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Teens Are Our Future

Throughout the month of December, GiveTeens20® interns are discussing their ideas of the American Dream and how their potential career relates to this. In addition, a video from the organization GROCO highlights how successful individuals in their career field have helped broaden their American Dream.

There is a well-known saying that “children are our future.” In my eyes, the reality of the American Dream grows with each generation. Each set of children brings a new set of ideals to the table that refine the meaning of the American Dream. Hence, it only makes sense that we give these children an enriched education so they can grow up and change the world.

I am proud to say that I am growing up in a family where education is given a high priority. My parents have encouraged me to engage in programs such as GiveTeens20® (GT20) that have given me exposure to various careers. Over time, my career ideas and goals have changed greatly from wanting to become just a doctor, engineer, or lawyer. Thanks to GT20, I now know that veterinary science is not the only way to help animals – something I want to be a part of my future career. Already, there are many companies that are working toward creating and maintaining duties for animals that allow them to gain the rights and care they deserve, such as K9s for Warriors. I understand that my options are limitless- I can be a journalist writing hard hitting exposes; I can create Digital Media to help gain awareness for nonprofits that help animals; I can be an entrepreneur linking people of need to furry friends.

Nevertheless, I recognize that there are children who have not been given the same exposure and opportunities as me, whether those children be from a low-income family or are unempowered. For example, many girls in today’s society are still reluctant to pursue a career in male-dominated fields such as STEM. This an issue that must be tackled immediately, for they have so much potential to bring to the table. We can all change our future by helping those who will shape it in the years to come- children.

Below is a link to an interview by GROCO of Tim Ritchie, CEO of The Tech Museum. His work has inspired me and other children to keep working toward my career goal and push away from external pressure to purse a typical career of that in the Bay Area.

The Tech Museum of Innovation
Esha Gautam

Esha Gautam is a junior at Washington High School. Ever since childhood, everytime someone asked her “what do you want to be when you grow up?” her answer would change- from actress to astronaut to anesthesiologist. Now, as she approaches college, she wants to find her career fit. Although she is undecided about what career path she wants to pursue, she knows animals are going to be a big part of it. GT20 is helping her find that path.

GiveTeens20®, GROCO and the American Dream

For the next four weeks, GiveTeens20® is partnering with GROCO to highlight the American Dream and showcasing the American Dream videos on the GROCO website. Throughout the month, GiveTeens20® will be posting intern blogs highlighting their own American Dream and what it means to them.

The idea of the American Dream has changed drastically over time.From a white-picket fence-esque lifestyle to landing a successful job, the generalized American Dream has become more individualized and unique.

Growing up in Silicon Valley, the American Dream was something that was never really discussed. Rather, the norm was to become successful,have the nice house and a family. The individuality of the American Dream was rare, and I was one of those few who perceive it differently. To me, the American Dream is defined as being successful in every aspect, being kind,considerate and dedicated, having a quality education and equal opportunity.These altogether create the American Dream.

The biggest part of the American Dream that stands out to me is having a quality education. Everyone residing in the United States should have access to quality education, no matter the area. All materials and supplies should be state of the art and appropriate for each child. Every teacher should be passionate about what they do and have the desire to create a difference in the world, despite who their class is filled with. This in itself is what made me want to pursue teaching.

From a young age, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. Over time,the ideas of what kind of teacher I wanted to be evolved based on my changing morals. Thanks to the classes I have taken about teaching, I’ve learned more about developmentally appropriate teachings and how they should be implemented into child based learning and development. Because of this, my ideology and morals about teaching and education and flourished. However, I always knew that I was going to help make a difference in the world by educating my children on more than just basic school subjects, but in other ways too, such as manners,how to be kind, etc. Working in the classroom now, I am already working toward that goal. It is something I hold very close to my heart continuously. This proves why I believe the American Dream should also consist of a quality education for all.

Highlighted in the GROCO website, Sebastian Thrun shares the same ideals as I. Thrun emphasizes the importance of higher education and the opportunities it opens for those who pursue it. Higher education is more than just being costly; it opens doors to new opportunities, experiences and challenges that those who do not pursue higher education may have not gain. Below is a link to the Thrun interview; you are going to love it:

Thrun Interview

With more people like Thrun, we can all help create a equal,quality education for all and help make the world a better place.

Liliana Adler

Lily understands the pressure that comes along with being successful and choosing the right career path. However, with guidance from great teachers, friends and family, she was able to find the right one for her as a Child Development major. Lily enjoys hanging out with friends and family, watching Netflix and traveling on her free time. She is currently a Child Development major at Ohlone College, and hopes to earn her Ph.D. in Education.

