Director of Community Development & Engagement
As director of community development and engagement, Monica Medina is charged with donor cultivation in San Diego's diverse communities and grant oversight. In addition, her department spearheads major outreach initiatives, including One Book, One San Diego, which, in 2016, celebrated 10 years of promoting literacy in San Diego, Imperial Valley and Tijuana.
Other activities include: the national outreach effort for "Splash & Bubbles," a PBS children’s learning series about oceans and rivers from the Jim Henson Company; Community Heroes, an initiative in partnership with the National Conflict Resolution Center, honoring individuals who give selflessly to build civility and community in San Diego; and KPBS Kids Workshops, which is implemented in partnership with the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum in Escondido.
Monica also identifies opportunities for KPBS to use its media platforms to represent and serve the diverse communities of San Diego, and fosters community partnerships for KPBS’ engagement efforts.
Monica, who was once honored with the prestigious National Center for Media Engagement, Outreach Professional of the Year Award, has a B.A. from Brandeis University and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Six weeks before Tariq Khamisa's 21st birthday, on a cold Saturday night in January 1995, the San Diego State University sophomore was gunned down while delivering pizza. It was part of a gang initiation, called "Jacking the Pizza Man," and Tony Hicks, the one being initiated, fired the fatal bullet. He was 14 years old.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Local Hero Daniel Hoang Makes a Difference Through Martial Arts
Daniel Hoang had set his dreams on becoming a physician. He volunteered at hospitals, and studied biochemistry at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), in 1994. He worked three years at Scripps Research Institute Department of Neurobiology, where he received an Excellence Award for Research and Development.
Throughout her life, Virginia Gordon’s passion for activism has been front and center. She remembers how her grandmother Sadye was deeply involved in Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and served as an organizer for Youth Aliya, an organization that was founded during World War II to bring Jewish children out of Germany and relocate them to England and Palestine.
Jewish American Heritage Month Local Hero Robin Rady Helps Cancer Patients Get Organized with ‘Binder of Hope’
Four years ago, Robin Rady was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though it was caught early, it’s the kind of news that could have been enough to put anyone in a deep funk or a tailspin. But Robin, who is known for her warmth and positive energy, searched for clarity and calm. She found it in a binder–and that binder ended up seeing her through one of the toughest periods of her life, a time filled with surgeries, reconstructive surgeries, physical therapy and so much more.
Shara Fisler thrives at her job. She is the executive director for the Ocean Discovery Institute, an educational program she founded 15 years ago, in order to empower young people to explore San Diego’s coastal habitats and become scientific and environmental leaders of tomorrow. For someone who started out in life living hundreds of miles away from the nearest ocean, her passion for studying natural habitats actually began in the desert.
In Dr. Gail Knight’s office is a wall of photos of patients she has treated. They are mementos of childhood milestones—birthday celebrations, family vacations and graduations. Though she hasn’t treated most of them in years, Knight's pride in them shines through. The pride in knowing that through her work these children are thriving.
Andre Jones and Aaron Wooten know first-hand the important role fathers play in the lives of their children. Jones grew up with his father, Wooten did not; and though their lives took different paths because of it, the two have come together to run Father2Child. The program has one goal: to strengthen the bonds between African-American fathers and their children.