A Transformational Experience

Dear McCarthy Center Family,

Hello from a longtime McCarthy Center friend!  My name is Andrea Wise, and I am a proud Leo T. McCarthy Center alum and former staffer. I currently work across the Bay (well, for now from my Inner Richmond apartment) at UC Berkeley as the Associate Director of the Public Service Center, doing the work I was trained to do thanks to many years learning, working, and growing in the McCarthy Center.

When I think of the McCarthy Center, I think of family and community. When I first came to USF, I was a curious student but a bit unsure of myself. I didn’t know where to go to find community. I joined Martin Baro Scholars (MBS), a community-engaged living-learning program that exemplifies the McCarthy Center’s work. There I got to know my best friends, explored San Francisco neighborhoods and social issues, and engaged in service. This program changed how I viewed education: action-oriented, it connected learning to the real world and to a social justice mission. It is what made me fall in love with community-engaged learning courses and programs, which is why I do this work now at UC Berkeley. I engaged more deeply in McCarthy Center programs at a critical point when I was navigating the complexities of my identities as a queer Catholic. The McCarthy Center gave me home, mentors, community, stronger values and convictions, leadership skills, and a sense of purpose. The transformation I experienced is what I was fortunate to witness in countless students during my time at the center. 

In 2020, we’ve seen the responsibility and urgency we have to create something new — a stronger society with more equitable structures and a deeper sense of interconnection. I may be just a little bit biased, but I know your gift to the McCarthy Center will provide valuable opportunities to incredible students whose lives will be changed and who will, in turn, make positive change in their communities. 

Please join me in giving to the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good.


Andrea Wise

Martín-Baró Scholars Living-Learning CommunityPublic ServiceUC Berkeley Public Service Center

Leo T. McCarthy Center • December 16, 2020

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