My husband, Joseph, and I moved to San Francisco from the East Coast to pursue our careers and find warmer weather. When we were finally in a position to consider establishing roots here, we were thrilled to be house hunting, but also nervous about this big investment. We considered many factors in deciding where to live, the most important being our daughters’ – Mikaela, five, and Kaylee, three – education.
With all the stories we’d heard about San Francisco’s public school lottery, we thought seriously about moving to the Peninsula. We ultimately decided to take the plunge and settle on Sierra Street, a decision that in retrospect was one of the best ones we’ve made, in large part because of the wonderful community in the neighborhood and in our condominium complex. Not only that, but the City offers a lot of educational opportunities outside the classrooms. The many museums, beautiful Golden Gate Park, and Japantown are just a few of the places to which my daughters love going. They get to see the various and unique neighborhoods, and learn about the history, people, and culture of this City.
Some of the most important educational opportunities are when my girls ask about the tents as we walk down 16th street toward the Mission, or when they question why we volunteer at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank on Pennsylvania Street. They’re being exposed to all the fun and educational things that San Francisco has to offer, but they’re also becoming acutely aware that there are others whose experience of the City is quite different from ours.
Living in the San Francisco is great. There are different things to do. We love that we can walk to restaurants and grocery stores, but the most important part of being in the City is that it provides us with a daily reminder that we’re privileged; there are many who aren’t. As a family, we’re learning about what it truly means to be kind and generous, and to use our privilege to help those who are struggling.
Jin Xu works as a clinical scientist at Genentech. “Why I Choose to Raise My Family in San Francisco” is the brainchild of the Potrero Residents Education Fund, a nonprofit committed to helping create a stronger, more vibrant San Francisco by ensuring that families from a diversity of income levels raise their children in the City. Submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.