News & Events

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August, 2019

Silicon Valley Youth Leadership Panel

SVY sponsored a leadership conference ($5500) for middle school and elementary school leaders in collaboration with FMSD, and also sent 8 teachers: Oliver, Leo, Anouk, Arthur, Max, Ansh, Cindy, and Sean. In the morning the teachers gave around 160 students from 22 schools various workshops for leadership; in the afternoon, they met with students to help draft a timeline of events and activities the leadership team would plan. The students then pitched their ideas to their principals and discussed the details.

June 13th, 2019

Ravenswood Middle School Writing Contest

Silicon Valley Youth donated $5500+ to sponsor this year's writing contest.We supplied 17 first place prizes of AirPods, 17 second place prizes of $50 gift cards, 17 third place prizes of $25 gift cards, as well as 4 grand prizes of Chromebooks, 5 SVY representatives attended the awards ceremony, held during a school assembly and presented the awards to winning students.

June 6th, 2019

Ravenswood Middle School Afterschool Math Class Donation

Silicon Valley Youth donated $225 worth of prizes to award students in the Ravenswood Middle School afterschool math class. Each student received a gift card for completing the course.

April 9th, 2019

Franklin McKinney School District Board Meeting

SVY donated $4000 to College Connection Academy’s music program and presented the check at the Franklin McKinney School District Board Meeting on April 9th. The money will go towards purchasing new instruments and sheet music for the music class.

December 15th, 2018

Ravenswood City School District 2018 Holiday Party

SVY was invited to the RCSD Holiday Party, and volunteered at the event. Eric and Sam escorted families around, helping with gift distribution and raffling. The gift cards donated on December 13th were part of the raffle, and gifts included toys, blankets, cosmetics, bikes, and much more.

December 13th, 2018

Gift Cards for the Homeless

At the December board meeting of the Ravenswood City School District board, SVY representatives presented $5000 worth of gift cards to support homeless families in the district. The gift cards would be raffled out at the Ravenswood School District Holiday Party, and distributed to families in need throughout the next week. You can find more of our service here.

November 15th, 2018

$10,000 Check for Ravenswood Middle School Music Program

At a November board meeting of the Ravenswood City School District board, SVY presented a check for $10,000 that will go towards the Ravenswood Middle School music program. The money will go towards repairing instruments and supporting the RMS music teacher. SVY was also commended by the RCSD board for their dedication to service. Many SVY teachers and officers attended the event!

October 25th, 2018

Sylvandale Middle School Anti-Bullying Contest Judging & Awards Ceremony

SVY sponsored the Sylvandale Middle School Anti-Bullying Contest, donating over $3500 in prizes, and participated in the judging process. From an initial pool, 21 submissions were selected to undergo a second round of judging by SVY volunteers, and after much review and deliberation, 10 projects were selected as part of the top 10 and awarded Beats Solo 3 headphones, and a grand prize winner was awarded an iPad Mini. More information and the winning submission can be found on SMS's website.

October 17th, 2018

Ravenswood City School District State of the District Address

Silicon Valley Youth was invited to attend RCSD's State of the District event alongside local philanthropists, politicians and school adminstrators. The event was hosted at the newly remodeled Ronald McNair School.
Pictured from left to right: Arthur Ji, Jeffrey Tian, Tashia Frankwurth, Dr. Gloria Hernandez-Goff, John Morgridge, Brandon Fu, Sam Yang..

September 9th, 2018

Silicon Valley Youth Fall 2018 Classes Have Begun!

A new wave of classes has begun at SVY for the fall semester. We have 24 classes at 6 locations offering a variety of STEM and Humanities classes, including Public Speaking & Debate, AMC8, Java, Website Design, and more! Check our all of our classes here.

September 4th, 2018

Sylvandale Middle School Anti-Bullying Contest Opened!

