Priceless :: Education & Canvas bag

by wendy

Hi everyone!  I can’t wait to share with you my most prized handbag!

Of my handbag collection, this one is the most valuable.  And moreover, it appreciates over time.  There is no price that I can put on this canvas bag, and it belongs in a glass case to remind me the importance of education.  In college for my Education course, my peers and I decided to start an interactive science curriculum at a nearby elementary school.  The four of us mailed out proposals targeting underperforming schools in and around Berkeley.  Harding Elementary accepted our plan and we were more than thrilled to get to work!   My time at Harding was by far the most memorable.  Between taking courses in my major and working, I honestly felt the most happy when I was with the kids.  The goal of our program was to provide enrichment activities combining science and art.  While we taught lessons in astronomy and psychology, our students taught us lessons in life.  I learned that some of my students were from disadvantaged backgrounds, but it did not stop them from having big dreams.  And the same sentiment echoed in the classroom… they wanted to stay in school.  They dreamt of being an astronaut, a veterinarian, a comic artist.  Even though they had little bodies, their dreams were bigger than life.

To be honest with you, the sad truth is when these bright minds grow up in unfavorable circumstances, they end up where I volunteer at now – detention centers or on the streets.  When we started this science program, we aimed at underperforming schools for a reason.  We wanted to do our part to support young students to stay in school.  School saved my life, and I personally wanted to work with marginalized communities to encourage them to rely on education as a vehicle for a brighter future.  In my humble opinion, I think it is crucial to have community programs and organizations that aim to help decrease school drop-out rates.  It is more expensive, not only financially but also socially, to put a youth through the juvenile justice system than to put him or her through school.

Having this blog has given me the incredible opportunity to get to know great organizations.  J Brand introduced me to a wonderful program called City Year, and as a contribution to the community, they created ‘City Year’ jeans where they’re donating 100% of the net proceeds to the organization.  The president of J Brand met the executive director of City Year by chance at an event, and from there, their relationship blossomed into this meaningful collaboration.  I do love the fact that fashion and philanthropy can go hand in hand, and that fashion labels, like J Brand, are doing their best to contribute to the community.  But what I love more is J Brand’s generosity.  I personally asked to volunteer and spend some time with City Year so I can get to know the organization at a personal level.  J Brand was more than happy to help.  They’re organizing a visit for me next month to drop by the organization so I can interact directly with the volunteers and youths.  I can not tell you how excited I am to visit City Year!  I can’t wait!

Thank you so much for reading!  And thank you J Brand for your commitment to improving the lives of disadvantaged youths!

:: Outfit ::

Top :: Diesel jacket (old), Line sweater
Bottom :: J Brand ‘City Year’
Shoes :: Yves Saint Laurent
Accessories :: YSL ‘Arty’ ring
Bag :: Gift from my 3rd grade class =)