Why I Give Wednesday: MEDA Education Manager Laura Andersen

1895-11242015_Dev-Why I Give Wednesday Laura Andersen Image_blog_640x295pxTo celebrate this season of giving and thankfulness, every Wednesday we will showcase staff, Board members, volunteers and clients telling what this Mission District, San Francisco nonprofit brings to their lives.

The first week of kindergarten, Mateo nodded off daily after lunch. The next week, determined to be entertaining, I planned more animated read-alouds with student involvement, but Mateo fell asleep again. Eventually I learned that home was a small room with three siblings and his mom, so it was sometimes hard to sleep. I also learned that it was hard to share and take turns at school when privacy and personal property didn’t exist for him. Once a team of people at our school helped his family change housing and find bunk beds, I also saw that when well rested Mateo was absolutely capable of learning and growing alongside his peers.

“I joined the Mission Promise Neighborhood, for which MEDA is the lead agency, to build up the community supports necessary to make sure that every student succeeds. Mateo’s story is not unique, and we need many moving parts–excellent teachers, adequate housing, quality health services, and extended learning opportunities–to provide all of our children the opportunity to thrive . MEDA has teamed up with a variety of incredible community partners to make that happen here in the Mission. In an era when a child’s ZIP code–rather than their potential– predetermines ones academic future, I am deeply grateful for the community that got me here today, and for the opportunity to work toward a brighter future with the students and families in 94110. Thank you for your continued support of our work.

Laura Andersen
MEDA/Mission Promise Neighborhood Education Manager 

Please donate today to empower your community and help MEDA continue to provide free services to over 7,000 low-income clients each year!

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