Fallon Middle School CJSF Hosting Annual Conference this Saturday
by Riya Chopra (student, Fallon Middle School)
DUBLIN, CA–It is no secret that Fallon Middle School has more than its fair share of academically gifted students. CSF, or the California Scholarship Federation, is a statewide organization that recognizes how these students owe much of their success to their communities. CSF and its middle school counterpart, CJSF, strive to foster a sense of volunteerism and community service in middle- and high-schoolers who are already achieving in academically. Their motto is “Scholarship for Service”, and their annual conference provides an opportunity to reward and recognize those students who contribute to their community in incredible ways.
The chapter at Fallon Middle School, comprised of 242 seventh and eighth graders, is the largest student organization on campus. We pride ourselves on being completely student-led and student-driven. This year, we were given the honor of hosting the annual CSF/CJSF Conference, in which CJSF is celebrating 50 years of existence. In addition, Fallon Middle School CJSF was nominated for the 2016 Dublin Organization of the Year.
Fallon Middle School CJSF has held numerous fundraisers and events throughout the year, including hot chocolate sales, movie nights, trivia nights, benefit concerts, and the like. This money has gone to charities such as Doctors Without Borders, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, and A Million Thanks, which provides help for veterans. In 2016, CJSF at FMS raised almost $6,000 for charities locally and worldwide. In terms of active volunteerism, we have held trips to Glide Memorial in San Francisco, an organization dedicated to feeding the homeless, and trips to clean up litter at Lake Merritt in Oakland. We recently held a winter concert at the Livermore Veterans’ Hospital.
For the 50th Anniversary Conference being held on March 25, 2017, the theme is “Go For Gold – How to persevere.” The program for the conference will be dedicated to inspiring and educating the youth of the central coast of California. Many workshops are being hosted by Dublin High and Fallon Middle School students, teachers, and community members. Student workshops range in everything from speech and debate to Model United Nations to Quizbowl, while professionals are hosting lessons on college admissions and the like. Multiple UC, CSU, and community colleges will be present at the conference, as well as local businesses. The keynote speaker, Mark Corkery of COLLEGE ADVANCE, is presenting a speech on the “Stepping Stones to College”, and an accompanying workshop for those who wish to hear more about his college admissions philosophy. In the afternoon, gold medal Paralympian, Bethany Zummo, former student of both Fallon and Dublin High, will be delivering an inspirational speech about perseverance and grit. The event will end with awards given to certain CSF and CJSF students for community service recognition.
While the statewide CSF program bears the motto, “Scholarship for Service”, our Fallon CJSF chapter has our own motto. It is much simpler, more concise and to the point. That motto is “Be the Change.” The students here embody this motto, giving up countless hours to do volunteer work. Giving up lunch and often putting CJSF work ahead of their actual homework, because while they may not be graded on it, it is in many ways the greatest way in which they will ever be judged. It’s a simple mission, but one that we must never lose sight of. Be the change. Not for scholarship, not for recognition, but because, as Mahatma Gandhi once said, you must “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Because if you don’t do it… who will?
More details on the event are available here.