I wanted to share a bit about our amazing board members. We have had an amazing core group of board members, advisory board members, and volunteers who have continued to show up for The Matt Garcia Foundation since its inception eleven years ago. In the past several years we have been given the privilege of working with many young people from the high schools in our area. Some of these amazing young people who have been with us through their high school years are now in college and are now board members.
Briana Esquivias began coming to The Matt Garcia Foundation monthly clean-ups years ago. She did a lot of volunteer hours with her key club from Rodriguez High School. She is a born leader and has one of the biggest hearts I've ever known. She was able to gather students from other schools to volunteer for our clean-ups and more. She told me that even though she had never met Matt she could feel his presence. She knew that the good work Matt was doing in our community was something that she wanted to help continue.
Sakina Ali began volunteering at our clean-ups a few years ago from the Public Safety Academy. She also felt that she was drawn to the foundation. We are so very grateful. Sakina's spirit and kind heart keeps me excited and hopeful.
Zach Young has been around the foundation since we started. Zach's family knew Matt. Zach is an extremely talented artist. He has created several amazing pieces for the Matt Garcia Career and College Academy as well as for our foundation. Zach has a way with talking and relating to young people. He has been instrumental in several mentoring projects.
Nathan Nevins has been volunteering at our clean-ups and our Christmas tree lighting events for several years. He is always willing to step up and do whatever needs to be done. He told a story about how he was only nine years old when Matt was killed. He didn't know Matt, but his mom told him that they were going to participate in a Peace March dedicated to Matt. That march took place a few months after Matt's death. Nathan remembered getting to ride his new scooter in the peace march through the streets of Fairfield. Now, today, he is one of the board members. He too feels drawn to Matt's dream and our mission.
I believe that the passion and dedication our young board members have for The Matt Garcia Foundation is what will sustain us. I am truly grateful for all of our board members, advisory board members, and volunteers. We could do nothing without you all.
Teresa Courtemanche, President