On September 28, Grade 7 students volunteered at the SF-Marin Food Bank and participated in a Hunger 101 simulation. This experience was part of their ongoing study of food insecurity and homelessness. Throughout the year students will be learning more about these issues. Many students will volunteer with Lava Mae, a nonprofit that provides food, clothing, and hygiene for thousands of people in San Francisco. In the spring, Hamlin students will put their own problem-solving skills to work as part of our Rise to the Challenge project. For RTC they will conduct intense research and come up with action-oriented solutions.
As more and more people struggle to make ends meet, the need for the SF-Marin Food Bank has grown in recent years. On a weekly basis 30,000 families are fed by the SF-Marin Food bank through 450 Bay Area community partners. Before volunteering, Hamlin students took a brief tour of the warehouse and learned about the mission and overall operation. The girls worked for about 2 hours and packed 2300 pounds of brown rice and 1400 pounds of frozen corn.
1. What is your role at The Hamlin School?
I’m the IT manager, I handle anything tech-related, computers, network, systems, hardware, trouble-shooting, the website and phone system. I help maintain the whole operation. I have a Master’s degree from USC in electrical engineering with a focus on computer networking, but I like the hands on stuff more than coding. With coding you have to sit in the same place for long periods of time. With my work now, I have more opportunities to run around, talk with different people and develop social skills.
2. Tell us about your connection to China?
I’m the only one in my family who came to the United States. I came to California in 1998, my parents and older sister still live in China. I’m from Heshan, Guangdong (near the southern coast, a few hours from Hong Kong). My father was a principal of a school. I try to get back to visit my family in China every year.
3. What is most similar/different about China/United States?
There are very few similarities, they both have McDonald’s, but that is about it. The biggest difference is air quality. The air here in San Francisco is pure, in China the air is very polluted because of all of the industry. There is also water pollution because of chemicals being dumped in rivers. My parents often go into the mountains to get spring water that isn’t contaminated. Culturally, Americans are more expressive than most Chinese people. I’ve slowly become more inclined to speak freely. The Chinese education system is focused entirely on academics, not on developing skills related to free speech and expression.