The African American Network continued efforts to build a community that supports the success of our students, faculty and staff during the 2000-2001 academic year. Through voluntary efforts, many members contributed to the development of the organization while meeting the demands of their work-related employee responsibilities. Highlights of these activities include:
- Hosting monthly executive board meetings and quarterly general membership meetings with students, faculty, staff and administrators. Membership meetings included dinner, organizational reports and discussion. Keynote speakers from the community invited this year were Regina Stanback-Stroud, dean of Workforce & Economic Development at Mission College and Sondra Saterfield, former trustee of the Mountain View/Los Altos Unified High School District and counselor at Canada College;
- Adopting organization by-laws, establishing membership dues and application process;
- Sponsoring a Fall Quarter Welcome Back Barbecue at the home of Bill Dillon, Foothill aviation director;
- Co-sponsoring a Memorial Service for Foothill student leader Shawn Gates along with Foothill Intramurals Program;
- Establishing the Shawn Gates Memorial Scholarship;
- Sponsoring the 7th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon;
- Participating on the Foothill College African American History Month Planning Committee for a month-long series of Afrocentric programs and events;
- Hiring two Foothill students for the Ujima Student Internship Program in Journalism and Website Development;
- Holding the first African American Network Spring Retreat;
- Chaperoning the highly successful BSU AfterParty held during African American History Month. Following the annual Hip-Hop Generation Talent Showcase, the BSU hosted a party that drew approximately 150 college and high school students from the Bay Area. Jamal Oakley, former BSU President and Co-Chair of African American History Month Committee, provided leadership for this endeavor;
- Sponsoring the 4th Annual Harambee Rites of Passage Celebration for the Class of 2001;
- Publishing our Afrocentric campus newspaper, The Griot.
- Electing new executive board officers who will assume their new duties commencing July 1, 2001. Elected officers are:
- Juanita Croft, President
- Warren Hurd, Vice President
- Jackie Hayes, Secretary
- Rose Myers, Treasurer
- Herlisa Hamp, Community Liaison
- Don Dorsey, Afrocentric Student Club Liaison
Faith, Courage & Appreciation: Counselors Daughter Recovers
A note of appreciation and thanks to my African American Network & Foothill College Family.
by Davida Vance Lee
It seems as if it was just yesterday when my daughter, Terri (pictured below), was diagnosed with a disease of the brainstem and spine. Its been two months! This malformation is called Chiari Arnolds Malformation. (Actually this disease caused a malformation of the base of the brain and the top of the spine at the C-1-6 level). This malformation is very rare especially in the United States. I think it is somewhat more prevalent in younger children, teens and infants. I am told it is similar to spina bifida.
The rarity is that Terri at age 27, is much older than any of the many reported cases of this disease, (27 years old) therefore limiting her chances of full recovery or survival. By the time we actually learned of this problem, she had had symptoms for more than two years, and when she lost the use of her right side of her body we were ready to do whatever it took to get her body usage back again! Needless to say, that by now with several misdiagnoses we were so frustrated, that we were ready to run to the nearest airport to get another doctors opinion to help cope with this awful situation my daughter was dealing with. This was scary for all of us, no one could have ever known that this would be such an ordeal.
An orthopedic physician in south San Jose granted a second opinion. He requested a MRI study and there it was. Fluid had built up in her brain and circulated into her entire spine and could not be filtered out as a normal healthy persons body would have been able to do. Because this is a rare discovery, there are few doctors and hospitals that know how to perform this surgery or even treat this condition, not even at Stanford. But thanks to God, the orthopedic specialist referred us to a neurologist in San Jose who just happened to have a friend at the UC Medical Center in San Francisco, who as they say wrote the book about this malformation and had performed many of the 12 surgical procedures in California. Now, I believe in miracles, because we did not have to fly anywhere, but a simple automobile drive did the trick! This is my joke of the day now. Because of the long and slow recovery for Terri, she will not be able to work for about five months. But I know that too shall pass! She is doing great, just anxious to get back to her normal routine.
Jean Thomas approached me with the idea of helping Terri during the surgical procedure and the recovery period. She wrote notes to the African American Network and you all have wonderfully blessed Terri, with donations and gifts to help her meet some of her obligations while she is recuperating. We both wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to The African American Network & Foothill College family. To all of those who gave from their hearts and for those who prayed for us, we truly thank you for your love and caring and the outpouring of your concerns for us!
Terri is getting better day by day with intensive physical therapy three days a week. She is still not able to work or do very much, but I know that with time, she will return to good health.
I love each of you and appreciate your generosity from the top and bottom of my heart. Terri says that she is so pleased that although she is a stranger to many of you, you all saw the need to love and care for her unconditionally! Thanks and peace!