"Nothing is Impossible" - BEZALEL's Mark B. Visits Annual Career Day in South Central L.A.

Latino-American, born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, BEZALEL's own 29-year old Mark B. shares his experiences growing up as a minority and how he overcame challenges. Mark took a bag of BEZALEL goodies and visited his wife's 5th-grade class at South Park Elementary School for their Annual Career Day Event.

He tells us the how students "are eager to learn new material and want to explore all the other things that privileged schools have. [...] These young students need more exposure to new material that is not available to them or is outside their reach; more exposure to the successful entrepreneurs they can better relate to, exposure to today’s technology so they can learn from them.

Let's hear more from Mark...

1) How did being a minority shape your experiences both good and bad?

Being a minority shaped me into the person that I am today. Growing up in a low socio-economic status household, I learned to deeply value my education [if I should] attain a career that I can enjoy doing every day. Some of the barriers included lack of role models or professionals that I was not able to relate to…no one “looked” like me. This pushed me to be the person I am today, someone that hopefully others can look up to.

2) What were some of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

Some of the challenges I faced and that I see many other young Latinos going through right now, is the lack of resources not available to students of all levels. Classes are overcrowded, school supplies are scarce and the technology is not in the classrooms for teachers to use and enhance the students' learning.

3) What are (or were) things you wish you could have had more of growing up as a young student?

More up-to-date resources like technology. I remember as a young student, our classroom only had 1 computer for a total of 30 students. The technology was not available to us and still is not readily available in today’s classrooms compared to other privileged students.

4) Tell us a little about South Park Elementary.

It's in the heart of South Central Los Angeles surrounded by a tough neighborhood where classroom windows are gated to keep intruders out, but nonetheless, classes are well-kept, hallways are spotless and the campus is top-notch clean. The campus staff is very energetic, welcoming and just happy to be there. Teachers and staff are filled with determination and very passionate for doing what they do best.

5) As a young Latino male working at a tech Startup in Silicon Beach, how might you have made an impact on the students there?

I grew up in a similar neighborhood and went to similar schools just like them and explained the importance of keeping focus when encountering difficulties along the way.

I had the chance to let them know they can accomplish anything they put their minds to, nothing is impossible. Hopefully they can relate with my experiences so they can enjoy working towards their goals and passion and not live under the typical status quo.

6) How did the students respond to your presence representing BEZALEL and the products? What did they think of BEZALEL?

The kids at South Park were excited to see me. I had the opportunity to explain the cool tech I got to work on and the amazing people I work with in the office. They had no idea or ever heard of Bezalel, but after explaining what I do and how the products work, they thought I was the coolest guy with the coolest job ever.

They thought our products looked very cool and futuristic. They loved how sleek and light the Futura X charging pad was and the convenience of the Prelude portable charger. They got excited when I said I was giving these items away.

I had a Futura X, a Prelude and a few of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X magnetic cases. All the students had their hands up to ask questions and were eager to know how wireless charging works. They loved the concept of the Prelude and the convenience of the Futura X and wireless charging, thought it was some sort of magic trick.

7) What kind of leadership and influence do you think young students of today really need? Especially those who don't have the resources that other more privileged students have?

I had the chance to ask the students questions, and when I asked what career path they would like to pursue, most responses were “aspiring rappers, pop singers, famous YouTubers and athletes”. In addition, based on my engagement with the Latino youth community, it seems nobody wants to be a doctor anymore.

Today’s students, particularly minorities, need more role models they can look up to and role models they can relate to. We also need those successful Latino men and women to come forth and speak with these young students so they can motivate them and teach them the ways.

In short, I was glad to show these kids that there are more varieties in career choice. I was excited to represent a tech company that helped open their eyes to other options for their future and look forward to more opportunities for empowering minority youth everywhere I go. 


THANK YOU South Park Elementary in Los Angeles, CA for allowing BEZALEL to meet and learn more about your students! THANK YOU MARK B. for representing BEZALEL's heart of service by giving out products and speaking as a role model and leader for a Latino youth community like the one in this classroom!