KERRY LOBEL first volunteered at the Puente de la Costa Sur Resource Center ten years ago bringing a resume of nationally recognized leadership in non-profits addressing the needs of people at society’s margins. In 2007 she became the executive director of this center located in Pescadero that serves the social needs of immigrant agricultural workers and their families who live in the South Coast community. With her extraordinary sense of possibility and ability to encourage, Kerry leads programs that engage youth and adults, mothers, families and men far from their families and when a need is identified, she engages collaborators to leverage resources. In addition to providing food and emergency rental assistance, Puente is filling gaps in schools services, medical and dental services, legal services, and tax preparation. Some of the resulting programs include a fledgling learning center that boasts several new American citizens and adults who have learned to read; a homework club that provides after school study; and nutrition and parenting classes for mothers. Several residents have shared the stories of their migration journey with students of a literature class at Santa Clara University and other adults have been encouraged to take classes at Canada College. Federal stimulus grants funded employment for 34 young people over this past summer. Kerry’s efforts have resulted in more stable access to mental health services and the WIC program and have brought a drug and alcohol prevention specialist and a County Family Care Worker. With graceful and hones leadership, Kerry Supports myriad way for residents of San Mateo County’s South Coast to become full participants in their community.
*This biography and photo of the honoree was published in 2010.