August 14, 2017
Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center (TEL HI) is honored to be able to unveil their newly renovated Warriors gymnasium and playground on Thursday, August 24, 2017! Thanks to the generosity of the Golden State Warriors, BlackRock and Good Tidings Foundation who partnered with TEL HI to renovate the gymnasium, adding a much needed make-over to one of TEL HI’s most loved and used areas!
TEL HI’s new “Warriors Gym” received a fresh coat of paint, a completely resurfaced playing court (complete with color and striping) and wall pads (scheduled to be installed later this month). TEL HI’s playground also received an updated blacktop with new paint, basketball hoop, and striping. The renovation project will affect a wide group of kids, seniors and community members who use the space every day for activities ranging from basketball games, tai-chi, dancing, organized sports leagues and more.
“TEL HI is humbled by the support of these three community partners and their efforts to ensure the community has safe, healthy places for children, families and community members to gather and play!” said Nestor L. Fernandez II, TEL HI Executive Director and CEO.
About Our Community Sponsors
The Good Tidings Foundation, which was founded in January of 1995 by Mr. Larry Harper, is a children’s charity that looks to equally support education, recreation and the arts for youth from communities in need in the greater Bay Area.
The Golden State Warriors is dedicated to creating stronger communities through the Warriors Community Foundation. The Warriors Community Foundation supports education and youth development to promote thriving students, schools and communities.
BlackRock is a leading global asset manager, serving many of the world’s largest companies, pension funds, foundations, and public institutions as well as millions of people from all walks of life. They are committed to building access to better futures for underserved individuals and communities.
August 7, 2017
On Friday, June 2, 2017 Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center (TEL HI) hosted its annual gala and primary fundraiser, A Taste of TEL HI, at AT&T Park!
The fundraiser was a wonderful success thanks to the generosity of sponsors, attendees, and supporters! The gala was sponsored by many community minded businesses, organizations and individuals in the Bay Area (click here to view all of our sponsors!) including Platinum Sponsor Alcatraz Cruises! Alcatraz Cruises was started in 2006 and is part of a family of companies, which includes Hornblower Cruises & Events and boosts the largest fleet of Hybrid passenger ferry vessels in the country. Alcatraz Cruises provides Alcatraz Island excursions to more than 1.5 million visitors each year, entertaining passengers with an award-winning audio tour of the Cellhouse and a dramatic retelling of the most famous Alcatraz escape attempts! While this is not the first time Alcatraz Cruises and TEL HI have partnered to make a difference in the community, their Taste of TEL HI sponsorship played an integral role in creating a successful event!
During this year’s gala, TEL HI hosted approximately 400 guests who mingled and sampled wines from The Winery SF, Canihan Wines, Mills Wine Group, Scoma’s, Wine Warehouse and Simco Restaurants! For the first time ever attendees were able to use mobile bidding to bid on the 100+ silent auction items available and then enjoyed a three-course sit-down dinner prepared by David Button, executive chef of Bon Appétit Management Company during the live auction and Fund-a-Need. Emcee Renell Brooks-Moon, the public address announcer for the San Francisco Giants welcomed guests and set the stage for a wonderful evening. Special guests including Event Chair Ida Zoubi, Co-Owner and CEO of the world famous Caffe Trieste Inc. and District 17 California State Assembly Member David Chiu spoke at the podium highlighting TEL HI’s historic significance, and its contributions to the community.
The event raised over $400K for TEL HI’s programs and services making it the most successful Taste of TEL HI ever! This year marks TEL HI’s 127-year anniversary of serving the community and the funds raised at this year’s gala will go a long way in ensuring TEL HI is able to continue its service to the people of San Francisco and beyond!
January 12, 2017
On Monday, January 9, 2017 TEL HI’s North Beach-Chinatown Beacon Center at Francisco Middle School hosted Golden State Warriors players Ian Clark and Shaun Livingston for an interactive discussion around the importance of having financial knowledge. The event was part of the Future Leaders program, a financial literacy program that was formed by the Golden State Warriors in alliance with PwC and SF Beacon Initiative (SFBI). The program is designed to help develop critical financial skills among youth, while providing educators with additional resources to teach their students how to be financially responsible.
