DONNA RUTHERFORD was one of 13 children learning at a young age to be responsible, work hard, and to love caring for and helping others. As a young mother of three she realized that education was going to make a difference to those in her community and became very active helping the schools as a parent volunteer. She led parent groups encouraging other parents to get involved in their children’s education which led to her being elected to the Ravenswood School Board, a position she held for 12 years, longer than any other member. During this time she worked in the food service industry until she took a position with Mateo Lodge, Inc., a small nonprofit agency, where she was hired as a part-time cook at Wally’s Place. Soon she was promoted to a full-time Social Rehab Coordinator working with residents who were previously homeless or emotionally troubled. Donna taught them skills so they could return to work and live independently. Donna ran for East Palo Alto City Council and was elected in 2000. At the same time she became the Program Administrator at Wally’s Place at Mateo Lodge, responsible for supervising counseling staff, the care and running of the facility as well as the Social Rehab Program. Donna is a success story. She demonstrates love of community by giving to herself to make it a place where everyone can be proud to live.