LSA45 Hosts “Be Engaged” Day

Even the thunderstorms rolling through Downtown San Antonio the morning of Wednesday, March 4th couldn’t dampen the community spirit of LSA2020’s class as they prepared for an amazing day of civic engagement.  The day entitled “Be Engaged” started with coffee and bagels as the class joyfully dropped off teddy bears for a mystery cause, then boarded the bus for a police-escorted jaunt to the AT&T Center. There they were welcomed by Tim Derk, the original Spurs Coyote.  Graham Weston, the co-founder of Rackspace, then discussed the importance of corporate responsibility, community service and leaving a legacy. To commemorate the day, the team commissioned a limited-edition print by acclaimed international contemporary artist, Cruz Ortiz, and presented one to Mr. Weston.

The class then participated in a pitch-activity hosted by Pebbles Le of CivTech, an organization also co-founded by Mr. Weston.  Teams brainstormed solutions for some of the issues facing San Antonio that were highlighted during last month’s Legacy Day. The class presented some great ideas and was challenged to pursue them leveraging the CivTech team. After the winners were announced by our illustrious judges; Cristina Bazaldua, Brian Hurtak, Victoria Shoemaker and Lori Stinson, “Be Engaged” team member Dan Cable spoke on the importance of Corporate Responsibility. A digital playbook assembled by the “Be Engaged” team on creating a corporate responsibility program was shown to the class and made public on the LSA website.  Dan then explained the history of challenge coins and presented commemorative “Be Engaged” coins to LSA2020, challenging them to find novel ways to be engaged and engage others with the end-goal of making a difference in our community.

The team was treated to a delightful barbeque lunch with Sheriff Javier Salazar; SA Chamber of Commerce President, Richard Perez; SA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman, Dr. Erika Gonazlez; and City Council members Jada Andrews-Sullivan; Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia; Shirley Gonzales; Melissa Cabello Havrda; Manny Pelaez; John Courage; and Clayton Perry where they discussed in-depth the importance of civic engagement and service in the community.

After lunch, the class was then ushered to the San Antonio Fire Academy for an afternoon focused on service and action. San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood welcomed the class and impressed upon them the importance of the many roles our first responders take on in service to our community. Training Academy Chief Michael Hinojosa then introduced the class to the activities that he and his team prepared to teach the class about initiatives the SAFD supports in the community. These included fire prevention, safety education and the Fire Explorers program for teens. The class also learned to “Stop the Bleed,” and had fun and informative interactive experiences with SAFD staff participating in some of the extreme functions used in the line of duty such as rappelling, deploying a fire hose, going up in the 105-foot fire truck ladder bucket, and operating the “Jaws of Life” on an unlucky car. After the break-out sessions, the team presented the SAFD team with the teddy bears the class donated with the goal of reigniting the “Teddy Cares” program that gives the stuffed animals to children impacted by a devastating fire.

Finally, to top off the day, the “Be Engaged” team introduced seven non-profit organizations important to them: the SA Zoo, Clarity Child Guidance Center, Eva’s Heroes, The Rape Crisis Center, Boysville, The SA Hope Center and Family Violence Prevention Services.  Representatives informed the class about the legacy of these great organizations, the services they provide and how LSA45 can take action to be engaged.

It was an incredible day of learning about the organizations and individuals who provide vital services to our community. With the goal of leaving a legacy and spur more action to make a difference, the Challenge to Be Engaged is on!

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