Golden State Warrior players Clark and Livingston spoke to approximately 130 students about their backgrounds, education, paths to the NBA and the importance of education, saving and being smart with one’s finances. Afterwards, the students participated in group discussions led by PwC volunteers and TEL HI staff around financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
TEL HI has participated in the Future Leaders program since its inception, implementing semester-long financial literacy clubs at Francisco Middle School and North Beach Place Teen Center that are co-led by PwC volunteers and TEL HI staff.
We would like to say a big “thank you!” to PwC, SFBI, and the Golden State Warriors for this exciting educational event!
November 11, 2016
We are excited to announce we are now one of 10 nonprofits in the city of San Francisco recognized as a San Francisco Green Businesses!
As an organization that has been around for over 126 years, we know the importance of taking care of the planet so that it remains healthy for generations to come. Every day we care for infants, toddlers, children and youth. While it is our mission to provide them with a healthy, loving environment so they can grow and thrive, we are also committed to making sure we leave them with resources like clean water and air and a healthy community they can raise their children in. That is why we have taken the necessary steps to conserve resources and prevent pollution and by doing so help make San Francisco a more sustainable city!
In order to become recognized as a Green Business of the City and County of San Francisco we had to meet the program standards and be in compliance with all applicable environmental regulations. Some of the steps we have taken include: using energy from solar panels, updating our classroom light bulbs to LED lights, committing to only hosting zero waist events, such as our Community Thanksgiving Dinner, we will only purchase recycled paper for printing and program activities and we are in the process of replacing our sinks with low flow aerators so we can conserve our water. These are just a few of the things we are doing.
By adopting environmental practices that are sustainable we are creating a healthier, greener community for everyone to enjoy!
November 8, 2016
On September 1, 2016 TEL HI launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to raise $8,888 for its Senior Program. The campaign, Christmas in September for Seniors, was a huge success! With over 40 people making online and offline donations, Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center (TEL HI) hit its fundraising goal in 2 months!
“We are so grateful for all of the support and generosity we received over the last 2 months,” Melody Wong, TEL HI’s Senior Program and Volunteer Manager, said. “I am excited to start purchasing items for our program and Senior Program participants! These items will go a long way in enhancing our program and making are program participants feel cared for!”
TEL HI’s crowdfunding campaign began when TEL HI’s Senior Program participants created a “wish list” of items for the Senior Program. These items included bingo prizes, updated yoga equipment, art supplies and more! After the items are purchased Wong will disperse them as gifts at holiday parties and as bingo prizes through December, bringing “Christmas” to TEL HI’s Senior Program participants all through the holidays!
TEL HI is honored to be able to serve one of our countries most under-served populations, seniors. Even though the Senior Program is UNFUNDED they are able to serve approximately 100 adults and seniors a day through an array of activities including bingo, yoga and fitness classes, a meal program, computer classes, Tai Chi classes, Line Dance classes, and special activities and workshops! For many, TEL HI is a second home, and the only place they go every day to socialize and connect with the community around them. This network is crucial for our older population.
TEL HI relies on fundraisers and donations to fund a lot of the program activities and services the center offers. That’s why fundraising campaigns like “Christmas in September” are so important to TEL HI’s staff and to the people they serve.
January 14, 2016
In preparation for the Super Bowl to be held in the Bay Area, the 50 Fund, the legacy fund of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, and the NFL Foundation, awarded grants to Bay Area cities, nonprofits, businesses, and individuals. TEL HI is one of the nonprofits chosen to be a recipient of this grant! The initiative known as PLAY 60, Play On, aims to promote opportunities for communities to explore and rethink play. Under the guidance of KaBOOM!, grantees will create playful transformations of sidewalks and spaces.
