Nestor L. Fernandez, the new executive director of the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, is the first executive director of Asian descent.
Why is it significant that you are the first executive director of Asian ancestry? Approximately 60 percent of the people we serve are Asian. It’s important to be diverse in both our staff and management so we are representing the people in the community.
What is your role? I am involved in making sure the community knows about the services we provide, fundraising and getting people to participate in our mission to enrich the lives of the people in the community, especially through volunteering.
What does the center provide? We have preschool and after-school programs. We also serve about 120 seniors daily. We provide a safe environment at low to no cost, and a service that is missing. We help navigate children through the school system, especially for those with parents with no English and new immigrants. Our Thanksgiving dinner serves about 600 people.
Why is it important to support local nonprofits? If we didn’t have some of our children’s programs, those kids would be wandering the streets. To reach out and help doesn’t take a lot. The annual charity dinner on May 14 is the main fundraiser for the center.