Monday, November 11, 2013

Serve Today to Honor the Veterans in Your World

I have a different perspective of the military from many of the families at Palo Alto High School. It's fitting that I'm the military point of contact for our students, being that I'm a former Navy pilot's daughter. However, when I schedule lunchtime military rep visits to our campus I'm reminded of the negative connotation of the military back in the 1970s around the Bay Area. It's too bad, really. I can think of several students brave enough to pave their own path and go against the usual post-high school route into military service and career training. 

My dad, Carl H. Steffens, Sr., was given a tremendous boost when he joined the Navy after graduating from tiny Wayne State Teacher's College in Nebraska. He was trained as a pilot and made the fortuitous choice to come to the Alameda Naval Base, living in my favorite town--Palo Alto. From his Navy service, he pursued a career in the pioneering world of semiconductors, eventually becoming VP of Marketing at Fairchild/National Semiconductor before his untimely death at age thirty-nine. 

I am so proud of my father's choice to serve his country. I am abundantly blessed that Dad saw his way out of a bleak upbringing in Spencer, Iowa and college in Nebraska, to raise his family here in the "Valley of the Heart's Delight." Today is a great day to honor him and other veterans who have served our country. Do you know a veteran? Send him or her a note of appreciation. Better yet, spend some time visiting and listening to their stories on this Veteran's Day. Each has a unique tale to tell; if only I could hear it from my father. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

VOTE TODAY! San Francisco Ford Community Green Grant Finalists

Four Bay Area environmental education organizations are vying for a teeny-tiny (but well-deserved) grant. Take a minute to vote today and again tomorrow for your favorite. Check them out to see the BIG contribution they can make with small budgets. Then, see how you can help by donating to and/or volunteering at these and other nonprofits to make a long-term difference in Sustainability.

Learn about the San Francisco Ford Community Green Grant Finalists and VOTE TODAY!