective support of adults with incarceration and addiction histories, WE NEED YOU!  The holiday season is a perfect time to support Street Scholars and invest in women and men who are dedicating themselves to transforming their lives and our communities through higher education.

What is TGI’s Holiday Challenge? To raise $12,000 by December 31, 2014.

Each week during the holiday season, we will send you an e-news letter featuring one of our fabulous scholars.  Their success stories will inspire you to think differently about formerly incarcerated folks and TO GIVE to TGI! All contributions will support the Street Scholars Peer Mentoring Program.

How much should you give? No amount is too small (or too big!) and every dollar helps. Here are some ways your contribution will support Street Scholars.

$1000 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one academic year (two semesters).
$500 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one semester.
$250 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars Summer Leadership Training Program.
$100 provides a month of sustenance (snacks and drinks) for our hungry scholars!
$50 provides program materials for one scholar for one academic year (two semesters).
$25 provides program materials for one scholar for one semester.

All contributions are tax deductible.
READY, SET, GIVE! Help us reach our goal of $12,000 by December 31, 2014.

CLICK HERE to donate now!
To donate by check – make checks payable to: The Gamble Institute.  Mailing address: The Gamble Institute, c/o Elizabeth Marlow, 5214F Diamond Heights Blvd, No. 134, San Francisco, CA 94131-2175.
THANK YOU!

Peralta Community College District Supports Street Scholars!

23 Oct

Merritt College

TGI’s Street Scholars Peer Mentoring Program was thrilled and honored to recently receive a grant in the amount of $39,700 from the Peralta Community College District! The funds will be used to expand Street Scholars’ services to formerly incarcerated students at Merritt College. We are grateful to the Merritt College administration and faculty for supporting the efforts of Street Scholars and our vision to ensure the academic success of adults with incarceration experience.  We are especially grateful to Merritt College President, Dr. Norma Ambriz-Galaviz, Lasana Hotep, Merritt’s Dean of Special Programs, Dr. William Love, Professor Emeritus (and Street Scholars’ Personal Rock Star!), and Dr. Anita Black, Professor Emeritus. Thank you for supporting Street Scholars and the non-traditional students we serve. GO TEAM!

Street Scholars Represent!

14 Oct

This past week the Street Scholars team shared their wisdom students in Merritt College’s College and Life Success class taught by Dr. Steve Pantell.  The purpose of the class is to help students prepare for higher education and life after graduation.  During our presentation, Hakeem Holmes, Elizabeth Marlow, Ron Moss, and Jonathan Roach shared their academic and life journeys with the students. They talked about how they came to higher education and to the Street Scholars program. Hakeem’s and Jonathan’s stories were poignant.  Hakeem talked about being an honorably discharged Marine and overcoming incarceration.  His decision to enroll in college and become a successful student were part of his plan to change his life.  He is now on track to transfer to a four-year university. Jonathan described how he was exposed to Merritt College while was incarcerated.  The professors who met him saw something special in him and encouraged Jonathan to enroll in school when he was released from prison.  He enrolled in Merritt on his release and now he is an inspiration to others, particularly young men in his community.   The students in the class were blown away by what they heard and had many questions during the talk. Street Scholars is fortunate to have two incredible individuals like Hakeem and Jonathan as part of the team. We are also grateful to Dr. Pantell and his students for making us feel so welcome in their class.

Hakeem shares his story.

Hakeem shares his story.

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Jonathan talks with the students about the importance of higher education.