Help Others, Like Andrea by Guest Blogger Shelley Harrison, Opportunity Fund Board Member

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 by Alma Elizondo-Bailey

Andrea for Close the Gap

Dear Friends,

Let me introduce you to Andrea.

Andrea is a student at San Jose State University. Her mom is a babysitter and her dad works in construction. She has two younger siblings, and all her life she has been worried about money.

When Andrea was originally accepted to UC Berkeley, she couldn't afford it—even with financial aid and scholarships. But she didn't lose hope of earning a college degree. Instead, she decided to attend SJSU; but she still wasn't sure how she would pay for tuition.

Then, Andrea learned about Opportunity Fund's savings program. Every month, she put $167 into her savings account. Within a year Andrea had $2,000 set aside. Opportunity Fund donors matched her savings with $4,000. If you wonder whether $6,000 can really change a life, for Andrea, it covered tuition for a full year so that she could focus on her studies instead of worrying about paying her bills. "I got the confidence to really feel like a student, dedicated to my classes. Now I know that I'll earn my degree. And when I think of that, it seems like a dream. But it's my life!"

Andrea is currently studying business and hospitality. And she is on track to graduate in May 2015. "Without Opportunity Fund supporting me, I wouldn't be in school," she said.

I support Opportunity Fund because of the difference I can make in a life. It is a privilege and an honor to be able to make this kind of difference for so many people like Andrea. We gave her the financial boost she desperately needed to achieve her dream of a college degree. Together, we can close the gap between dreams and opportunities for thousands more people like Andrea. Will you join me?

Shelley_HarrisonShelley Harrison,
Opportunity Fund Board Member

Shelley Harrison is the founder of San Francisco-based Launch Pad, Inc. Shelley, who began her high technology career with Hewlett-Packard in the 1980s, has been involved in numerous high-tech success stories. She has led marketing teams responsible for countless PR, advertising, product, and brand identity awards, and has been the driving marketing force behind many successful IPOs and acquisitions. Shelley has a reputation for getting results with small budgets and teams; she credits this to developing and adhering to a solid marketing foundation, tightly segmenting the market, closely matching tactics to targets, and establishing clear team goals. Shelley currently serves on the Marketing Advisory Board for Michigan State University, and is a volunteer with the Taproot Foundation and Schools of the Sacred Heart. She is a long-standing member of the Alois Society of the Alzheimer's Association, and a regular financial contributor to numerous arts and social causes. She joined Opportunity Fund's board of directors in 2013. 



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