Halé Richardson serves on several non-profit boards, but few bring her as much personal satisfaction as serving on the Southwestern College Foundation board.
For the last five years, Richardson has seen that Southwestern College is a positive vortex that brings together students, employees and community members committed to make a lasting impact.
“There are so many people working together making magic with much less,” Richardson said.
As the vice president of HomeFed Corp., Richardson has also brought her own synergy to the Foundation board. After seeing a presentation from architecture Professor Diana Arredondo and her students who showed off their tiny home concepts, she is thinking of ways to incorporate those ideas into the master planning of HomeFed’s housing communities.
Her most recent matchmaking has resulted in a $10,000 matching gift for Southwestern College’s 59th Birthday celebration. All donations accepted during the month of September in honor of the college’s birthday fundraising efforts will be matched up to $10,000 by the Village of Escaya, a HomeFed community.
This year’s donations will be dedicated to the SWC Cares initiative at Southwestern College. The overarching umbrella of the college’s efforts to address student economic insecurity, SWC Cares includes the Jag Kitchen Food Pantry, the Cares student emergency grants and the Cares Closet, among other student support services. This year alone, efforts through SWC Cares have included distributing more than 1,300 donated computers to students, awarding students more than $150,000 in emergency grants for everything from rent to utilities and granting students another $213,000 in scholarships.
The pandemic has only worsened the economic insecurity many Southwestern College students.
“As a SWC Foundation Board member, I have seen first-hand how the College staff, faculty and community have come together to help students stay on track with their educational goals,” Richardson said. “I’m amazed by the students’ resilience and am proud that Village of Escaya/HomeFed can contribute and encourage others to join our efforts.”
Attending college gives students an anchor to their community, Richardson said. That is how she felt after attending the University of San Diego (USD). While she broke unwritten rules of leaving her family in northern California to attend school in San Diego, this community became her home. Eventually her siblings and parents followed her to San Diego.
Shortly after graduating from USD, she began working at HomeFed. It has been a company that has allowed her to grow and move up the corporate ranks during her 24 years there. She credits wonderful mentors who supported her moving into the real estate, marketing and community engagement areas of business development. Such experience also makes her a valuable member of the different advisory boards on which she serves, including the Southwestern College Foundation.
“I care about the causes I submit my time to,” Richardson said. “I have seen college staff stretch in ways they never imagined—how much they are trying to help one another. Their sincere energy and passion are being delivered to students who are willing to put forth the energy.
“You know you need to be part of the solution,” Richardson said.
There is still time to help the college reach its $10,000 goal. Head to www.swccd.edu/birthday to see the impact your donation can make.