Zendaya and Google.org Celebrate $650K Grant to Oakland’s Roses in Concrete Community School
Actress and activist Zendaya celebrated with the students of Roses in Concrete Community School in Oakland CA, as Google.org provided the school with a grant of $650,000 to build a first-of-its-kind computer science (CS) curriculum, which will serve as a model for other schools across the United States. Google.org is no stranger to Roses in Concrete. In the school’s first inaugural year, Google.org provided the school with a $750,0000 grant to help launch its unique vision which aims to prioritize the needs of the youth and families in the community it services. It’s founder, Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade believes education is the way to help young people understand that they can transform not only their community, but the world. This education model hopes to be a pathway to building healthy and sustainable communities across the United States.
The evening’s festivities included art, dance and poetry performances by the Roses in Concrete students. In an interview conducted by one of the students of Roses in Concrete, Zendaya, recounted her time growing in Oakland as the daughter of two teachers in the very classrooms that make up the Roses in Concrete campus. Zendaya shared her appreciation for organizations like Google.org, who are thoughtfully closing equity divides. Zendaya encouraged the Roses in Concrete students to “Always lead with your heart and chase the happiness that fuels you,” and reminded them that technology is one possible medium for the students to express themselves and make a positive difference.
Roses in Concrete Community School was also presented with a $10,000.00 dollar donation from the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation. The check was presented by Sekyiwa Shakur, the sister of the late Rapper Tupac Shakur, whose book of poetry, The Rose That Grew From Concrete, inspired the school’s name. Ms. Shakur thanked the students, parents and educators for living out one of her brother’s dreams.
The donations made to Roses in Concrete helps students see the connection between CS and their communities and equips them to solve real problems, starting with their own neighborhood.
As Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade stated in his presentation, “The purpose of education is not to escape poverty, but to end it.”
The Rose That Grew From Concrete
by Tupac Amaru Shakur
by Tupac Amaru Shakur
Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.