Silicon Valley Youth is beginning a partnership with the Franklin-McKinney School District in San Jose, starting by sponsoring a Anti-Bullying PSA contest at Sylvandale Middle School. Students submit a creative piece and a write up that answers the prompt: "What does it look like to be an upstander?" 3 SVY officers will be part of the final panel of judges that selects the winner!.

August 18th, 2018

SVY End-of-Summer Party & College Talk!

We had an end-of-summer party to celebrate 3 years of dedicated service and teaching. Afterwards, our wonderful founders Benjamin and Bryan Owens delivered a talk on college life at Harvard and Yale.

June 6th, 2018

2018 Ravenswood Middle School Writing Contest Awards Ceremony

10 SVY Representatives attended the RMS Writing Contest awards ceremony, held during a school assembly. We donated $3000 worth of awards, presented the awards to the students, and took photos with them.

May 31st, 2018

Ravenswood Middle School After-School Math Class Donation

A few SVY officers and teachers went to Ravenswood Middle School to present gift cards (and an iPad) to students in the after-school Algebra program. The students worked hard the whole semester, and were excited when they received their certificates and awards! See more of our work here.

May 19th, 2018

Spring 2018 End of Semester Meeting

SVY had it's Spring 2018 end of semester meeting. We passed out certificates, introduced our officer team, had our photoshoot, and talked about opportunities to work with RCSD students. Congratulations on another successful semester!

May 17th, 2018

RCSD Arts and Music Showcase

Sam and Brandon were invited to, and attended the Ravenswood City School District Middle School Arts and Music showcase. Students' art pieces were on display in a gallery, and students played in the rock bands, jazz bands, and orchestra ensembles.

April 21st, 2018

2018-2019 Officer Team

Co-presidents Sam and Brandon have selected a new officer team for the 2018-2019 school year. We had an officer meeting, where we introduced some new policies, and discussed ideas for advancing the organization. See our full officer team here.

January 20, 2018

Spring 2018 Courses Open for Registration!

In addition to courses like Website Design, Java, and Public Speaking, we are opening many new courses including Chess, Bridge, USACO Bronze, and 3D Design! We welcome you to join us for another exciting year of learning. Click here to see our classes this semester.

December 21th, 2017

Gift Cards for the Homeless

Today, Sam, Brandon and SVY representatives went to the District Office during a school board meeting to donate $5000 worth of gift cards to homeless families in East Palo Alto. You can find out more about our service here.

December 9th, 2017

End of Semester Meeting

SVY had our end of semester meeting. We went over ways to improve class engagement, as well as some plans for moving forward into the spring. We recognized our teachers for holding another successful semester of classes.

September 9th, 2017

SVY at the Fall Festival

SVY teachers and officers set up a booth at this year's annual Cupertino Fall Festival, to promote SVY's classes and recruit prospective teachers and TAs. You can find our classes here.

August 16, 2017

Fall 2017 Courses Open for Registration!

Click here to see our classes this semester. We opened many new classes, including speech, game design, iOS app development, and more! We welcome you to join us for another exciting year of learning!

August 16, 2017

Foreign Language Learning Seminar

Bryan Owens gave a presentation on foreign language learning to 3000 attendees in we-chat groups. He gave tips on how to learn French, German, Chinese, Latin, and also on English Spelling Bee. See more here.

August 12, 2017

High School Experience Seminar

Bryan Owens and Benjamin Owens invited three friends who are also Gunn recent graduates to give a talk on their high school experience and college applications. The speakers will attend Harvard (2), Yale, Brown, and Berkeley in the fall. Over 200 students and parents attended this seminar and the talk was very successful.

