//Unlocking Nerve: Supporting Low-Income Communities through Enterprise

Unlocking Nerve: Supporting Low-Income Communities through Enterprise

Meeting for the week of March 23 – March 29, 2020

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: Unlocking Nerve: Supporting Low-Income Communities through Enterprise

Speaker: Esther Kwaku

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you. Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

To properly attend this meeting, please:

  1. Read and watch the content below in its entirety.
  2. Complete the attendance survey.

Everyone is also encouraged to leave a comment in the Disqus section at the bottom of the page.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from Addeline and James of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) and Rushton of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley:

The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley and the Rotary Club of Harrisburg

Addeline and James of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) and Rushton of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Guests, we are happy to have you join us this week!

As we see it, our flexibility as an online, asynchronous club allows a special type of service to Rotarians around the world: we make it easier for anyone to strive for and maintain 100% attendance. That keeps you engaged with Rotary’s events and ideas, and provides a moment of inspiration for devoting your creativity, talents, and resources to good causes.

You are certainly not required to pay anything in order to attend our meetings. However, if you would like to make a small contribution to our service efforts, you are welcome to do so in our secure Happy Dollars section down the page. This could be what you normally pay at your own club’s meetings for lunch, for example. Any amount is welcome, but first and foremost, we’re happy you’ve joined us, and hope you will share with others who we are and what we do to help inspire Service Above Self.

And don’t forget to fill out our attendance form so you get an email you can pass on to your club’s secretary!

The Four Way Test

The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Rotary's Four-Way Test

Members of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley from around the world

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

This week’s jokes come courtesy of my students, who are making every effort to stay positive while adjusting to distance learning.

What does a snake learn at school?

What do you call a maid under the sea?
A mermaid!

Knock knock! Who’s there? Broken pencil. Broken pencil who?
Never mind, it’s pointless!


Weekly Inspiration

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

Roger Hanson is the Seahorse Whisperer. The diver tends to a herd of seahorses living off the coast of Long Beach, California. It’s rare for the fish to stray north of San Diego, so Hanson built habitats to encourage them to stay. Guided by Hanson to the secret location, we visit the undersea community where seahorses are living their best lives.

Building a Secret World for Seahorses



Member  Spotlight

This week’s Member Spotlight is Keith Marsh! Here is what they have been up to lately:

Most of the world is going through a very challenging time with the Coronavirus spreading through most nations. My family had our lives turned upside down before the Virus hit. In December, my wife fell down our attic stairs and broke her knee. Since she was going to be confined to her bed and wheel chair for the next several months dealing with the pain and rehab, I needed to take on her responsibilities around the house (cooking, laundry, shopping, cleaning) and also assist with some errands for her 97 year old mother who we recently moved to an assisted living facility nearby. I had not washed a load of laundry in 35 years, but became a fast learner. I have done some cooking in the past and am a good BBQ’er, so that required less of a learning curve. Grocery shopping is something I find challenging (akin to a scavenger hunt) and now know where all of our favorite items are at Costco, Trader Joes, and Safeway. My least favorite chore is putting a fitted sheet on our king size mattress. I’m glad no one is filming this comedy.

For the first month and a half, my wife was unable to leave the house and spent 90% of her time in bed with a brace on her leg to keep it straight. Our two story home has several steps to get to the car, so I built two wooded ramps to accommodate her wheel chair when she needed to see the Doctor. Eating out at a restaurant was not possible until mid-January. She has improved to the point where she can walk on crutches or with a cane, so going out was starting to be a nice treat. Then the coronavirus hit and the Bay Area went into “shelter-in-place” with all restaurants ordered to close until April 7th. We cannot seem to catch a break.

The good news is that she is progressing nicely and is now getting in my way around the kitchen and doing most of the laundry. She cannot climb steps, so I am still struggling with the fitted sheets on the second floor king bed. We are both in generally good health, but are taking the warnings about the coronavirus very seriously since we still have occasional interactions with her mom and others at the senior center.

