Santa Cruz, CA (PRWEB) March 8, 2007
A group of 60 volunteers, armed with paint brushes and rollers, stormed in on Santa Cruz to wash out what the "taggers" (graffiti painters) had started. iD Tech Camps, a Campbell-based summer camp company founded by Los Gatos High School grads, organized its employees and their family members to volunteer to paint over a thousand yards of graffiti, plant hundreds of plants, and pick up multiple truckloads of trash.
"We're a small army out here," said Pete Ingram-Cauchi, CEO of iD Tech Camps. "It's pretty unusual to set a start time of 8 AM on a Saturday morning and have more people show up than expected. We ran out of donuts for our volunteers."
iD Tech Camps, the nation's largest computer camp, has the goal of not only maintaining its status as the country's largest computer summer camp, but "we also intend on making it the greenest," said Ingram-Cauchi.
Locally, iD Tech Camps operates its summer camps at UC Santa Cruz, Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and other prestigious universities nationwide. The company even offers a unique hybrid Surf & Tech camp where students spend half the day making video games and the other half of the day learning to surf at Cowell's and other hot surf spots.
Working with the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County, iD Tech employees and their families carpooled to Santa Cruz early Saturday morning. The Volunteer Center has a Graffiti Free Santa Cruz program, sponsored by the City of Santa Cruz Redevelopment Agency. Its mission is to maintain the natural beauty of Santa Cruz by preventing and removing graffiti through community involvement, eradication, education, and enforcement. The ultimate goal is to have volunteers adopt-a-spot to maintain a graffiti free area in a neighborhood or place of work. Volunteers are provided with graffiti removal supplies and training to support their commitment.
In three hours, the results were clearly visible as positive synergy extended beyond the iD Tech Camps volunteers. Neighbors south of 30th Avenue and Brommer Street came out of their homes with wide smiles and kind words of thanks. "Two neighbors showed up and handed our volunteers Hershey's kisses," said Ingram-Cauchi. "They were really excited." And even neighbor Marina Corcoran, a five-and-a-half year old helped joined the group to plant ivy.
"This is truly wonderful," said resident Chris Marc who peered over his fence to see what was going on. "I've lived here a long time and have never seen a group this size out here to clean up." Ingram-Cauchi hopes to leave some momentum for the neighbors to continue to clean up the area.
One neighbor who teaches middle school and wishes to remain anonymous stated, "Now that the graffiti is painted over, hopefully the neighborhood can adopt this area to keep it clean. It's good that kids can express themselves, but schools need to re-channel this energy into more positive venues."
Ingram-Cauchi and his sister and business partner, Alexa Ingram-Cauchi, who both grew up 15 miles from Santa Cruz, set the goal of making iD Tech Camps the greenest computer camp in the country last year. That idea has turned into a full-fledged initiative, which is now being implemented throughout the entire company.
"There's nothing more rewarding than getting your hands dirty and making a difference. It's important to my sister and my family and our employees. In three hours, we accomplished an awful lot as a team. In the past, we have gone on company ski trips. I think those are a thing of the past. This was much more rewarding," said Ingram-Cauchi.
The residents south of 30th Avenue and Brommer Street are probably thinking the same thing.
To participate in the Graffiti Free Santa Cruz initiative, please visit http://www.ci.santa-cruz.ca.us/ra/Graffiti.html.
For more information about iD Tech Camps "Greening of iD" initiative, please visit http://www.internaldrive.com/id_greening.htm
About iD Tech Camps
iD Tech Camps provides weeklong hands-on technology summer camps for ages 7-17 at 50 prestigious universities nationwide including UC Santa Cruz, Stanford University, Santa Clara University. At these day and overnight computer camps, students produce digital movies, create video games, design web pages, learn programming, build robots, and more. With one computer per student and an average of five students per staff, campers are given the attention they need to excel and take home a project at the end of the weeklong course. At UC Santa Cruz there's a Surf & Tech program where students spend half the day surfing and the other half creating a video game or website. For more information, visit http://www.internalDrive.com or call 1-888-709-TECH (8324).
Media contact: Karen Thurm Safran, iD Tech Camps, 408-666-8353