Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Brandon Oldham embarks on life of service

"Now we’ve become the voices that will carry the positive image of the Bayview Community."

That is the conclusion of the report from one University of San Francisco service-learning group after finishing several months of their Quesada Gardens experience.  The report was part of the curriculum in Professor Dayle Smith's business class authored by Adriana Goiricelaya, Tom Munka, Zibo Guo, Jiabo Wu and Fengrong Bian.  

Tom (pictured, far left) took the lead on installing a new sign at the Quesada Garden.  That sign has already become a distinctive feature of the expansive community project.  Others in the group helped with jam-making, gardening and taking inventory of Quesada Gardens T-shirts and tote bags.  Thank you Adriana! (pictured, 2nd from left).  

Students from Professor Kevin Lo's class were also hard at work the past several months, working alongside gardeners while also giving thought to innovative product-marketing strategies. Thank you James Elizarraz, Nicolas Smith, Alex Kaye and Jiaxi Wang!

Creating change at the local level is something some students might learn about in the classroom.  These students became drivers of change, connecting academic learning with practical experience.
Robyn Brault (center picture) spoke at the Cinco de Mayo event Quesada Gardens Initiative held at the Bridgeview Teaching and Learning Garden (which rose from a rocky hillside with LOTS of help from USF students and faculty, including Annette Smith and Karl Paige Community Hero award-winner Professor Seth Wachtel).  Robyn Brault talked about a concept she learned in Professor Erin Brigham's Catholic Social Thought class.  Quesada Gardens is "subsidiarity" in practice, she said.  Changing the world where we live is what Quesada Gardens is all about.

One student has been working hard through the USF service-learning program, which is administered through the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, for over three years.  Brandon Oldham (top picture, left) has been an Advocate for Community Engagement, the student bridge between the community and university.
Like Professor Wachtel, Brandon received the Annette Smith and Karl Paige Community Hero Award from Quesada Gardens Initiative.  He also won the Public Service Award from the McCarthy Center, as well as Excellence in Leadership and Service Award.
Brandon just graduated, but is already planning to return to Bayview to continue work he started as a student.

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