TEL HI is in the process of transforming our Chestnut Street entrance on 555 Chestnut Street, into Happy Lane, which is comprised of an exercise course and a chalkboard reflection wall. Our goal is to inspire spontaneous play as well as raise awareness on the importance of living a healthy life through exercising, making nutritious choices, and practicing self-care. Once installed, participants can get their heart rate up through a fun exercise circuit, and then cool down while learning about the importance of everyday nutritional choices. They will also be able to share what makes them happy on our happy chalkboard wall!
Overall, the beauty of the course is that it is designed to engage kids, families, and community members spontaneously and within a short time frame. We want to send the message that practicing healthy behaviors can be as small as skipping down the sidewalk or reflecting on the things that bring them joy.
So come play at TEL HIs Happy Lane and bring health and happiness into the New Year!
To learn more about PLAY 60, Play On or the other projects occurring right here in the Bay Area, click here.
January 4, 2016
On Saturday, August 28, 2015 the TEL HI gymnasium was officially renamed the Lee Roberson Gymnasium in honor of Randal Lee Roberson, who served as TEL HIs Youth Director from 1970 to 1989. The following article was written about Lee and the passion he had to make a difference and the impact he had on his kids.
They Will Always Be His Kids
There are many kids that need help finding their way in the world, and there are many ways to help them. Lee Roberson spent a large chunk of his life working with disadvantaged children, and he found it rewarding in a special way.
Lee saw a lot of kids go through Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center (TEL HI) and a lot of change during his nearly 20 years at the Center, but one thing always stayed the same: “To be successful,” he says, “You have to put your heart and soul into the job.”
Lee put his heart and soul into helping disadvantaged kids at TEL HI, and the hundreds of children whose lives he touched were better because of it. Most of the kids lived in public housing and many belonged to single-parent families. Some of their friends and relatives wound up in prison or strung out on drugs, but few of Lees kids went down those paths.
Lee was a long-time Youth Director for TEL HI, joining the Center in 1970 and working there until 1989. He originally came to TEL HI after meeting their Executive Director at a party and hearing a need for someone to take the kids to summer camp.
Lee took that on, never suspecting he would work at TEL HI for the next two decades. His first goal was to gain the respect of the kids.
“I told them if you respect me, I will respect you,” he said.
They did respect Lee, and they followed his advice.
Lee saw the need to keep the kids busy with year-round recreational activities, so he started and ran basketball programs, which most of the kids joined. Over time, he added other recreational programs; including volleyball, chess, ping pong, track, baseball, weightlifting, parade drill teams, and classes in dance, art, and photography. All were designed to give his kids positive outlets for their creativity and energy.
He remembers a time when the center’s basketballs were “disappearing” and he confronted the kids.
“Those balls aren’t mine,” he told them. “They’re yours. And when they’re gone, there won’t be any more.”
There weren’t any more missing basketballs after that, and the kids took pride in their team, their uniforms, and the gym they played in. Eventually, Lee even got them to re-finish the gym floor themselves.
Lee has an aura that touches those around him. His courage and huge smile are contagious, and he is a reminder that each of us can help needy people, in large and small ways. All it takes is to put our heart and soul into it.
Lee’s reward for his two decades at TEL HI was watching the kids he helped grow up, graduate from school, and become successful adults. Over the years, he has stayed in touch with most of them, counseling and helping them through personal problems or just being there for them. He has been a witness at several of their weddings, and he has numerous children named after him.
Lee reminded me that we can all help disadvantaged children in our own way. That might mean donating money to organizations that have programs for adolescents, volunteering to tutor teenagers, or coaching a youth basketball team.
Lees continued relationship and watching them grow means a lot to Lee — after all, they will always be his kids.
September 28, 2015
How can we improve the services we offer for people ages 2 to 102? We can start including people as young as 6 months old!
TEL HI just launched our Infant Care program, Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. We are currently accepting children ages 6 to 18 months of age.
Just starting to roll!
Our Infant Care Program features
- Dedicated staff who care only for the infants,
- Indoor and outdoor playtime,
- Naps (of course!),
- Breakfast, lunch, and a late-afternoon snack, plus
- Oddles of emphasis on developing those little brains and bodies.
