JonFisher2When alumnus and former Nueva trustee Jon Fisher (Class of '84) spoke to Middle School students at an assembly, he not only introduced them to the objectives of his company CrowdOptic, but also requested their input. Jon announced, "Everyone keeps saying, 'It's so great you came back to Nueva.' But make no mistake. I'm here for help! Maybe you can help me solve a problem."

The smart phone technology Jon and his team are working on promises to have applications for medicine, natural disaster alerts, breaking news, sporting events, and more. After explaining the questions he needed answered, students offered ideas and asked questions. "This is great; you guys know things my engineers don't," he said, clearly impressed.

The discussion continued after the assembly with a handful of students staying behind to speak with Jon. Later, Diane and Jon toured the Hillside Learning Complex, including a visit in the I-Lab with students working on a Tech Challenge project. He also chatted with Model United Nation students who enjoyed hearing about Jon's own Model UN days back when he represented Cuba at Nueva.

Regarding his Nueva education, Jon said he appreciated being "given the space and time to figure out how I think and how things work."

ECappswebEmma T. Capps (Class of '11) is showcasing some of her comic book work in the Art Museum of Los Gatos exhibit Storytelling in Pictures: From Idea to Art. Seeking to explore the creative process, as well as final illustrations, the exhibit features work of Bay Area children's book illustrators and graphic novelists from a variety of ages, backgrounds, and styles. This family-friendly exhibit is open from January 17 to February 24 and will feature a concurrent touring exhibit Draw Me A Story: A Century of Children's Book Illustration.

Emma is the only child artist featured in the exhibit. Her artwork will center on The Chapel Chronicles, a web-comic series following the adventures of a trendy young girl named Chapel and her pet hedgehog Rupert. Emma updates her story online weekly. The exhibit will also feature her comic strip entitled Jam Days, for which Emma won a Gold Medal in the 2011 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Additionally, some of her process art will also be displayed showing early sketches of Chapel back when she was merely a set of greeting cards. 

wastenofoodWhile passing out meals at San Francisco's Glide Memorial Church during Nueva community service trips, alumnus Kiran Sridhar (Class of '11) initially witnessed California's severe hunger problem. From those early beginnings bloomed his nonprofit organization Waste No Food, an online site that connects charities in need of food to businesses with food surplus.

"It was eye-opening to see lines of people that stretched across multiple city blocks every day to wait for food," Kiran said, reflecting on his early experiences. "These people have gone through a lot."

What began as an occasional extracurricular activity gradually worked its way deeper into Kiran's life when he decided to curb food waste. While participating in Futures Problem Solving after-school club, Kiran and his fellow teammates developed a proposal to channel excess food to charities. He later transformed the concept into his 8th Grade Recital Project at Nueva and later founded Waste No Food.

Thumbnail imageAt first, finishing his latest hundred-mile run in 23 hours, 33 minutes, and 57 seconds was a personal record and a big moment for alumnus Nishad Singh (Class of '09). But then it got even bigger. He soon learned that his time set the world record for the fastest hundred-mile run by a sixteen year old, and that he was the youngest person in the United States to finish a 100-mile race in less than twenty-four hours.

"The idea of finishing the run in less than twenty-four hours was very daunting. It was on my mind as a bucket-list item, but I was afraid to tell myself I could run that particular one in less than twenty-four hours," says Nishad.

But Nishad had lots of help from his coach and tons of support from his family and friends, who not only cheered him on from the sidelines but also paced laps with him. For about fifty miles of his race Nishad had company, some of whom were also Nueva alumni.

"It makes a world of difference to have someone running next to you," said Nishad.

Thumbnail imageAlumnus Zach Berke (class of ’94) -- an entrepreneur who has spent the last decade building and working with technology startups around the globe -- told Middle School students that geeks often bring significant change in the world such as Bill Gates, Mohammed Yunus, and Steve Jobs.

“We can be geeky, and be change-makers too,” he said.

Zach founded Exygy that builds customized software to help change-makers achieve goals. He told students his company strives to “do what we love, be passionate about it, and at the same time make peoples’ lives better too.”

To illustrate his point, Zach provided students with an example of his company building an application called Free2Work, which enables consumers to scan a barcode on items such as candy bars and toys, to learn about how that product is manufactured, particularly if it involved unfair labor practices.

“Free2Work provides consumers with information on how products relate to modern-day slavery,” Exygy’s website states. “Through the site you can learn how your favorite brands are working to address forced and child labor. You can additionally access in-depth information about industry issues through our industry pages and news feeds, and you can learn more about trafficking and supply chains through our blog posts.”

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