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Gratitude Through BAYCAT Selfies Part 2

Did Part 1 of our BAYCAT selfies bring gratitude, peace and joy to your heart? We hope so. It’s taken a village of supporters to create daily doses of hopeful news here at BAYCAT, and here are just a few more of the many faces who inspired gratitude with us this year:

A Village of Volunteers

I’m grateful for our village, and how it grows from one BAYCAT family member to the next. Take TED Speaker and opportunity maker, Kare Anderson, whom I met at TED@IBM. She introduced me to Sandra Zoratti who invited BAYCAT to present at the CMO Club. That’s where I met Richard Kylberg, CMO for Arrow Electronics who brought Hugo Meyer, Global Brand Management Director to BAYCAT to visit earlier this year. Inspired by Arrow’s innovation with FiveYearsOut, BAYCAT youth created their own award-winning short animations and films on what innovation means to them.

Selfies Here: Kare Anderson (top left), Sandra Zoratti (lower right), Richard Kylberg & Hugo Meyer with Senait Hailemariam at BAYCAT (lower left)

This year we added Pixar, AirBnB, Yelp, Microsoft, Fusion, The Relish, ad agency Eleven, to our employer list. Former BAYCAT graduates are working at SF Giants Production, Lucasfilm, Wired Magazine, the Golden State Warriors, HBO, Netflix, and others. We deeply appreciate our village of volunteers and champions who are dedicated to giving back and bringing diversity and inclusion to the creative industries.

Volunteers, Mentors & Supporters Selfies Here: MKTG (top left), Weber Shandwick (top middle), PIXAR animator, Becki Tower w/ Board Chair, Eric Pearson (top right), Portal A (center left), Bay Area Artists for Group Chat at BAYCAT (center), PIXAR senior scientist, Dominic Glynn w/ BAYCAT animators (center right), LEND UP (lower left), Conscious Capitalism Forum at Exygy w/ Carolyn Tate, Mylea Charvat, Zach Berke, Vince Siciliano & Steve Havill (bottom middle), GitHub Fundraiser for BAYCAT w/ Marc Lohoury & BAYCAT Board members, Oliver de Albuquerque & Craig Peters (bottom right).

(S)Heroes – Living Legends and Top Business Women

From meeting one of the Most Influential People in the World like Valerie Jarrett to being named by the SF Business Times as one of 129  Most Influential Women in Business  alongside former BAYCAT Board Member, Melissa Tidwell, I’m honored and grateful to have inspiring Sheroes as part of BAYCAT’s village of supporters. Thanks to long-time advisor of BAYCAT, Peter Bratt we got to meet Dolores Huerta and watch the premiere of Dolores The MovieAnother highlight was watching Sally Osaki interviewed by an all-women BAYCAT youth crew for their film, Witness: Immigration Now and Then. These women have changed history by sharing their stories.

Selfies Here: Valerie Jarrett w/ BAYCAT Board Member, Marianne Wilman at BAWS (top left), Sally Osaki with her son, Jon Osaki and BAYCAT Crew (top right), Dolores Huerta w/ BAYCAT Senior Producer, Jose Alfaro (lower left), Melissa Tidwell (lower right)

Inspiring BAYCAT Board and Team – The BEST Behind The Scenes

When I started BAYCAT, I wanted to wake up every day and LOVE the creative and dedicated people I work with. Today, that’s a dream come true for me. I’m grateful for our Board and team members who give 1,000% to build BAYCAT from the inside out to further our mission to bring racial and gender equity and social justice. One story at a time.

Selfies Here: BAYCAT Board, Shana Stanton, Oliver de Albuquerque, Eric Pearson, Craig Peters, Marianne Wilman w/ Advisor Brett Egan & BAYCAT’s Katie Cruz (top left), Jason Robinson, BAYCAT’s newest Board Member (top right), BAYCAT Studio crew with our new Development Director, Jessica Pullano and Marge & Kate Hamilton, from DRA, our new client (middle left), BAYCAT team is 80% women-led team (lower left), BAYCAT team for Halloween w/ our new Grants and Development Coordinator, Nicole Bellott, and new mentors/producers, Nina Reyes Rosenberg and Tomás Reyes (lower right)

Happy Thanksgiving from the BAYCAT family!

Love,

Villy

PS. As you take your Thanksgiving selfies, don’t forget us: donate.baycat.org

Gratitude Through BAYCAT Selfies Part 1

Social media and digital technology have accelerated the speed in which we receive news, good and bad. My mornings often start with a jolt of anxiety as I watch the headlines roll across my phone screen. The barrage of recent bad news – natural disasters, violent tragedies and violations of human rights, makes me grieve for human suffering and lives lost. I fear, “what’s next?”

But instead of scrolling through the bad news, I can also scroll through my photo album of selfies. If you’ve been to BAYCAT, you know that nobody walks out our doors without a Villy selfie. Honestly, it’s not about vanity, it’s about collecting memories. My Dad had severe dementia and Alzheimer’s, and I witnessed the pain of his fading memories. I don’t ever want to forget this feeling of gratitude that I carry not just on Thanksgiving, but every day at BAYCAT.

Here are some of my favorite moments of 2017 captured in selfies:

Our new storytellers give me hope!

Jamahl, age 15 says, “I do this because I know my voice matters.” He blew my mind when he told me that innovation wasn’t just about technology, it was about finding new ways of being together and forming community. His film, Safe Spaces, along with Jovani’s film on Prison Labor were selected for the 2017 RYSE Film Festival Truth Be Told: Justice Through My Eyes.

