For the past 12 years the Raleigh Charter High School has been our neighbor. We have been pleasantly surprised to find that a high school can be a great neighbor, at least this one. The staff and students are energetic and creative, as demonstrated below.

One of the RCHS art students sold me this awesome squirrel playing guitar!

This summer the school is moving to a new location. I recently attended an open house to see the partly finished space. While there I ran into Dr. Sally Humble, my high school English teacher who I hadn’t seen in 26 years. At one point I found myself giving a speech about the importance of good writing in the business world and how few people can write a complete sentence.

That’s when it hit me that I wasn’t born with the ability to write. I can write because of Sally and teachers like her who worked hard to train me. They did it because they cared about their students, certainly not for the money or fame. I will always be grateful for the teachers who helped me to get where I am.

As it turned out, that was a perfect moment to feel grateful, because a few minutes later I learned that the Raleigh Charter High School needs money to finish their new building. The next day Alien Skin Software donated to this worthy cause.

That got me thinking that it isn’t fair for Alien Skin’s donations to only be directed to my pet causes. So, starting now we have a new benefit. Once a year, each person in the company gets to choose a charity to receive $1000. Here is the list we just donated to. Some people split their money between multiple charities.

I hope this inspires you or perhaps your employer to think about everyone who got you where you are and pay it forward to organizations improving the world today.