Bay Area Leaders Win Awards for Community Impact

$20,000, $10,000, and $7,000
Awards to Bay Area Visionary Leaders
Rita Semel, Brenda Way, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Aim High
and Ten SFUSD High School Students

(SAN FRANCISCO) – Monday, October 01, 2012 – Four Bay Area leaders will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Bay Area community at The San Francisco Foundation’s 2012 Community Leadership Awards. This year’s awardees – Rita Semel, Brenda Way, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and Aim High – are being honored for their impact in bringing together communities of different faiths, creating an artistic community hub, uniting people to confront racial and economic injustice, and inspiring and lifting up youth. The event will include a tribute to the life of Bay Area philanthropist F. Warren Hellman, performed by ODC and East Bay Center for the Performing Arts.

Rita Semel and Brenda Way will receive $10,000 each, and Chinese for Affirmative Action and Aim high each will receive $20,000.

2012 Koshland Young Leader Awards will also be presented to ten college-bound San Francisco public high school students. Each student will receive $7,000, in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements, their leadership, and their success in the face of economic and social hardships.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
6:00 – Doors open
6:15 – Entertainment
6:30 – Awards ceremony
7:30 – Reception

WHERE: Herbst Theatre
San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco

RSVP: Journalists: Please call 415.531.5588
Online at

For photo opportunities before, during, and after the event, call 415.733.8588.


Rita Semel, interfaith pioneer and Jewish activist, for her life-long successes in creating healthy, just, and inclusive communities in the Bay Area and worldwide, and for building bridges of understanding to help alleviate poverty and end discrimination.

Brenda Way, founder and artistic director of ODC, for creating a community hub through dance, and for inspiring dancers and audiences, cultivating artists, and engaging the community.

Chinese for Affirmative Action, for being a champion against discrimination and for advancing systemic change for a racially just society.

Aim High
, for closing the achievement gap through summer programs that inspire a love of learning and a strong sense of community.

Koshland Young Leader Awards

•    Luri Chen Zheng, Mission High School
•    Kyron Covington, City Arts and Technology High School
•    Deandra Crawford, Leadership High School
•    Mollie Cueva-Dabkoski, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts
•    Marlyn Martinez, San Francisco International High School
•    Edith Melendez, San Francisco International High School
•    Rodrigo Mendez, San Francisco International High School
•    Erica Nguyen, Mission High School
•    Nga Pham, Raoul Wallenberg High School
•    Stacy Thomas, City Arts and Technology High School

About The San Francisco Foundation Community Leadership Awards
We celebrate extraordinary individuals and organizations in the Bay Area who are rolling up their sleeves, taking initiative, and solving problems in their neighborhoods and communities. The San Francisco Foundation Community Leadership Awards recognize leaders who have made a significant impact in their particular Bay Area communities. Their works spans societal and civic issues, health or environmental concerns, and the arts and humanities.

The Community Leadership Awards showcase individual or organizational excellence in leadership as demonstrated by outstanding initiative, impact of work, and inspiration of others. With each award, The San Francisco Foundation publicly affirms present achievements, seeks to encourage further work on the part of the recipients and hopes to motivate others to follow their lead in service to Bay Area communities.

About the Koshland Young Leader Awards

Created by the vision and generosity of Professor Koshland and his family, The Koshland Young Leader Awards recognize the next generation of leadership in our community. High school seniors from San Francisco public schools are selected for their academic and leadership success while managing challenges of family and economic responsibilities. The students are nominated by their teachers and counselors during their junior year for this $7,000 award.