And The Winner Is …..

Well it turns out that I did win a lunch with Jerry Yang in the Donor’s Choose Bloggers Challenge. You all raised $18,538 in 92 separate gifts impacting 2,549 students. We beat out Engadget, TechCrunch, All Things D, and many others. Thank you for your generosity.

As I promised, I am giving my lunch with Jerry Yang away. I received 17 requests for the lunch. All of them were amazing. It was a very difficult choice, but in the end I went with the obvious option. I am giving the lunch to someone who in turn is giving away the lunch. There were four of those people among the 17 requests.

After a lot of deliberation, I selected Steli Efti, who said the following:

The reason I want to
get the seat at lunch is to give it to someone else.
If you choose me, I will find the right kid in an underprivileged school who
would
really benefit from an inspiring and life-changing experience like meeting with
Jerry Yang.

I asked Steli how he would select the "right kid". He said:

I will organize 2
school workshops in Oakland about
"using tech to reach your goals in life" and let the kids who are
inspired to go to lunch with Jerry Yang write a one page essay about
how their life would change if they had a chance to meet the founder of
Yahoo. Then I would pick one of them.

Two weeks later, Steli sent me the following email:

Hope you’re doing
great. Since we had the email exchange about my idea
to give the seat at lunch with Jerry Yang to a kid alot of good things have
happened.

I decided to do something regardless of the outcome at the Blogger Challenge
and  connected with an great organization called Pathwaysforkids.org
which is helping entrepreneurs to mentor and coach San Francisco’s
Undeserved, Inner-City Youth.

I’m going to give a seminar about technology and entrepreneurship to the kids
and I want to thank you for being the stimulator and inspiration for this to me. I sold everything I
had 6 months ago coming from Greece and bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco. I was telling myself the lie that
I’m too busy right now starting a company to devote some of my time to help kids – I’m glad I read
your post, donated some money and now ended up connecting with some great people to do make some positive work
today!
I still hope you win the Blogger Challenge and decide to give me the
opportunity of giving a kid a great once-in-a-lifetime chance.

This is what Donor’s Choose is all about. Helping kids get the opportunity we all got. Thanks Steli for being an inspiration to me and hopefully to everyone who reads this blog.