Our Chief Giving Officer, Justin Wolff, describes his first interactions with a teacher that helped inspire components of our nationwide Yoobi Give Program.
Meet Mr. Alvarez: A note from our Chief Giving Officer
I met Mr. Alvarez roughly two years ago when Ido (Yoobi’s CEO and co-founder) and I were discussing how we would shape the “Give” side of the company. In planning the Give, we insisted on having teacher input – we wanted to know what teachers really needed.
At the time, Mr. Alvarez was teaching 12th grade economics at the Lou Dantzler Preparatory High School in Westchester, CA (a Title I charter school with nearly 100% NSLP eligible students). Mr. Alvarez sat me down, and with nearly a decade of teaching in some of LA’s most challenged schools, explained the importance of kids having access to basic learning tools, and the importance of staying engaged with the students we would be helping.
I took Mr. Alvarez’s lesson to heart, and before Yoobi ever hit Target shelves, over the course of a semester, I worked with Mr. Alvarez in his class each week, attempting to understand first hand the reality teachers and kids face every day. Now that Yoobi is sold nationwide, I incorporate Mr. Alvarez’s philosophy into our give program. Mr. Alvarez, and the time I spent in his classroom, inspired us to make the Yoobi Classroom Pack donation the beginning, and not the end, of our relationship with teachers. Today, after teachers receive their Yoobi classroom packs, Yoobi continues to engage those teachers and students with art projects, newsletters, writing competitions, and other helpful teacher resources.
Mr. Alvarez, who spends between $500-$1000 per year on supplies for his kids, hopes that as we continue to prepare students for the future, we model teaching methods on students learning to be respectful, responsible, and resourceful. Additionally, Mr. Alvarez says that Yoobi’s “One for You, One for Me” mission aligns well with his own “teach one, reach one” methodology, whereby students appreciate the value of what’s given to them, and ultimately incorporate those lessons into their own lives by doing the same for others in need.
For all the lessons we learned from Mr. Alvarez, and for all that he does for his students, he is one of our Yoobi heroes.
Chief Giving Officer
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