Here is the list of questions asked and answered:

  1. How did you prioritize your activities throughout the years?
  2. How did you decide what would be the focus of your college applications?
  3. When do you recommend taking standardized tests?
  4. What is one experience you feel like is a must before leaving high school? What is something you wish you had done? +1
  5. How to join, benefit, and contribute to clubs?
  6. What you wish you had known better when you were in 9th grade ? 10th grade?
  7. What activities do you suggest during summer time?
  8. what is the best strategy or best practices if you don't like the teacher?
  9. Ways to reduce student stress before test?
  10. How to make kids interested in reading? How to make your reading better quality if all you read in 9th grade is adventure?
  11. How did you control yourself from spending too much time on video games and nonschool related fiction book reading?
  12. Did you know what you wanted to be when you were in 9th grade?
  13. How do you get involved with clubs and such if you are not super outgoing or confident in the subject?
  14. What suggestions to those high school students who don't decide majors that will be chosen when applying for college since they have no clear ideas about what they will do in the future?

You can view the seminar here:

August 11, 2017

SVY Meeting

SVY had our pre-semester meeting, led by co-presidents Sam Yang and Brandon Fu. We discussed teaching strategies, advertising classes, and company policy. We look forward to a successful semester, anticipating opening over 20 classes with more than 35 teachers and TAs.

July 14, 2017

Sino-US Education Forum in 2017

Benjamin Owens and Bryan Owens were invited as keynote speakers to give a speech in the Sino-US Education Forum. Over 1000 principals and education experts from around China listened to their talk.

July 7, 2017

Teaching English for Free in China

Bryan Owens and Benjamin Owens each taught English to a class of 30 high school students in Haimen, China. It is a free class which lasted three weeks, every day. Bryan taught critical reading. Benjamin taught grammar. Students in Haimen never had a chance to listen to authentic spoken English, rarely had the opportunity to speak English either. So this is a very high quality and special class for them.

July 5, 2017

Free Education Seminar in China

Bryan Owens and Benjamin Owens brought 5 other college students from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to Haimen, China on July 5, 2017. They gave 7 talks on How to Learn More Effectively, Extra-Curriculum in US, Learning Outside Class, The Crucial Lessons That I Learned From Sports, US College Application Process…

Most of the presentations were done in Chinese. Around 2500 high school students listened to their talk. The audiences were crazy about them. After the talks, they went on stage to ask for autographs and their contact information.

June 18, 2017

Writing Contest Award Ceremony at East Palo Alto

10 SVY representives attended the Ravenswood City School District AVID Writing contest awards ceremony today. The ceremony was held during the school board meeting, and SVY co-presidents Sam Yang and Brandon Fu presented the awards to students, while other SVY teachers and officers shook winners' hands, and sorted the gifts.

May 26, 2017

SVY End of Semester Meeting

Silicon Valley Youth held its teachers' end of semester meeting. As always, SVY teachers spent hours to go over the classes, sharing good tips and discussing problems. We also handed certificates to all our teachers and TAs, congratulating everyone on a successful semester. Bryan Owens and Benjamin Owens passed the leadership to Brandon Fu and Samuel Yang (the new co-presidents) and officers of SVY.

May 23, 2017

Plan Writing Contest Award Night

Bryan Owens, Benjamin Owens, Brandon Fu, and Samuel Yang met with Mr. Douglas Garriss (Grades 6-8 ELA/AVID/ELD Coordinator) at Ravenswood City School District today. They discussed details of the award ceremony for the Spring Writing Contest. The prizes include 3 iPads (grand prize), 18 Beats headphones (gold prize), 18 $50 gift cards (silver prize), 18 $25 gift cards (bronze prize). In total 59 middle students will win a prize.

March 18, 2017

SVY Mid Semester Meeting

SVY teachers held a mid-semester meeting to discuss this semester's classes and plan for next year.

February 1, 2017

2017 Spring Essay Writing Contest is open!

All the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in Ravenswood City Schools will participate in this contest. It will be a writing unit in their curriculum taught by English teachers. There are a total of 1000 participants.

January 21, 2017

Spring 2017 Semester Launched

We successfully launched our spring 2017 semester! This year, we offered more classes covering a wider range of topics than ever before. We opened 13 classes on Business, Current Events & Public Speaking, English Grammar, U.S. History, World History, Advanced Math, Java, Website Design Level 1, Website Design Level 2 and TaiChi.

