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Higher Learning 2014: Oakland has taught me…

At the beginning of the summer we kicked off our 3rd annual “Oakland Educated” t-shirt giveaway. Oakland Unified students who earned a 3.5 G.P.A. or higher dropped by one of our two locations to collect their  free, limited-edition Oaklandish tee, made just for the Oakland-educated. In total, 158 students from nine different OUSD schools stopped by our stores. The giveaway was a great success and gave us an opportunity to chat with Oakland’s future leaders.

As the Class of 2014 graduates get ready for what’s next — college, a new job, the armed forces — we wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors. We know you’ll make everyone at home proud, and as many students we talked to so eloquently stated, always take pride in your Oakland roots.

For next year’s “Oakland-Educated” t-shirt giveaway, we’re looking for student ambassadors from OUSD high schools to help us with promotion and receive some free Oaklandish gear throughout the year in return. If you or someone you know is interested, email with your Instagram account, plus why you would make a great Oakland-educated student ambassador.

Keep reading for our Higher Learning 2014 round-up.

Growing up in Oakland has its benefits and challenges. Our city has always been on the edge of the next new thing — it’s got a small-town feel with an international crowd. When kids stopped by our store to pick up their free tee, we asked them about what Oakland has taught them and to tell us about their most inspiring educator. They had some pretty good stuff to stay. Here’s some of our favorites.

How to be an individual and think for myself. – Akintunde Ahmad, Oakland Tech

To give back to my city. – Alejandra Guadalupe Martinez, Skyline

Oakland has taught me to follow my passions and be an independent thinker. -Madisen Hackley, Oakland TechIMG_0070

Not to be afraid to be who I am. – Alejandra Saavedra, Lionel Wilson College Prep Academy

That diversity is one of the most important parts to learning. – Akiro Duey, Oakland Tech

Anything is possible despite the struggles and stereotypes we face everyday. – Monica Medrano, LPS Oakland R&D

Too much to fit on this card. – Nico Hall, Oakland Tech

That everyone is creative in their own way. – Sarah Chen, Oakland High

Not to judge people based on their outward appearance, but to understand them based on their actions. – Signe Wurtz, Oakland Tech

Taught me to stay strong and keep my head up. – Azariah Douglas, Oakland Tech

To be self aware. Everything you want needs to be accomplished by yourself. No one else. – Cody Dam, Oakland High

You can find common ground with all sorts of people, regardless of background. – David Pomar, Oakland Tech

Supportive community can change and build good relationships. – Guicela Sanchez, Life Academy

That you should not judge a city by what you read/hear. – Reva Swiedler, Oakland Tech

To know your roots and stay true. – Vivian La, Skyline

When asked to name their most inspiring educator, Ms. Woo, Mr. Gong, and Ms. Joe, all Oakland Tech staff, Ms. Amy Dellefield from Oakland High, and Mr. Nichols from Skyline, were some student favorites. On Ms. Joe, Oakland Tech student Jacob Bavoe said, “she really taught me how to think about things beyond what shows on the surface.” It just goes to show that without hardworking Oakland educators, there would be no “Oakland Educated!”

The best way to stay in the know about all of our giveaways is to follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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