SBLSD parent — Jason Bass — shares inspiration, wisdom
Equity Director Josh Agpalza interviewed Jason Bass, a Bonney Lake resident, parent and volunteer, who reflects on Black History Month.
How long have you lived in the Sumner-Bonney Lake Community?
We have lived in the Tehaleh community of Bonney Lake for 3.5 years.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, hobbies, education, childhood, etc.)
I'm a graduate of Curtis High School in University Place, and these days, I'm a happy husband and proud father of two young adventurers who attend the incredible Donald Eismann Elementary School. When I'm not spending quality family time with my loved ones, you can usually find me crunching numbers. I have a degree in International Relations and Economics, as well as an MBA in Finance.
But don't worry, I'm not just all work and no play! I love exploring the great outdoors with my family, whether we're trekking through the lush Tehaleh walking trails or discovering a new park. And when I'm feeling a bit more adventurous, you might catch me fishing for salmon in the stunning Puget Sound, river, or lake.
However, what really gets me excited is giving back to the community. I'm honored to be a part of the amazing Bonney Lake - Tehaleh Rotary Club, a passionate group of people who are committed to making a positive impact in our community. I'm also fortunate enough to serve on the board of the Bonney Lake Food Bank, working alongside incredibly talented individuals who share my passion for solving food insecurity.
Celebrating Black History Month: What does it mean to you?
Black History Month is a time to reflect on the pivotal role that African Americans have played in shaping our country and the world as we know it today. From civil rights leaders to inventors, artists, and cultural icons, Black Americans have made immense contributions to society and have been instrumental in bringing about positive change.
But beyond recognizing their achievements, Black History Month is also an opportunity to embrace and celebrate diversity in all its forms. It reminds us of the importance of acknowledging and appreciating the different experiences and perspectives that make our communities and our country so rich and dynamic.
By coming together to celebrate Black History Month, we can deepen our understanding of the past and present struggles and triumphs of African Americans. We can also strengthen our resolve to work towards a more just and inclusive future where all people are valued and respected, regardless of their race or ethnicity.
Our goal as a district is to KNOW, VALUE, and SUPPORT all students. Do you have any words of wisdom to help us live up that goal?
Active listening: Take the time to listen and understand the needs, concerns, and experiences of students. Encourage an open dialogue and create opportunities for students to express themselves.
Embrace diversity: Recognize and celebrate the diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences of all students. Foster an environment of respect, understanding, and inclusivity, where students feel valued for who they are.
Continuous improvement: Continuously evaluate and improve the strategies and programs in place to support students. Be open to feedback and suggestions from students, families, and educators to ensure that the needs of all students are being met.
What/Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My Grandfather, a Tuskegee Airman, has been a constant source of inspiration in my life. His unwavering faith, commitment to serving his country and community has left a lasting impact on me and instilled in me a deep sense of pride and gratitude.
His selflessness and bravery in the face of adversity, both on and off the battlefield, have taught me the true meaning of service and sacrifice. His example has inspired me to give back to my community and work towards making a positive impact in the world.
I am grateful for his service and his legacy, and I strive to honor his memory by living a life of service and dedication to others. He is a true hero, and I am proud to call him my grandfather.
Any words of wisdom that you would like to share with our students?
I want to remind you of the incredible power you have to make a positive impact in your community. You are the change agents of today and tomorrow, and your actions can inspire others to follow your lead.
Serving others is not only about helping those in need, but it also provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment that can bring joy and satisfaction to your life. Whether it's volunteering at a local shelter, cleaning up a neighborhood park, or simply helping a neighbor in need, every action you take has the potential to make a difference.
I encourage you to think about how you can serve your community and be the change you want to see in the world. Start small, and watch how your actions can create a ripple effect that touches the lives of many.