Now More Than Ever

This week we hear from two people who knew the Center’s founder, Leo T. McCarthy. One is Trish Fontana, a former intern who in turn, managed the Lt. Governor’s interns and has gone on to a long career in state government. The other is Star Plaxton Moore, an early staff member of the Center, now the Director of Community-Engaged Learning. Both learned life-long values under Leo and speak from their hearts to friends and supporters for the imperative to help prepare the next generation of ethical leaders.

Trish Fontana

“My name is Trish Fontana and it was over 30 years ago that I walked into the Office of Lt. Governor Leo T. McCarthy to begin an internship that would change my life forever. I was a wide-eyed 19-year-old student and now, 34 years after I met Leo, I am still working in the state Capitol and believe that public service is one of the greatest opportunities to make a difference – it is putting the “we before me” in our daily lives. I still attribute my passion for public service to what Leo taught me.

Leo founded the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good to inspire and prepare students at the University of San Francisco, his alma mater, to pursue lives and careers of ethical public service for the common good. Leo wanted USF students to immerse themselves in the issues that allowed them to be in service to others and learn the skills and knowledge to be engaged with local communities.”

Star Plaxton Moore

“For those of you who didn’t get a chance to know Leo T. McCarthy, our founder was passionate about the work that he did as an elected official and public servant in San Francisco and the state of California. Leo helped to found the McCarthy Center at USF to ensure that the next generation of leaders would be guided by Jesuit values and a commitment to advancing the common good. Leo wanted USF students to immerse themselves in opportunities to work alongside others who lead through policy making, advocacy, and grassroots organizing.

At the McCarthy Center, we uphold Leo’s legacy and values through our work as staff, students, and community leaders. Students and faculty who have participated in center programs have contributed to the forging of public policies and programs that respect and incorporate the needs of all.”


Please join Trish and Star in your year-end giving with a gift that will enable students to learn the skills and knowledge in order to serve the common good.




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Common Gooddonategive campaignpoliticsPublic ServiceSan FranciscoValues

llombre • December 6, 2019

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