Taking the Plunge into Philanthropy

In July, we welcomed Natalia Schoorl to the team as the new Program Assistant. She will be supporting the Peery Foundation team as they serve grantees, and ensuring the smooth operation of the foundation office and internal systems. Here is a message from Natalia with a little background and why she is excited to be at the Peery Foundation:

Hello everyone, I’m Natalia! I am excited to be a part of the Peery Foundation team and to apply my skills to support the work of amazing groups locally, across the Bay Area, and throughout the world.

Before joining the Peery Foundation, I worked at the urban and community forestry non-profit Canopy. In my time there, I helped plant over 1,000 trees, organized 295 volunteer tree care days, and led 134 youth education events to teach students the importance of trees; yet it was the people that I met along the way that really left impressions on me. At elementary schools, I worked with students who lit up and asked questions as they learned something new about our environment. I worked with high school students who beamed with pride as they cared for trees in their community. Over the years, I partnered with countless volunteers, community members, city staff, and fellow nonprofit organizations for a common cause. The enthusiasm and dedication of these people color my perspective as I am starting at the Peery Foundation.

What drew me to the Peery Foundation, and what motivates me as I am here now, is their grantee-centric philosophy. Central to this philosophy is building a relationship based on respect, listening, trust, and communication. I believe that, in order to face the challenges that confront our world, we need to work together, listen to each other, and connect with each other. We need to see that although we come from different places and have different experiences, we are not so different from one another. Everyday, I am learning about  past, current, and potential grantees who are doing incredible, difficult, life-changing work in communities near and far.

I am excited to be among and to support those who are dedicated to strengthen youth and families to build lives of dignity and self-reliance. The awe of learning something new about the world, a commitment to service, and a desire to strengthen our community, whether it’s on a local, regional or global scale, is what drives me in my new role here as I continue serving youth and families in the Bay Area and beyond. Here, I will do my best to serve our grantees and through that work serve the beneficiaries - the people - of these organizations.