Amazing Grace Community Award for 2014
Teresa Mejía is a community activist, feminist, single mother, Puerto Rican and the Executive Director of The Women’s Building, which stands in the heart of the Mission District brilliantly painted with a mural dedicated to women, Maestrapeace.
Teresa was born in a small town in Puerto Rico and was raised in a tightly knit, working class community. An activist in high school for an independent Puerto Rico, she graduated with a BA in Social Science from the University of Puerto Rico and then completed a masters degree in Public Administration.
On May 5th 1977, the Thursday before Mother’s Day, while she was a BA student, she felt odd. Teresa took a nap at her friend’s house. She remembered vaguely that she had a dream where her mother was talking to her. When she woke up, she knew that something had happened to mother. “I asked my friends and they told me the truth, that all my family; my mother, who was only 55 years old, my sister, who was 28 and my two little nieces, 2 and 3 years old, were killed by my sister’s ex- husband.”
Amazing Grace Community Award
Loreen Seid Jung
Vice President/Branch Manager
Portola Branch, Bank of the West
Loreen Seid Jung has been an active part of the Gracenter community for many years and Bank of the West and Gracenter have had a strong community partnership for well over a decade. Loreen teaches a Financial Literacy class to the Gracenter residents, helping them understand the importance of budgeting, teaching them how to save money, and starting many of them on the path to becoming financially secure. Ms. Jung is a true supporter of the Gracenter mission.
Loreen is the proud wife of Vincent Jung for 30 years and have four beautiful daughters, Kimberly, Amanda Jennifer and Samantha. A native San Franciscan born and raised in the Outer Mission neighborhood to Albert and Mary Seid.
As a young girl, Loreen spent her summers and weekends at Donaldina Cameron House, a Chinatown non-profit whose mission is to empower generations of Chinese Americans and their families to fully participate in and contribute positively to a healthy society. It is here where Loreen learned to put her Christian faith in action by helping people learn, heal, and thrive. As a teen and young adult, Loreen moved through the leadership ranks from a day camp leader to day camp director, to summer intern, to club advisor most recently serving as a board director for Cameron House. The best words that describe Loreen are: A Devoted Daughter, A Loving Wife and Mother, A Loyal Friend, A Community Leader. She approaches each relationship with honesty, integrity, love and kindness.
Loreen brings her nurturing and team spirit to work at the bank. She has been a banker for 33 years and is currently the Vice President and Branch Manager of the Portola Branch of Bank of the West. She mentors her aspiring employees, young and mature, and does whatever she can to help them be successful both at the bank and in life.
When Loreen’s not working or volunteering, Loreen is fishing with her husband Vince.