Each 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: Cathy Willis
Program: Community Loan Fund
Why did you decide to volunteer with MEDA?
I wanted to work with MEDA primarily because it’s in my neighborhood and I was looking for a way to use my skills to help others have a fair chance at building the life they want. I first contacted MEDA because of the breadth of their programs and the variety of volunteer opportunities.I have experience in finance and computers so thought there must be something useful I could do. I was so happy when Volunteer Services Manager Leah Cerri asked if I would be interested in the newly started Community Loan Fund. I had wanted to get involved in microfinance but never expected to be able to do so in my own backyard.
What projects have you worked on as a volunteer?
My first project was a Capitalization Risk Model. We realized that there were more immediate issues at hand so I also got involved with selecting a loan processing system.
What do you like best about volunteering at MEDA?
It’s hard to say what I like most about volunteering at MEDA. Nathanial has been absolutely wonderful to work with. In general I have been very impressed with MEDA. It’s not easy to manage and make good use of volunteers but it seems Leah and her colleagues have figured it out. And most surprising of all – the meetings I attended were succinct and fruitful. Now that’s a rare event!
What have you learned from your volunteer experience?
I learned so much from Nathanial and am grateful that he gave me the opportunity to participate in these aspects of starting the fund
Tell us something we may not know about you. Any interesting facts you’d like to share about your life?
I’m pretty risk-averse but a friend and I decided it was time to learn how to surf. I have found a way to stay warm in the water but still figuring out how to stand up.
Looking to join a great cause, too? Find out how to volunteer at MEDA. We hope you can join us!