Google Tech Talk (more info below) May 27, 2011 Presented by Kannan Pashupathy (host), Sailaja Suresh (OIHS technology teacher), Carmelita Reyes (OIHS principal), Indra Karki (OIHS student; Bhutanese refugee), Ana Lopez (OIHS student; Honduran immigrant), Rahwa Muzollo (OIHS student; Eritrean immigrant), Omar Gual (OIHS student; Mexican immigrant) ABSTRACT Google is excited to welcome Indra Karki, Rahwa Muzollo, Omar Gual, and Ana Lopez, four student representatives from Oakland International High School, to an [email protected] techtalk. OIHS is the first public school of its kind in California, unique in that 100% of its students are immigrants and over 90% qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch. Of the 320 students served by OIHS, nearly one-third hold refugee status and many more have had interruptions in their formal education, having escaped ethnic conflicts and severe poverty in places like Liberia, Nepal, Burma, and the former Soviet bloc. In 2008, only 6% of English Language Learners in Oakland were eligible for admission into the University of California system at the time of graduation. This year, as OIHS prepares to graduate its first class of students, at least 60% of their seniors are eligible for admission to the UC system. Due to the remarkable work of OIHS's dedicated staff, students are able to overcome the tremendous obstacles in their lives and graduate high school to pursue college educations. Teachers hold degrees from top-tier universities and many have spent time abroad, speaking several languages themselves. All classes focus on language acquisition, college-readiness, and job skills, which are important elements in this successful model for educating recently arrived English Language Learners. Accompanying the students will be principal, Carmelita Reyes, and technology teacher, Sailaja Suresh, to provide additional information about their unique approach to education and to share volunteer opportunities for upcoming technology classes at OIHS. All Googlers with an interest in education, leadership, and the immigrant experience are encouraged to join us for an idea exchange with these spectacular students and their teacher from across the bay! Bios: Indra Karki is a Bhutanese refugee who spent the first seventeen years of his life in a Nepali refugee camp. He arrived in the United States in 2008. Next year, he plans to study computer science at the University of California in San Diego. Ana Lopez is an immigrant from Honduras. She, like almost all students at OIHS, will be the first in her family to attend college. She is looking forward to becoming a Registered Nurse, but she worries daily about the opportunities that are not available to her because of her family's documentation and financial situation. Rahwa Muzollo is an immigrant from Eritrea. She arrived in the United States in 2010. Next year, she will attend San Francisco State University. Omar Gual came to the United States by himself when he was sixteen years old. In his home country of Mexico, he taught himself English by playing video games. Unable to attend secondary school because of the high cost of school fees, he decided to immigrate to the United States to pursue a college education on his own. Carmelita Reyes is the principal of Oakland International High School. In 2005 she was awarded the honor of "Oakland Unified School District Teacher of the Year," and in 2007 she was named "Oakland Educator of the Year" by the Marcus Foster Foundation. Carmelita received her BA in Economics at Princeton University and studied abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received a Masters in Education at Columbia University and received her administrative credential from the BAYCES (Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools) and California State East Bay. Sailaja Suresh is the technology teacher, academy director, and founding math teacher at Oakland International High School. She has a BS in Business Administration and a minor in Religious Studies from UC Berkeley. She also has a Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2008, she received an award as a Teacher of the Year for the Oakland Unified School District.
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