Magda Lara joined Nueva in October 2017 as Assistant Director of Development, having most recently been at JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), where she helped lead one of the top three chapters of the organization nationwide. Born and raised in San Francisco, Magda attended University of San Francisco and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications.
Magda now lives in Pacifica with her husband, a firefighter/paramedic, and their three children. They love being close to the beach and regularly take hikes with their two dogs along the water. “I love it, it’s very relaxing,” she says. “If its not raining, we are always outdoors playing with the kids.” Recently, police officers pulled up to Magda’s home, where her kids and the neighbors’ kids were playing with water balloons. With trepidation, the children assembled for the police officer and he handed them each a 7-11 Slurpee coupon to reward the kids for playing outside and enjoying the sunny day.
Before having children, Magda and her husband would participate in Fire Muster competitions against other fire departments, where they were contestants in the Bucket Brigade, Ladder Throw, and Hose Pull. “Because of my husband’s work, we live a very present and grateful life,” Magda said. “Every week when he goes on shift for 48 hours straight, it helps put in perspective that life is short. When you live every week like your husband might not come home, it keeps you living in a very appreciative environment where we are grateful for every day together.”
Magda is most excited about her new role on the advancement team, knowing that her work will provide necessary financial support to students who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend Nueva. “I feel inspired working at Nueva. Being in this educational environment feels light and hopeful. Listening to the kids run around the mansion and knowing they are the future innovators of the next big thing — it’s exciting!”
1. You have devoted so much of your professional life to working with organizations that are doing important work in medical research and, now, education. What motivates you or steers you towards this work?
I always knew that I would work in the nonprofit space because it is important to me to know that the work I do will effect change, make a significant impact, and hopefully change lives.
2. The advancement office is located just off the courtyard in the Lower School, a space that is often action-packed. What is something you have witnessed or drawn inspiration from as you spend more time at Nueva and work in such close proximity to our students and teachers?
Every day at pick-up when the students’ names are announced on the mic, I hear a call for Thiago, which is also my oldest son's name — it brings a smile to my face knowing that Thiago just spent the day learning and experiencing amazing things at Nueva. As a parent myself, I can appreciate afterschool pick-up and getting a recap of the day. It also reminds me why I love to work at Nueva and the wonderful community that exists here.
3. The Nueva Annual Benefit Auction is rapidly approaching! What are you most excited about? How can the community best support the auction team’s efforts right now?
This will be my first Annual Benefit Auction at Nueva, so I am excited to be a part of that experience. Also, it has been such a pleasure working with the wonderful auction committee and I know how rewarding this event is for the community. I look forward to seeing all the hard work translate into a successful event.
And yes, we need the community’s support. We need auction donations from parents, students, and teachers. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated.
4. What are some initiatives you are working on with our alumni?
In partnership with the alumni parent committee, we are looking to engage alumni, specifically our inaugural graduating class. In the beginning of the new year, we hosted a Class of 2017 alumni reunion social. We had a great turnout and plan to host a few more socials this year.
5. Describe your perfect weekend day.
It starts by waking up before the rest of the house and slowly enjoying a cup of coffee by the fireplace, and perhaps reading from the latest novel I have picked up. Then I ease into making breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes for the kids). After breakfast, we head out for a walk to the beach, making a pit stop on the way at our favorite coffee spot, Fog City Java. The afternoon is spent in either the front yard or backyard (or both). There is a barbeque dinner, ending the evening with an outdoor, backyard family movie. Maybe this weekend we'll make it happen!
January 24, 2018