Rabbits and a Piano:Exploring the Service Experience at buildOn’s Writing Workshop

Earlier in November, buildOn students in Oakland and San Francisco attended a writing workshop to explore how community service has affected them personally. The students were broken up into groups (of their own choosing) and worked on poetry, Essay/Story writing against the prompt: “Why do I do community service or why did I join buildOn?”, or art and life maps. Here’s some of what the students produced on this inspiring day!

When I was introduced to buildOn at my high school, the door of opportunity slammed open. This was an opportunity to legitimately do something for others. This was an opportunity of being a part of making a difference in this world of imbalance and inequality. I wanted to be that person I imagined that possessed the good and love of humanity in their souls.

Karren Moore



I Am/ We Are
I am pain & bliss.
I am a Rabbits and a piano.
I am Cambodian with a click of desires.
I am the sound of another who can see me on fire.
I am the one who run through a red forest.
I am too, the one that can hear crying.
I am feeling small right now but someday I’ll open a chest.
I am rhythm that floats in mid air gasping to be visible.
We are the keys and the combinations.
We see sadness and tears chopping out side our community.
We believe that there’s a fire out there that needs to be lit.
We dream to find more knowledge and wisdom within our heart beat.
We fight for more smiles day by day until we could no longer bite.
We change over time as we accept what we see.
We are find and trying.
We are buildOn!

LimHeng Sung


Growing up in the San Francisco Mission district, I was exposed to drugs, violence, and gangs. After a while I learned to live within it. When I was in 8th grade I moved to Richmond City, which really changed my point of view. I saw how these things really affect other people. Then I asked myself: Why is it normal to see a homeless person on the street? Why don’t people believe that is a problem? Is it a lack of education in the community?

I believe every person beyond the less fortunate deserves a new start. To be able to re-live and be able to feel or do what was missing. All we need is hope and we can change just about anything. There is no need to be shy. Speak loud and free to be heard and change what you believe is wrong. From crime to education problems, even out of the country and poverty around the world. There is no limit to your beliefs. Together we can shape the future however we would like it to be.

Jonathan Aleman



I am an inked eraser with lead
I am the blank concrete slate
I am a city in the west
I am the bridge near the golden gates
I am the cultural trail mix
I am part of a system
I am anonymous
I am or am I?
We are Builders with paper and rebels with pens
Who see the silent revolution
We believe in the world around us
We dream the idealistic reality
We fight the invisible shroud covering the abandoned children of the capitalistic society
We change the ends of the means
We are E Pluribus Unum: out of many, one
We are buildOn!

Terence Yang

Posted November 16, 2011 in News, Uncategorized by buildOn

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Earlier in November, buildOn students in Oakland and San Francisco attended a writing workshop to explore how community service... https://www.buildon.org/2011/11/rabbits-and-a-pianoexploring-the-service-experience-at-buildons-writing-workshop/

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