OAKLAND NORTH -- Rodriguez, her husband, and five children have also only been accessing the Internet through their smartphones. They use them to do homework, write research papers, work and pay the bills. But Rodriguez had another reason for wanting a computer: She’s working on expanding her non-profit, Lee Youth Outreach, which was set up in honor of her oldest son’s best friend, Lee Weathersby III. Thirteen-year-old Weathersby died after being shot 13 times on his way home from the Boys and Girls Club. His death was Oakland’s first homicide of 2014.
After recently graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in Women and Gender Studies, Rodriguez is now setting up her nonprofit in an effort to provide the children in her community with a safe environment away from gang culture. She’s enlisting the help of Weathersby’s friends in the hope that they will become community leaders.
“I knew it wasn’t only going to help my family,” she said of receiving a computer. “It was going to help me do research and find funding and to make connections. It was just needed in so many different areas.”