The Walden Way

Sebouh Bazikian and Nina Finton have something in common - both exemplify the Walden way, in a big way, through own small way.

Published : Wednesday, November 20, 2013 | 7:01 PM

Sebouh Bazikian is a local celebrity. Actually, local may not be the most accurate descriptor … Intercontinental celebrity is more like it. At the Machao Orphanage in Kenya, he is hailed as a hero. That is thanks to the 42 bikes Bazikian donated to the children in need after a year of tireless work to raise the money.

Bazikian, an avid cyclist, found out that the children at the Machao Orphanage had to walk 2 hours every day in the scorching Kenyan heat to get to school. “That was a big turning point in my life because I had to man up, step up, keep my promise because those kids really didn’t have anything,” says Bazikian, who started his own charity, “Bikes for Orphans”, at the young age of 16.

Bazikian is fighting for those who are in need. Now a senior at St. Francis High, Bazikian’s convictions began early while attending Walden School, where social change is embedded in their philosophy.

“What we really believe is that education is an instrument for social change,” says Matt Allio, Walden School Director.

Another social change advocate in the making is Nina Finton, Walden Class of 2019. As we all know, lemonade stands are a staple in the lives of many children. Lemonade stands for a cause? Now that’s remarkable.

At a young age, Finton is practicing the Walden way in her own way, and it seems her cause is here to stay. Finton’s lemonade for charity sale is already in its second year.

Last year, the money Finton raised was donated to The Walden Fund, but as she grows older, no doubt she will begin to identify her own cause, much like what Bazikia’s “Bikes for Orphans”.

“In some schools, education is in place to keep the status quo intact,” says Allio, “at Walden, education is in place to enable our students to thoughtfully question the status quo. We don’t want them to keep in the same level; we want them to make things better.”

Truly, the Walden way has taken root in Bazikian’s bones, and is emerging in Finton as well.

Two Walden students, two different causes. We can’t wait to find more.

Walden School, 74 South San Gabriel Boulevard, Pasadena,  (626) 792-6166, or visit

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