Our infant-to-caregiver ratio is no more than 3 to 1. For more information or to enroll your child, contact Connie Luu, Preschool Manager, at 415.421.6443, ext. 12, or CLuu@telhi.org.
September 16, 2015
For the first time ever, TEL HI is using an online platform called Tilt to raise the funds needed to complete its Urban Teaching Garden. The garden, which is already in use but not yet finished, will connect children to nature, beautify the neighborhood, and bring joy to the entire community!
The video on TEL HI’s Tilt page shows the progress that’s already been made. It also introduces viewers to TEL HI’s gardening teacher, Caroline, who shares the vision for the garden and the things still needed to finish it, like benches for people to sit on plus a potting station and sink for an outdoor classroom.
Executive director Nestor Fernandez says the Tilt campaign was a part of the planning from the start. “We knew the teaching garden would be a big undertaking,” he explains. “But it’s such a valuable resource for our community that we embraced the idea of online fundraising.”
Many of the people TEL HI serves, especially the children, don’t have many opportunities to develop a relationship with nature. The Urban Teaching Garden can fill that need, along with providing a space for seniors to exercise, people to sit and read or book, and for everyone to enjoy the greenery.
Grow with Us
TEL HI is also using the hashtag #telhigarden on social media to raise awareness about the fundraiser and encourage others to share pictures of their own garden and plants. Nes says, “We hope a lot of people will join the conversation about urban gardening and its benefits.”
TEL HI has to raise a minimum amount of money, called the “Tilt amount,” before any funds are collected or received. So all contributions, no matter how large or small, will help make the garden a reality.
See how much has already been raised and join us!
July 27, 2015
This summer began with a lot of changes in our staffing roles at TEL HI. It was with some sadness that we had to say goodbye to one of our Program Managers, Nora Ledoux and our Director of Programs, Tony Tyson, as they embarked on new career opportunities. On the other hand we were able to celebrate many new promotions as staff took on new roles at TEL HI.
Jora Atienza Washington
Director of Programs
Jora has been with the organization since 2010 when she came on-board to start our Youth Employment Services (YES) Program. Since 2011, she has served as the director of all of TEL HIs offsite programs: North Beach-Chinatown Beacon at Francisco Middle School, Futurama After School and Teen Learner Pathway programs at Galileo High School and the Teen Center at North Beach Place.
Associate Program Director
Theresa started working with TEL HI in 2010 as the Program Manager for the TEL HI North Beach-Chinatown Beacon program at Francisco Middle School. Before coming to TEL HI, Theresa worked with Mission Neighborhood Centers as the Family Neighborhood Organizer at Mission Beacon Center inside Everett Middle School. In her expanded role as the Associate Program Director Theresa will oversee the After School Academy, Summer Camp Program and the TEL HI North Beach-Chinatown Beacon program at Francisco Middle School.
Jeffrey attended TEL HIs After School Academy (ASA) when he was in third grade. He wanted to give back to the organization by volunteering as a Youth Leader when he was in high school. Jeffrey has been employed with TEL HI since 2005 and his role and responsibilities has shifted from being a part time ASA tutor, full time recreation coordinator and eventually the Manager of the ASA and Summer Camp Program, which he has overseen the last five years.
Galileo High School Programs Manager
Rahul most recently served as Galileo High School program’s Assistant Manager for the 2015 school year and Interim Manager with the departure of Norah in February. He has almost 9 years of professional experience in the youth development field, having worked in Sacramento with the YMCA as well as providing leadership with Marina Middle School’s after school and summer programs. He is currently pursuing a masters in School Counseling at UCSF.
Senior Program and Volunteer Manager
Josel started at TEL HI as the Volunteer Manager and Development Associate in September 2011. Before coming to TEL HI, Josel worked for St. Raymond as the Office Manager for the parish. Prior to arriving at TEL HI, Josel worked for the County of San Mateo.
For information about the great people that work at TEL HI click here!
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