Many of you know, I have been a Rotarian for 34 years. I was excited when Rushton asked me to be a charter member of this eClub located in the Bay Area. The main reason I joined Rotary was to give back to the community and to those most in need around the world. The eClub format is very appealing to me for a number of reasons, but it essentially broadens my access to and awareness of International Service projects. So far, I have worked on four continents and six International Service Projects including Polio Plus. In July, I am hoping to attend my second project in Kenya and Uganda for H2Open Doors. Travel to this project may be in jeopardy due to the Coronavirus. Regardless, I will continue to serve through Rotary any way I can.

Keith Marsh
Rotarian since 1986
San Anselmo, CA 94960


The photo was taken on New Year’s Eve with family and friends with my wife on crutches.

World of

Please welcome Rotarian Bill Oates from the Rotary Club of Bloomington, Indiana who stopped by during last week’s meeting!

The attached picture includes my wife, Rita Oates, who is a professional friend of Rushton Hurley. They both are frequent speakers at educational technology conferences. I sometimes attend, too. I remember our having dinner with Rushton in Evansville, Indiana, in 2015. That’s when I learned about the Silicon Valley Rotary eClub. I attended some meetings soon after that. Your format today is more advanced and has more of a real-meeting feel. Kudos to your club! During the coronavirus shutdown, you provide a good model for other clubs.

I was inducted into Rotary in 1989 by the Coral Gables, Florida, club, where I served as Youth Director. Two years ago, I transferred to the Rotary Club of Bloomington, Indiana. In retirement, I’m a “”snowbird”” moving seasonally between Indiana and South Florida. I retired about 10 years ago from the Miami Herald as editor of its International Edition. Before that, I worked as an association executive, college professor, software developer, science writer, and materials research engineer. With four college degrees, I’ve managed to do a little bit of everything. And it’s been fun! In retirement, I’ve become absorbed by genealogy and family history. With Rotary, too, I’m still having fun.


Through a Rotarian’s Lens

Sometimes a photo can capture an amazing moment. In this section Member Keith Marsh shares his incredible photography!
If you’d like to submit a photo for this section please contact Keith.

This photo is similar to the one I posted a few weeks ago. Taken in the Patriach Grove of the Bristlecone Pines in the White Mountains east of Bishop, CA. This photo was selected by National Geographic as on the the Daily Dozen in August 2015. It received the most votes for the day at 417.



Learn Something New

This section is curated by members Shags Shagrin and Rushton Hurley and aims to teach our members and guests something new, fun and useful! If you have any ideas on a fun trick or skill you’d like to share please contact Rushton or Shags.

Introducing…The Nicholas Brothers!

Shags here!

Part 1: FIRST WATCH THIS IMPORTANT VIDEO ABOUT PROPER HAND WASHING, then come back for some entertainment!!:

Part 2: Now that many of us are staying close to home due to the global viral pandemic, I’ve got some things to Learn Something New from the “old movies”. My paternal grandfather was a showman, meaning he ran theaters, first live (before widespread film projection) and then “movie houses”, and my father grew up helping at the family’s neighborhood theater in Youngstown, Ohio. He got to see a lot of movies, and when I came along many years later, when one from the “old days” was on TV, he urged me to watch. One thing I’ll never forget is him insisting I watch the Nicholas Brothers perform to Jumpin’ Jive with Cab Calloway and his orchestra in the great film, Stormy Weather.

The story is that the dance in the spot below was UNREHEARSED!! Of course, they most likely planned it out in their heads…perhaps? I’ve since found many other clips on YouTube than the one here, and I’ll put the links at the end of this intro. Here’s the “Something New” for those who are familiar with Fayard Antonio Nicholas and his younger brother, Harold Lloyd Nicholas. Fayard so loved the antics of Harold Lloyd in the silent movies that he urged his parents to name his new little brother after him.