Pearls of Wisdom Fundraiser Experience

While on my way to the Campo Di Bocce Event center to attend the GiveTeens20® Pearls Of Wisdom Fundraiser, I did not expect it to be as fancy as it was. As I entered, the fourteen-foot decorated walls were there to greet me. Once I made my way to the prize display room, I saw dozens of tables, prize description posters, and even a Porsche! I said to myself “Man… these guys are not playing around.” There were even waiters and waitresses offering me incredible fancy foods, the kind you see in fancy restaurants. The forties musician Frank Sinatra was being played, which added even more of a fancy/classical effect on the event. Even auctions were going on, which was something I did not expect at all. Luckily, I was able to get some input from a few event attendees.

Kayode Giwa
Student Athlete and Aspiring Writer with the goal of hitting milestones in the industry of writing and entertainment. Honesty always.

Q: What do you think about the event so far?

A: “It’s amazing. Kathy told me about her idea years ago and I support because it really helps teenagers such as yourself, find a career fit.” (Ruth Bauer, Health Teacher.)

A: “It’s cool. Very classy.” (Jeff from Akira Games)

A: “First time being here. It’s elegant. Inspiring. Working in Career Development, It’s nice to see someone making their own organization to help people achieve their goals. ” (Stephanie Moore, Writer and Career development)

It’s evident that the participants who attended supported the goals of GIveTeens20 and Gladeo, such as helping teenagers find their career fit.

While roaming around brainstorming on what to write, I had one question in mind for those who participated at this event. The question being “If you could tell your teenage self one thing right now, what would it be?”

Pankaj J: “As a teen, you should explore multiple areas. Never give up. There is a place for everyone. Best honest with yourself, start early, and planning is important. Passion, dedication, focus.” (IT Applications, Palo Alto)

The words of Pankaj were very inspiring and were some words to take in to remind myself of everyday. Writing is my career choice, but down the road my interests may change because I may become more versatile and escape my comfort zone. One day I’d ike to be the writer of a television show but the only way I am going to get there is by passion, dedication, and focus. Nothing is guaranteed.

The Auction

The Auction was probably my favorite part of the event. Not to mention, Kathy Laidlaw, our founder won four tickets to a Warriors game with Suite seating in Oracle. People also won vacations, vehicles, and items too! An intern of GT20, Lily Alder also told a very inspiring story of her upbringing, and what she’s doing to achieve her goals. Growing up, she always had a love for educating, and soon enough she realized that teaching was a passion of hers. She was told teachers aren’t paid very well by many, but for her it wasn’t about the money, it was because teaching is what she loved to do, and no amount of money could ever change that.

I would also do what I love, no matter my income. Why do something that doesn’t make you happy and receive a paycheck for it, when you could what you love while not obsessing over your salary. I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and sad.

Grace and Michelle Cho Interview

Kathy Laidlaw with Kayode Giwa, Grace and Michelle Cho, founders of Gladeo

Being a GT20 intern, I was luckily able enough to interview Grace and Michelle Cho, founders of the Gladeo nonprofit organization. Grace Cho is responsible for being Vice President of Deal Analysis and Brand Finance at 20th Century Fox Film. Michelle Cho is responsible for being the founder and Executive Director of Gladeo. Not only was I able to interview them, I was able to get some great advice also.

Q: Why did you both decide to partner up with GiveTeens20®?

Because of Kathy. Our vision and values are similar. Kathy puts kids first and is very collaborative.

K. I can see why it would attract so many people, because helping teenagers find their career fit is an important thing. As teenagers today, many of us are confused about what we want to do in life or our place in the world.Organizations like these benefit us as teens because we get an idea of what we’d like to do, or what our strengths are.

Q: If you could tell your teenage self one thing, what would it be?

Don’t be scared changing your mind, and if you do, don’t be hard on yourself for doing so.

K. I’ve always had an idea about writing being what I want to do in life, but the thought of changing my career has never entered my mind. The future is uncertain, and my interests may possibly change. Hypothetically speaking, if my interests were to change, I won’t ever be too hard on myself for making such a critical decision in my life, because change is a natural thing.


Toward the end of the event after our interview, I received some good advice about becoming a writer from both Grace and Michelle Cho.

Blogging. Blogging would become a great habit for me because it would help me become a better writer. I was also told, “Write it about whatever you want, because people would admire a teenager taking the time doing so.” Ever since then, besides my GT20blog, I also have a blog on Medium that I have been working on. I love to do all I can to make myself the best writer possible.

When it came to college,I was confused on what I am supposed to major in. Was it Journalism? Cinema?Creative Writing? No. It was Communications. I was told Communications is a very demanding field these days, especially with the media and entertainment fields. I plan to major in Communications and possibly double major in another aspect of writing to make my resume more impressive.

The advice which stuck with me all night and to this day, was to have fun. I find that to be a great point, because why do something you’re not passionate about? “Write what you want to write about, don’t listen to what other people tell you to write about.” As I exited Campo Di Bocce event center, I had a major reflection.Arrived with medium expectations and departed with an excellent impression of this event and how GiveTeens20® is achieving the goal of helping teens find their career ‘fit’.