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Alice Mendoza, A Motivational Inspiring Figure

  • 2018/11/28

After years, YKIP eventually had the opportunity to meet one of the inspiring women who have contributed to the first YKIP start-up funds. She is Alice Mendoza, a third-grade teacher of Captain Charles Wilkes Elementary School in Bainbridge Island, WA, USA who is now already retired. She came on July 24th together with her husband to meet KIDS children, Robin and Idat. YKIP team who met Alice for the first time was so impressed with her warm and kind-hearted charm. It was easily noticed from her warm smile and her excitement when meeting the YKIP team. It was obvious that she loves multiculturalism and has high tolerance.

YKIP felt so fortunate because they had an opportunity to hear the complete story of Alice’s class fundraising right from the primary source. Back then, she came for a holiday and visited her friends who were teaching at Jakarta International School in August 2002. From Jakarta, she continued her trip to Yogyakarta and ended it in Bali. That trip had left her with deep Impression about Indonesia.

When she returned to teach her students, she told her students about how amazing her trip in Indonesia, especially in Bali was. “The wonderful people, the wonderful smiles, the beautiful rice fields, the dancing... and my students reacted with WOW, Bali! I want to go there...” said Alice while mimicking her students’ excitement about her Bali trip’s story. Her Initiative to tell her students about Bali apparently influenced their minds when the Bali bombing incident occurred in October 2002.

Alice and her third-grade class had been running their annual calendar project for ten years. The year 2002 was the 10th anniversary of their calendar’s project. The calendar sales were always donated to the disadvantaged people in Ometepe island, Nicaragua. When the Bali Bombing incident occurred, it shocked the students. Alice said that the children and she were extremely sad about that and Audrey, one of her students, was thinking to dedicate the whole calendar sales to help the victims in Bali. However, Alice reminded them, “You have already promised to build a new library in Ometepe.” Another student, Kyler then broke the silence of the class by saying, “Let’s give the half of it to Ometepe and the other half to Bali.” This idea quickly received positive responds from the class. It was the beginning of how Alice’s class initiated fundraising for Bali bombing victims.

The 10th anniversary calendar of Alice’s class then was produced. The concept, illustration and the narration designs were all purely Alice students’ ideas. The students dedicated the last three months on the calendar for Indonesia by creating Indonesian rain forest animals’ themes, because they were amazed by the Pacific Rim’s cultures that had been taught by Alice. They wrote all their wishes for Bali and Ometepe on the calendar to encourage people to donate. Many days passed by, the calendar making was finished - thanks to the hard work of the students. After designing and producing the calendars, they sold them on the street and offered them to the passers-by. Their hard work paid off, they successfully raised $10.000. The fund was shared equally to Ometepe and Bali as they agreed before. Long story short, Alice contacted Mark Keatinge right after the fundraising. She asked his favour to distribute the money to Bali bombing victims. Mark undertook Alice’s request and entrusted the money to YKIP.

During her visit, Alice had an opportunity to learn about the children’s life experience after the Bali Bombing. Robin and Idat told her their life journey after they missed one of their parents. They were still very young by that time and did not realize about their lost at all. They even had to move from one region to another to be able to move on from that devastating memento. Because of the assistance of YKIP to distribute the funds, they could survive and have access to proper education. Right now, Idat and Robin are studying at Udayana University. Alice expressed her admiration to the KIDS children, “… You have taken advantage of opportunity, when maybe it would have been easier to fall back on. Well, I don’t have a parent, my life has turned in this terrible way… That you chose a path in life to make something on yourself, you had a tragedy and you move on. And that is a powerful lesson, to people, to children of all ages. I am so impressed and so moved by your plans, your vision and who you are.”

Alice also brought some gifts for YKIP: original Ometepe’s coffee beans, a fudge chocolate and an energy chime bar. Those gifts were intentionally prepared by Alice for YKIP. YKIP team were so grateful to meet Alice in person and listen to her incredibly inspirational story. Her sincerity to share her trip and life experience to other people, especially to her students had inspired them to take initiative and show their solidarity to the disadvantaged people. Her positive vibes have been proven to contribute positive impacts to her surroundings.

Thank you, Alice, for visiting us and sharing your wonderful story. We also would like to thank your wonderful 2002 third-grade class that had sincerely helped the kids of Bali bombing victims. You all have beautiful generous hearts and awareness about helping people that you did not even know before. That means a lot to us.


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