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ABOUT JENNIFER

Nurture pulls together threads of 25 years of experience in microenterprise, workforce development, financial security, asset-building and child care. From my first job after college (with ​an organization in India that helped women become an economic asset to their family through microenterprise) to my last (on the front lines of the public child care system in San Francisco), I have been working for women’s economic self-determination.

 

In between, I’ve approached the challenge from many vantage points. At Wider Opportunities for Women, I worked on the Self-Sufficiency Standard where I explored how child care figures into a family's budget and the policies to make it more affordable, as well as sector-specific workforce development both to open up women’s access to well-paying jobs and to make high-demand-but-crummy jobs (e.g., child care) better.

 

After a stint in the U.S. Senate as an advisor on workforce, welfare, labor, and women’s and children’s issues, I spent more than a decade at Prosperity Now working at the intersection of education, income, savings, assets and consumer protections.

 

At Children’s Council of San Francisco, I worked at the nexus of child care supply and demand. While there, I built the case for and raised the funds to start a training program focused on the business side of home child care.

Why do I do this work? Advocating for and with “the least, the lost and the last” stems from lived experience and secular Jesus-y values. I grew up in a chaotic household where divorced parents, a gay dad, and a sister with an undiagnosed mental illness and substance abuse issues left the child-me longing to be "normal." Amid the chaos, my father, a non-practicing Episcopal priest, also imbued in me the values of really loving our neighbors, no matter their circumstances. These experiences ultimately redefined what normal meant. It isn't a white, middle class, heterosexual nuclear family, free of trauma; it’s a whole lot messier than that.

 

I am bringing the experience of a mother, partner and child, and the mindset of an optimist, strategist and pragmatist to this messy-but-important work.

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About Crystal

ABOUT CRYSTAL

At the end of the day, I am part educator and part cheerleader. I am passionate about sharing knowledge and value the opportunity to help others succeed.

 

I am a permitted teacher with a focus in child development and have taught children ages 1 – 12. I have had the privilege of teaching in some challenging environments, including a dual-language immersion program. I am proud that my work made a significant impact on students’ lives.

 

I have also coached and tutored adults in a range of one-on-one and group settings, including college students pursuing early childhood credentials. The opportunity to equitably support students in pursuit of their educational goals helped me focus my own. I am committed to those who would otherwise fall through the cracks; those who, because of economic disadvantage, are not effectively supported by our systems.

 

In my nearly 10 years’ of experience, I have led by example and applied my lived experiences to the way I support others. To my work, I bring direct experience navigating the bureaucratic systems that control the child care licensing process, as well as the lived experience as a child of an undocumented single mom who struggled financially to succeed. I apply these experiences to the way I tenaciously support entrepreneurs, empathizing with their struggles and fostering their self-advocacy and empowerment.

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