 

Besides being a fellow Snoopy fan, 12 year old Kaliyah couldn’t believe that she and Chevy won 1st Prize at the same festival with their first animation ever that tackles the issue of gun violence, “The Decision!

 

Our youth also keep me young and teach me how to take time to play as we did this Summer at our annual Fun in the Sun day! We had a scavenger hunt, water balloon toss, face paint, color dust and more. I’m grateful 17 year old filmmaker Terrence FINALLY (and begrudgingly) let me take a selfie with him.

We are changing the face(s) of the creative industry. Literally!

It’s always exhilarating when we receive news of our BAYCAT intern graduates getting their dream jobs! From Aisha Davis, a Reporter at Fusion Media Group to Brasilia Morales a Production Assistant at The Relish, it gives me a sense of hope to know these talented young women of color are not only growing in creative careers, but also acting as role models for our youth. 

It was an extra special surprise when I saw them working on the other side of the camera to film us! Here’s Latajh Weaver and Melissa Perez filming the BAYCAT story for the SF Foundation’s Community Leadership Award in Innovation! Small world joys!

 

Our young people inspire me every single day. It’s taken a village of supporters to create daily doses of hopeful news here at BAYCAT. Stay tuned for Part 2 to see all the faces who make BAYCAT possible.

We couldn’t do this without you.

Love,

Villy

PS. Here’s Part 2!

Why Donate to BAYCAT Today?

Because our educational and training programs bring diverse talent to the tech, media and creative industries.

Make their dream jobs come true. Help us reach our $85,000 goal today.

In light of all that has occurred in the past months and especially in this past week, BAYCAT stands strong and committed to equality, social justice and opportunities for all. For the last 12 years, we have served those most misrepresented in our country: 100% low-income youth, youth of color, young women and unemployed young adults. Last year, 300 applicants applied for our 100 positions. It is a myth that there aren’t enough diverse, talented and qualified candidates who are female or of color, and passionate about working in the creative industry.

We’re here to tell the real story and their stories. The pipeline of qualified young people is here in San Francisco and the Bay Area, and that is why we want to solidify the path between education and employment for more qualified youth-in-need.

BAYCAT gets real and sustainable results. 80% of BAYCAT Studio interns get hired after graduating from BAYCAT at companies like Autodesk, Lucasfilm, HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Pixar, Sephora and WIRED. Our transitional-age young adult graduates are on the path to careers with livable wage salaries that will keep these talented digital media creatives in the Bay Area. These 18-24 year olds are 100% low-income, unemployed or underemployed and predominately of color and female. They are the solution to keeping San Francisco diverse, inclusive, and vibrant.

BAYCAT Studio is an important part of our unique hybrid business model. Working with nationally-recognized and socially responsible clients like The Golden State Warriors and National Parks Service makes the internship and on-the-job experience for our students real and relevant, while building their resumes for success. Although in this last year, our Studio helped to bring in 40% of our annual income, the revenue from our Studio alone does NOT pay for all the educational and on-the-job training costs. Every dollar earned supports our ability to keep our Academy and internship pipeline going, but we also need your donations to keep our youth classes free, and to allow us to pay and train our interns on-the-job.

Many of our Academy students grow with us through the years and become graduates of our Studio Internship Program because the mentoring they receive keeps them focused and on-track. 100% of our youth of color who have taken more than two BAYCAT Academy classes continue their education in school. For many BAYCAT students, our facility is the only place they have to access industry-grade equipment to teach them professional tech and storytelling skills in conjunction with a safe and nurturing environment that teaches them skills every employer is looking for: the ability to problem solve, to collaborate, critically think, communicate and actively listen and learn.

Turning 200 students away last year was extremely difficult. With growing demand from our youth and from the tech, media and creative industries for increased diversity, now is the time to build our reserves so that we can strategically plan to scale what we do best to bring more diverse youth into the education to employment pipeline.

BAYCAT students are diverse. Help us change the face(s) of the tech, media and creative industries, literally.

BAYCAT Stats

Want to meet some of our graduates in person? Join us and our youth on December 8th from 6pm-8pm, for the World Premiere of Zoom In: Episode 36 – The Media Effect at the recently renovated, historic Bayview Opera House. Witness and listen to our students’ stories as they address the role of race, gender and new technologies in the media.

More than 3,500 BAYCAT low-income students and interns found success with our model. You can be a part of the solution that our region, and this country, needs to see and hear. You can give them the support and tools they need to become skilled, qualified, educated, digital media artists.

You can help them find their dream jobs and not just survive, but thrive. Please donate today.

Interested in going the extra mile and doing more this year? Set up your own fundraising page and goal. Go to our donate page, and click Become a Supporter. Start Your Own Campaign Page.

Let’s get students to dream big, get hired and repeat!

AmazonSmile: You shop. Amazon gives to BAYCAT!

What if another way of supporting BAYCAT was as simple as a one-time update to your Amazon account settings? Good news: it is!

amazon_smile-02

The AmazonSmile Foundation makes it easy to support your favorite charities – without costing you a cent. Whenever you shop on AmazonSmile and purchase an item marked, “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation,” the foundation contributes 0.5% of your purchase price to the organization of your choice. (You’ll still find the same great prices, huge selection of products, and convenient shopping service that you already do on Amazon)

So how to begin? Go to smile.amazon.com and under “pick your own charitable organization,” select “BAYCAT”. That’s it. Why wait? Start empowering youth today! (Just be sure to always shop through smile.amazon.com, not the regular site.)

 

Not an Amazon-shopping fiend? You can still support us by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and sharing our content!