Read more about them at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Brothers, and check out their work as young men at ,

The Nicholas Brothers tap dance at a young age

Lucky Number .. Nicholas Brothers .. 1936

, and this featuring Glenn Miller, where they appear toward the end with Dorothy Dandridge. You may recognize a young Milton Berle as well, though I’m certainly dating myself!:

Glenn Miller – Chattanooga Choo Choo – Sun Valley Serenade (1941) HQ

. If you watch all of these, you’ve got no extra credit, but I hope you had a great time! -Shags

Jumpin Jive – Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers


Coffee With a Rotarian

A natural part of Rotary is the networking and the fellowship you get out of meeting other Rotarians. Coffee With a Rotarian is a monthly program of our club where we match participating club members for one-on-one virtual (or in some cases in person) coffee meetings, so they can learn more about each other. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we have Sandy from Fremont, CA, USA reporting on a chat with Olukunle from Lagos, Nigeria

This month I had a delightful Coffee with a Rotarian with Olukunle from Lagos, Nigeria. He was born and raised in Lagos and that is where he currently lives.

Olu has been a member of the eClub for 2 years. He credits Tzviatko for him becoming a Rotarian. He had attended several meetings and Tzviatko invited him to join. The rest is history. Rotary has a large presence in Nigeria with over 1000 Clubs. Olu maintains our excellent Club website. Thank you for making it so user friendly.

I asked him if it ever gets cold in Nigeria. He said the lowest temperature is 23C or 73F.

Coffee with a Rotarian is one of my favorite things about our Club.

We encourage all club members to participate in Coffee With a Rotarian. You can sign up here!

Our Annual Project: Raise Funds to Fight Cancer

Hi, everyone!

Starting this week, we’ll begin our annual project to raise funds to fight cancer through research, programs for survivors and caregivers, and more. As mentioned in the moderately recent email, there are many ways you can get involved. We’ll highlight your efforts as we go, but start with member Kelly Ku, who sends this message:

“In support of Theresa: You’ve shown incredible strength. Much light and love to you!”

Guests, feel free to honor someone you know who is fighting cancer, or remember someone you’ve lost. You can leave a message in the Disqus section below, or if you like, you can donate via this

Relay for Life page (main.acsevents.org/goto/rushton).

Members, watch for more info via email and in the weekly meetings.

Thank you for helping our club and the Rotary community fight cancer!

Service Report

Tell us about service you’ve done recently in your community.
Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


On the first meeting of every month, we feature service reports from club members for the previous month. Thanks for your service everyone!

Club Announcements

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we do regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of the events and service projects listed here.

Past Events:

Upcoming Events:

Grateful Garment (organization that presented to us in Jan 2018) Gala Dinner and Auction
May 1, 2020, 6pm-10pm
Quinlan Community Center, 10185 N Stelling Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014
More info at https://gratefulgarment.org/grateful-gala-dinner-and-auction/

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

District 5170 Events

District 5170 Training Assembly
April 18, 2020, 8:30am-2pm
University of Silicon Andhra, 1521 California Circle, Milpitas, CA 95035

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)



More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email inquiries@siliconvalleyrotary.com

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.


Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Here are the happy dollars contributions from last week!
This section is usually updated on the early hours of Saturday, so contributions made over the weekend may not be listed here.

Carl Mianecke made a $25 donation.
I am happy that everyone is taking care of me so well while in quarantine and also for all the well-wishes from friends and relatives.

Sharon Trabbic made a $20 donation.
Thank you for sharing your meeting and agenda. I am the Pres of the Rotary Club of Maumee (Ohio) in District 6600, Zone 30. Since we aren’t having our weekly meetings for a while, I’m exploring what eClubs are doing to connect their members! Thank you for being so open. Your closed FB group is also a wonderful idea — maybe we’ll do that too.

Monique Ziesenhenne made a $20 donation.
TRF-Annual Fund

Anonymous? made a $10 donation.
This week I received my Occupational Therapy License to practice in the state of PA!

