MEDA April 2015 Volunteer of the Month: Sarah Souza

Sarah Souza-BlogEach month, the Mission Economic Development Agency honors one of its dedicated volunteers—the people who are an integral part of MEDA’s ability to provide free services to low- and moderate-income Bay Area residents. Thanks to all of the selfless MEDA volunteers who choose Plaza Adelante as their second home.

Name: Sarah Souza
Program: Policy and Free Tax Preparation Programs

Why did you decide to volunteer with MEDA?
I chose to volunteer at MEDA for its core values, and focus on equity and social justice. I wanted to be part of an organization that truly cares about the community.

What projects have you worked on as a volunteer?
I have been a Policy intern at MEDA for nearly a year. I have worked on such projects as conducting merchant walks, gathering data on inclusionary housing in the Mission District, creating maps to illustrate the rate of displacement in San Francisco, completing research on the mayoral and Board of Supervisors appointments (analyzing the patterns of minorities in San Francisco leadership positions), analyzing legislative proposals and participating in community meetings. I have also been involved with the Free Tax Preparation program.

What do you like best about volunteering at MEDA?
I mostly enjoyed the great work environment: the staff was so receptive and was always willing to provide support. I worked closely with Gabriel Medina, MEDA’s policy manager. He provided continuous feedback, and helped me understand the logistics behind advocating for fair housing policies.

What have you learned from your volunteer experience?
I have learned about housing policy, community advocacy, a data-driven approach and tax law. I have definitely improved my research skills.

Tell us something we may not know about you. Any interesting facts you’d like to share about your life?
I was recently admitted to the Master’s Program in Public Affairs at the University of San Francisco.

Looking to join a great cause, too? Find out how to volunteer at MEDA. We hope you can join us!


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