January 17, 2017

Spring 2017 Courses Open for Registration!

Click here to see our classes this semester. We welcome you to join us for another exciting year of learning!

January 7, 2017

Tai Chi

Our first 2017 class, Tai Chi (Chinese Martial Art), started today!

This course is taught by Winnie Zhao, a junior at Gunn High School. As a member of the US team, she won two gold medals and one silver medal in the Second Tai Chi World Championship in Warsaw, Poland.

She teaches 24 simplified Tai Chi styles.

More information.

December 17, 2016

SVY End of Semester Meeting + Party

SVY teachers held an end of year meeting to discuss the past semester's classes and plan for next year. We also held a potluck, and congratulated our teachers on a successful semester.

December 8, 2016

AVID Writing Contest

The winners of the AVID Writing Contest were commended by Dr. Hernandez, the superintendent, Board of Trustees, and Silicon Valley Youth, in East Palo Alto. More here.

Download the presentation here:

December 3, 2016

End of Fall Classes

Our fall classes successfully ended today. Thank you to our teachers and students for an exciting year of learning!

November 13, 2016

Educational Seminar

Our Web Design/Java teacher Andrew Zhou gave a seminar to a live audience and to many parents and students who listened online from around the world.

November 4, 2016

Palo Alto Weekly Reported on Bryan Owens, Benjamin Owens, and Silicon Valley Youth. The title is “Nonprofit offers classes, raises funds for Ravenswood schools”.

Palo Alto Online later reported on November 5, 2016:

One small correction: we began to charge a small enrollment fee in January 2016, not January 2015.

October 20, 2016

Congressional Commendation

Surprise! Benjamin Owens and Bryan Owens received an encouraging letter from the Congress of the United States! We are so honored! Thank you, Congresswoman Ms. Jackie Speier!

October 18, 2016

East Palo Alto Classes

We had a meeting with Dr. Hernandez, the superintendent of Ravenswood City School District, and her assistant, Ms. Morales-Ellis, to discuss potentially offering free classes in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park next semester. We also talked to Mr. Badwalz from the California Department of Education and the district's after school coordinator Ms. Tana.

October 18, 2016

Palo Alto School District Commendation

Benjamin Owens and Bryan Owens were commended by Dr. McGee, the superintendent of Palo Alto Unified School District, at the District Board Meeting. (Video)

October 10, 2016

President's Volunteer Service Award

Great News! Silicon Valley Youth has been approved as an official certifying organization for the President's Volunteer Service Award.

October 8, 2016

U.S. History Session 2

Our U.S. History class is starting its second session! Read more here.

October 3, 2016

Thank you, Ms. Holly Knapp, for graciously donating $100 to Silicon Valley Youth! Your support and encouragement mean a lot to us! Her message:

The work you do is remarkable and life changing for the students you serve. Super proud of you!

You and your other volunteers are doing a fabulous job!

I work with at-risk teens throughout Santa Clara County and I know how much your work impacts each person you work with. Bravo!

All best, Holly Knapp

September 30, 2016

Palo Alto Daily News has released an article on Silicon Valley Youth! The title is "Young teachers make difference."

September 29, 2016

Silicon Valley Youth, Benjamin Owens, and Bryan Owens are on San Jose Mercury News! ("Gunn brothers teach to raise donations for East Palo Alto schools")

September 22, 2016

Donation for Kiln

We donated $9000 to Ravenswood City School District today! We are very happy that kids in East Palo Alto can have a ceramics class now because of our effort! See all of our service work here.

September 18, 2016

Educational Seminar

Bryan Owens gave a seminar to a live audience and many parents and students who listened online from around the world.

August 19, 2016

Fall Classes

Our fall classes are here! This semester, we will have 12 teachers (including TAs) to teach nine classes! Check out our Fall 2016 classes here.

July 14, 2016

New Classes

Teachers from Silicon Valley Youth are promoting our new classes at a volunteer social event.