Hi my name is Merita Kaulave, I am Samoan, born in American Samoa. I left Samoa at the age of 4 and moved to Honolulu, Oahu where I lived there till I was 9. I moved to San Francisco and grew up in the Bayview District and have been here for over 30+ years now. I attended Woodrow Wilson High School, and right out of high school I started a family and didn’t work for 5 years. I was offered an opportunity to work with families at Bay Area Resource in the Bayview as a Family Engagement Coordinator for 3 years. I volunteered at my children’s school for 4 years and I was offered a job at the Beacon Program by a good friend since I was already working with kids. I worked with the Beacon Program for 5 years, unfortunately the funding ended. Therefore I was blessed to have been offered a job at Bay Area Community Resource an after school program by another good friend. I have been working at Bret Harte 19 years as a Program Leader and then promoted to Site Coordinator for 3 years. I am proud to say that I have been with this wonderful organization for 20+ years now and still going strong. What inspired me to keep going strong in this line of work are the children & families. Someone was there for me, I am definitely paying it forward!
Here are some appreciations from her Director, and the San Francisco Beacon Initiative:
“Ms. Kays compassion and desire to improve the lives of the students and families she works with is inspiring. She ensures that everyone around her is taken care of and brings a positive attitude and willingness to “do more” each day. She is a fixture at Bret Harte Elementary and is highly respected by everyone in the community.” – Kristy Kennady, ASP Manager of Bay Area Community Resources
“Merita brings wisdom and clarity about her school and community to her leadership role. She has connected and loving relationships with staff and youth at her Beacon Center, and a confidence in her purpose that is infectious. – Sally Jenkins-Stevens, Associate Director of SFBI
Thank you for all you do for our kids and families, Merita!