Mission Dolores Academy- Celebrating 10 Years, and looking forward to the next 100.

San Francisco is facing several hurdles today, including homelessness and an ever-widening wealth gap between the haves and the have-nots. I strongly believe that quality early education can be the most powerful tool in fighting poverty, and homelessness and empowering the next generation. Before my professional career in real estate, I worked with The BASIC Fund, a nonprofit helping low-income families in the Bay Area send their children to a private K-8 school. I learned so much through this experience, and it was through the BASIC Fund that I had the honor of getting to know Mission Dolores Academy. If you don’t have time to read the article below, you can get to know Mission Dolores Academy on February 25 from 6-7 pm “in person” on Zoom. I promise you won’t regret the hour you give to this amazing school.
 
Imagine you are a parent living in the San Francisco Bay Area struggling to make ends meet. And I mean struggling to make ends meet. You may live with other families. You may not be able to put food on your table every day. You likely work more than one job. You are doing the very best you can for your children- but, you cannot do it alone. (No matter your socioeconomic status- who can?!) You are searching for a safe place for your children to learn and grow, a family who will watch them with the care and encouragement that you would as if you could be there and “do it all’.
 
Enter Mission Dolores Academy, a K-8 independent school in the Mission dedicated to serving the San Francisco children and families who need them most. MDA is the product of decades of hard work and dedication from some pretty incredible San Francisco residents. It began 10 years ago when the Megan Furth Catholic Academy and Mission Dolores School merged. Many thought this new school might not survive. Enter Father Charlie Gagan, a Jesuit priest from St. Ignatius, who took on the charge of making this school a success.
 
If you were looking for a San Francisco mayoral-like figure in a Jesuit- it would be Charlie Gagan! He knows EVERYONE! And he called everyone. He brought together an incredible team of board members, movers and shakers, educators, and school administrators. The current head of school for Mission Dolores is a former Goldman Sachs executive, who has brought his business and finance acumen to MDA, combined it with genuine and fierce care for his students, and the results speak for themselves. Literacy testing is up. Math scores are up. Opportunities like access to speech therapy are made for students when they are early in their education, providing them with a strong base for learning as they move forward. Most importantly, social and emotional learning is a TOP priority at MDA- critical at all times, but especially in this COVID-19- world.
 
On February 25 MDA will celebrate its 10th year! I will be attending the “Power Hour” from 6-7 pm featuring Charles Phan, a great friend to MDA, telling his inspirational story on his journey to success. Are you interested in “attending”? Email me and I will get you set up!
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