I have been a teacher at Birney Elementary School near downtown Fresno for nearly 30 years. And while each child I’ve taught over the years is unique, there is one thing they all have in common — the need for someone to believe in them. Someone to tell them not to be afraid to dream big and that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.    


So I started looking for ways to inspire them — and that’s where Community stepped up. 


In addition to donating books, backpacks and other supplies to help students succeed in the classroom, the team at Community played an integral part in setting up field trips for students to come to Community Regional Medical Center and get a first-hand look at what a career in medicine looks like. From meeting with surgeons, nurses, X-ray technicians, catering staff and everything in between, the visits opened students’ eyes to opportunities they hadn’t even dreamed of.


I am eternally grateful for the support Community provides in downtown Fresno and across the Valley. Without it, this region would look vastly different. My job isn’t just about teaching; it’s about developing a belief in kids that, despite the challenges they may face in their lives, anything is possible. And I thank Community for helping play a part in that.

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