Class notes


Through the generous help of volunteers and donors to My New Red Shoes, over 2,100 homeless Bay Area youth will have the opportunity to start this school year with dignity and pride. On Sunday, July 19, My New Red Shoes will host its annual Pack for Pride event, where over 130 volunteers will learn about youth homelessness and assemble gift bags, provided to homeless children residing in the Bay Area prior to the start of the school year. Volunteers will meet at the NVIDIA Corporation in Santa Clara to pack each hand-sewn bag with a $50 gift card to Old Navy, a pair of brand new shoes donated by Converse Corporation, a school supply donated by Sakura Corporation in addition to a hand-made card signed by a volunteer. My New Red Shoes will deliver these gift bags to over 2,100 homeless school-aged youth residing in 54 shelters around the Bay Area, including Shelter Network, Glide Memorial Church, Compass Point, EHC Lifebuilders and Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, before the beginning of the school year. This gift will offer these children the opportunity to shop for new clothes and enjoy the magic of the back-to-school season in a way that the isolation of second-hand clothes may never offer.

In addition to assembling the gift bags at Pack for Pride, volunteers will also have an opportunity to contribute to the content of the bag. Children and adults can sew the bags at sewing stations, decorate cards and bookmarks for the recipients at art stations and personalize each gift by penning "this gift was packed with love” and their signature.

In line with My New Red Shoes’ mission, this year there will be a focus on homelessness education for the volunteers attending Pack for Pride, in an effort to increase awareness of the challenges that face homeless youth. More than 130 volunteers will attend Pack for Pride this year, including groups from NVIDIA Corporation, Borel Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Cisco Systems, the National Charity League and others.


Bella Sorella — Nova and Susanna Jiménez (sopranos) with piano and violin accompaniment — is an award-winning vocal ensemble that combines classical and contemporary styles in melodic duets like nothing you've ever heard. In their return to the Little Fox in Redwood City, Bella Sorella will debut musical arrangements by acclaimed composer, arranger and Bella Sorella's new music director, Ed Goldfarb. Never has an act so seamless and beautifully combined the likes of Queen, Puccini and the Broadway hits of Bernstein in one show.

A portion of tickets sales will go to Music for Minors, an organization devoted to keeping music alive in local schools by providing sequential, standards-based music education programs for children in kindergarten through fourth grade throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Bella Sorella performs 7 p.m. Sunday, July 26 at the Little Fox in downtown Redwood City. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door. The show is for 21 and older only. For more information call 369-4119 or visit


The Sequoia High School Alumni Association is hosting its third annual picnic on Saturday, Aug. 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the beautiful Sequoia High School campus located at 1201 Brewster Ave. in Redwood City. Alumni, their family and friends, past and current teachers, staff and administrators, students and their parents, school-affiliated groups and the general public are all invited. San Carlos High School alumni are also welcome to attend. Funds raised benefit the Sequoia High School Alumni Association, which in turn helps support the students and the school with grants, scholarships and funding for programs and projects benefiting the school.

"Celebrate Sequoia: Remember the Past …Look to the Future” is the theme. Attendees will look forward to a delicious barbecue lunch catered by Emergency BBQ Deli and Catering, a ceremony dedicating bronze plaques in honor of former coaches Bob Andersen, Ray Dimick and Al Terremere, meeting new principal Bonnie Hansen, a tour of the campus, a performance by the Sequoia cheerleaders, meeting old friends and more. "Golden Grads” (those celebrating their 50th anniversary of graduating from Sequoia — the class of 1959) will be honored. Purple Patriot Awards will be presented to former teacher Glen Michelson and volunteers Barba Kandarian and Glenn Lew for their outstanding service providing significant benefit to Sequoia High School.

The cost for adults is $25. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $30. The cost is $15 for children 10 and under. It is requested that tickets be reserved by Aug. 15. Make checks payable to SHSAA and mail to: "Celebrate Sequoia,” c/o Sally Newman, 106 Iris St., Redwood City, CA, 94062. If an alumnus, note your graduation year, spouse's name, and, if an alumna, note your maiden name. For questions call 592-5822 or e-mail For further information and a reservation form check the Association’s Web site at


Menlo-Atherton High School’s Amrita Sehgal was awarded a $50,000 Young Epidemiology Scholars (YES) award for her research study on teenage osteoporosis prevention. Amrita was one of only 60 students nationally to present her research project to a panel of top epidemiologists and one of only two students in the U.S. to receive the top award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Woodside High School’s Vanessa Torres is the only student in San Mateo and San Francisco counties, and one of only 300 nationwide, to receive a $20,000 Dell Scholars Award. Sponsored by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Dell Scholars Program focuses on determined, first-generation college students, such as Vanessa, who have overcome significant obstacles to pursue their education.


Menlo-Atherton High’s Alex Amato is the first one of the district’s National Merit finalists to learn of a scholarship award (more announcements will be made later this month). Amato, who plans to major in engineering, has been awarded a National Merit Computer Sciences Corporation Award.

Class notes is a weekly column dedicated to school news. It is compiled by education reporter Heather Murtagh. You can contact her at (650) 344-5200, ext. 105 or at

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