Bean’s Cafe is a charity with a mission. They have a simple goal: to feed the hungry and homeless without discrimination during the day. However, they go much further than that. Not only do they offer breakfast and lunch to those who need, from homeless people to those struggling to meet ends meet, they also assist those in need get back onto their feet. They do this by “finding housing, jobs, and more” for all the disadvantaged people in our community. Bean’s Cafe also packs lunches for children unable to afford school lunches in a program they call “The Children’s Lunchbox.” The founding idea behind Bean’s Cafe “is a deep belief in the inherent dignity of every person, a belief that people respond with kindness when treated kindly, with trust when trusted, and respectfully when respected. Our aim is not to set up a value system –determining what is right or wrong – or a way of life for persons, but allow them to form their own. In this situation, a person is not pressured into acting in a special way, and their response is free, lasting, and more fully themselves.” (Bean’s Cafe FoundingDocuments, 1979) Now, this is a belief that looks good on paper, but it is even better to see in action. It is incredible to watch hundreds of volunteers freely give up their time to serve those less fortunate than themselves.
Bean’s Cafe runs entirely on donations, primarily from online and local donors. Unfortunately, there nowadays exist a group of people who take advantage of those who wish to donate. Scammers lurk in the web, trying to snare would-be charitable funds. This is where the Better Business Bureau Accreditation comes into play. TheBBB accreditation logo signifies that this business has held itself up against the highest standards, which is doubly important for a charity. A business should acquire BBB accreditation as a way to show that they are indeed a reputable business. But a charity depends on those few souls who are willing to contribute back into society, and if those few are unsure whether or not the supposed charity is fraudulent, then they are incredibly unlikely to give. The BBB stamp immediately signifies that the charity is not only reputable, but also promises information that is given freely on the BBB website, so that the donor is fully informed on where their funds will be going. This wealth of information stimulates the growth of a healthy community, such as the one surrounding Bean’s Cafe. One recipient of the services the cafe provides said “Bean’s Cafe has helped me in ways I never thought possible. It goes beyond food. They helped me to believe in myself again.” Bean’s Cafe has been an undeniable force for good in its community, in large part thanks to the funds it receives from its generous donors.
|Tell us a little about yourself|
|My name is Dominic Alioto; I live in Kenai, Alaska. My passions outside of school (which I enjoy), are hiking, reading, writing, traveling, 80s music, bass guitar, piano, synthesizer, and competitive swimming. After high school, I plan to attend college out of state and earn a master’s degree in either Public or Business Administration. From there, I plan to either be a Foreign Service Officer or a business consultant specializing in workplace productivity.|
|List and explain any awards received related to academic achievement|
|I have been honored to receive numerous awards from the Alaska Academic Decathlon, which is a rigorous academic high school competition with ten subjects all centered around one theme, which changes yearly. This past year I placed third in the state and received four individual medals for categories such as speech, economics, social science, and interview. Prior to that, I competed in the state Battle of the Books during middle and elementary school and placed within the top three several times. I have also been recognized as a potential candidate for the National Merit Scholarship.|
|Describe at least three school-related extra-curricular activities|
|As mentioned above, I take part in the Alaska Academic Decathlon. I also swim competitively for the local high school, and have had great success in that. I have been awarded “Most Inspirational Swimmer” twice, and will be team captain next year when I am a senior. I also am taking a personal finance class, as I would not like to live my life in debt and believe that everyone should know how to spend their money wisely. The class has only just begun, but already I see the importance of concepts such as compound interest and living debt-free.|
|Explain at least one leadership role that you have held|
|I have been honored to be elected as student body president this year, and thus far has been a great experience. It has been interesting, as I am homeschooled, so this presents unique problems and difficulties. It is also the first student council the region of our homeschool program has ever had. Because of this, and my position as president, I have been gifted the opportunity to be a trailblazer for future student councils. Our goals are similar to the goals of a student council at a regular school: to serve our community and the students we represent. We especially try to provide various social functions for our students, as many of them rarely have opportunities to socialize. I believe that so far, we have done an excellent job bringing students together and serving the community.|