Summer is in full swing! We've had the privilege of attending dozens of 8th grade graduations for BASIC Fund students around the Bay Area, and even hosting a special celebration for the 8th grade graduates of our San Francisco schools. These transitions are a point at which we can reflect on the incredible obstacles our families have overcome- and the tremendous opportunity that lies ahead for our students as they enter high school.
We were honored to have Craig Johnson, BASIC Fund Board Member and member of the Golden State Warriors ownership group, speak to our eighth grade graduates and their families on June 1, when we held our eighth Grade Graduation Ceremony at the Boys and Girls Club Don Fisher Clubhouse. Craig inspired our graduates with a few words about the energy and excitement surrounding the Warriors, as well the many life lessons their success may illuminate for each of the students in their own lives; the most important one being the opportunity just ahead for them in high school.
While Craig’s championship ring circulated the room during his remarks, he shared the following; "Steph Curry told me that his father said to follow his passion, but that education is most important. It gives you options. The more options you have, the more possibilities in front of you. Five years ago you may have liked one thing, and who knows what you will like five years from now, but a strong educational foundation will give you the best chance to pursue it."
Craig suggested that as these graduates enter high school, if they see someone sitting by themselves, to approach them and create a relationship. "Life is not about the stuff. It's about the people you interact with." He said the most important relationships students may build in addition to great friendships can be with their teachers. “Teachers are there to teach, and students who express great interest in learning are a teachers dream student."
In closing before Craig spoke with parents and students, as well posing for a few photos, he talked about a path to success; “There is a lot of fear when you are young about what others think of you. What really makes the difference is what you think about yourself." In case of the Warriors; “They do well as a team with a simple goal of trying to improve every day. It's day to day- trying to do the right thing, and with great effort."
And with that he closed with; "Your opportunity is endless. So many kids don't have this same opportunity. Make the most of it, good luck".
As we reflect on Craig's inspiring words over the summer months, we are also processing applications for our 2016 class of BASIC Fund scholars. We are connecting with donors like Ben De Somma, who are sponsoring students for this fall. Finally, we are strengthening partnerships, like the one with Wells Fargo, all of which you can read more about in our blog.