C Alexander made a $Other Amount donation.
So proud of our club and Rushton’s work to connect educators with students, plus other Rotarians online, during COVID-19. Please forward this donation to benefit the Rotary Foundation.

Sandy Stabile made a $20 donation.
Proud to be a Rotarian and a member of this Club!

Rory Olsen made a $20 donation.
Jazzmine is asleep in the sun, so she and I are happy.

While much of Houston is shut down because of the Novel Corona Virus, on a several mile walk in my neighborhood this morning I encountered over a dozen houses where construction crews were working to repair houses damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.

Sinan Yaykin made a $5 donation.

Kelly Ku made a $25 donation.
I’m happy that my friends and family are safe and healthy.

Please apply my gift to PolioPlus. The current crises is highlighting just how important it is to eradicate diseases such as Polio.

Fill out my online form.

Selected Comments

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select a few comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.


Here are the comments selected from last week’s meeting.

Emily Paver  said:

Great program, team! Thank you for this bright spot in a difficult week, as we all adjust to new “norms” and find ways to support those around us. Thinking of all of you and wishing you well.

Angela Hoang said:

I’m so glad to be a part of our club and know that no matter what is going on in the world that we can still meet and it’s been ‘business as usual’ for us online! I’m also so thankful for the friendships I’ve made through this club – Raquel in particular has been a daily support for me while I’ve been a battling healthcare worker on the other side of the world!

Nathan Gildart said:

Thanks Rushton et al. No doubt, if we weren’t an eclub I wouldn’t be a Rotarian. It gives people who don’t have the schedule or live in remote areas an opportunity to join the forces of good. It’s been great to see how the club and the format have evolved over the last several years. It’s great to see the outreach to other clubs, helping them deal with the current global situation.

Nan Herron said:

I am so honored to be part of this amazing club! You all rock!

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Unlocking Nerve: Supporting Low-Income Communities through Enterprise

Speaker: Esther Kwaku

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, and how those contribute to service to others. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for leading our club’s Programs Committee in finding us amazing speakers each week.

The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley seeks to explore perspectives on service from across the world. The views of the speakers in our programs are their own, and unless stated otherwise, are not necessarily reflective of the views of our eClub nor Rotary International.

If you have an idea for a cool speaker, please feel free to reach out to them directly
or submit THIS FORM so our Program Committee can contact them!

Working with under-developed communities all over the world, our speaker has seen first-hand the amazing depths local people go to in order to lift themselves out of poverty. How do they thrive and leverage their strengths in incredibly tough environments?

She will share stories from some of the remarkable places she’s been on her journey. You’ll meet the brilliant people she has met along the way and hear about the moments that sparked ideas to transform and make powerful change happen.

Our speaker, Esther Kwaku, has worked in the nonprofit sector for almost twenty years. Driven by an urge to work with grassroots communities in rural communities, she has travelled to over forty countries, working on global humanitarian issues in such places as Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Myanmar.

Esther is now the Founder & CEO of The Nerve Network, a vibrant, high-energy social enterprise which helps exceptionally brilliant people living in remote, low-income places start their own businesses.

Members and guests, please welcome Esther Kwaku!


Esther Kwaku of the Nerve Network

Additional Resources

Learn more about Esther’s work at: https://www.wegotnerve.com/

Share your thoughts or ask our speaker a question in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

Upcoming Program Recording Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. You are welcome to join us! Please note the timezone listed for all recordings is US Pacific Time (San Francisco, California, USA).

If you can’t join the live recording, please send your questions for an upcoming speaker to programs@siliconvalleyrotary.com.

You’re Almost Done! Please complete The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done.

We have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

For all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Important: Once you submit the Attendance Survey below, please make sure you see the confirmation message. If you get an error message instead, please try the ‘submit’ button again, and if that doesn’t work, please refresh the page and it should work fine. Thanks!

2020-03-23T05:30:07+00:00March 23rd, 2020|0 Comments