In the latest Around Town column, news about a local resident discussing her new book on NPR's Fresh Air, a special proclamation for Stanford women's basketball and a new housing project for adults with developmental disabilities.
THE WORLD OF ADULTING ... Adapting to adulthood can be a confusing time for young people as they break away from their youth and navigate newfound responsibilities. Many of us could've used a guide on adulting the moment we turned 18 years old.
Former Stanford University Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising Julie Lythcott-Haims aims to smoothen the transition with perspectives in her new book, "Your Turn: How To Be An Adult," which she discussed on Monday's episode of NPR's Fresh Air. In a nearly 40-minute interview from her Palo Alto home, Lythcott-Haims touched on several ideas captured in her book, such as why she encourages adults to talk to strangers.
"You need to learn how to advocate for yourself, treat others with respect, ask for help when you need it, offer help to others," she said. "Interactions with humans are really the juice of this human experience."
Lythcott-Haims also delved into ideas raised in her first book, "How To Raise An Adult," such as her warnings about the "overparenting trap."
She also talked about growing up as the daughter of a Black man and white woman, which she details in her 2017 memoir "Real American." "I was trying not to be, never to be, the stereotypical Black person, constantly trying to prove my worth ... or that I wasn't bad. I was desperately running from the stereotype and running toward this sort of model, this idealized version of Blackness," she said.
ALL THEY DO IS WIN ... Palo Alto residents who tuned in to the beginning of the City Council's virtual meeting this week got to witness a rare treat: a team of charismatic leaders who work seamlessly together to accomplish lofty goals and bring pride to their community.
Members of Stanford University's women's basketball team, which edged the Arizona Wildcats on April 4 to win the NCAA championship, joined the meeting along with their iconic head coach, Tara VanDerveer, to accept a special proclamation from the council in honor of their achievement. The proclamation singles out VanDerveer, whose resume includes 14 appearances in the Final Four, 24 conference championships and five National Coach of the Year awards.
The council's proclamation honors her for being an "outspoken advocate for equity not only for the young women engaged in her program and in the sport of basketball but for women who aspire to enter the field of coaching."
Despite various challenges and considerable time away from home, the team continued to support the local community. VanDerveer said they did a shootout after practice each day and every time someone made a half-court shot, the team pledged a donation to a local food bank. "Even though we couldn't be there in person, we are very proud to represent Stanford University and our community and always want to give back."
Council members lauded the team and their coach for their accomplishment. "During a year where we've had little to celebrate, you've all given us a much-needed boost and a jolt of optimism that we can all really celebrate as a community," council member Greer Stone said.
ON THE HORIZON ... An effort by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to create more homes for adults with developmental disabilities reached a milestone this week, when the board tapped the nonprofit Eden Housing to develop a residential community in Palo Alto at a county-owned site at 525 Charleston Road.
The decision means that Eden will be able to use up to $4 million in funding out of the $10 million that the county had designated so far for the effort. Eden is no stranger to the city, having developed the residential community at 801 Alma St. For its new project, it will partner with the nonprofit AbilityPath, which specializes in serving people with special needs.
"This is a tangible step forward in addressing a crucial area of need," county Supervisor Joe Simitian, who helped spearhead the effort, said in a statement Tuesday. He also lauded the fact that the new housing will be located close to a Magical Bridge playground, which was designed for users of all abilities. "I'm looking forward to seeing how this project develops over the next few years. Having AbilityPath in the mix is an added plus, and the location is ideal."