Hi, again!  There's so much going on lately, that my head is beginning to spin. Aside from continually working on all aspects of a major teddy bear themed fundraising event (to take place this early Fall with details to follow), I was busy up until this past Wednesday evening preparing material for a presentation at Woodside Probation Hall/Learning Center in San Francisco.  If you recall, we installed the inmate art exhibit there this past  March, and because it was such a big hit with the students and staff, I was asked to return to give a talk about the History of Alcatraz.

So, this past Thursday May 22nd, accompanied by Woodside math instructor - Matt Lacques, I was introduced to Social Studies/History teacher – Mr. Vincente Padilla.  Over the course of the day I accompanied Mr. Padilla  as we went from one classroom to another and I was able to provide a total of five 45 minutes presentations to various “at risk” teenage students. I’ll be honest…it was simultaneously challenging and exciting. Each group of students is vastly different from one to the next.  And even if you have a presentation agenda or syllabus in mind, one has to be open and willing to go with the flow.  

Also, I realize that not everyone is going to understand why I would spend and invest my precious time on addressing “at risk” and wayward youth.  But, I personally believe that it’s vitally important (as equally testified by current

inmate artist - Robert Lopez per a portion of Robert's recent letter to me.  From what I’m told, there is a fairly high recidivism rate in the Juvenile probation system. So, anything that I can say or do that could possibly impact even one individual’s life so that they don’t end up in prison…that would be a major blessing! 

Enjoy the few pics that were taken that day. Due to privacy reasons, no images of the students are allowed.  At lunch break, instructors Matt Lacques and David and I retired to the math room to prepare and enjoy a super large healthy salad.  

Thank you! Enjoy. Blessings!  And, Please feel free to leave any comments .

Leslie Lakes, Director


Social Studies Instructor, Vincente Padilla (L) and Leslie Lakes (R) .

Math teacher- Matthew Lacques (L) and "all around" teacher, David Malizia (R)