A Project for Better Journalism chapter
SF Story

Lisa’s Story: Talking with the Crossing Guards

We asked one of our crossing guards to talk about her life:


I grew up in San Francisco, in Park Merced, and I went to Mercy High. History was probably my favorite class when I was growing up. Just because it was fascinating, you know, everything that was going on, everything that was happening.

I lived with my grandparents and my mom. I really liked the different places my grandparents used to take me. Like Fisherman’s Warf, Chinatown when I was a little girl, and my grandfather always used to take me to the zoo. And you know what? My dream when I was a little girl was to be a movie star. If I could be in any movie, well, I loved the Wizard of Oz, I still have it at home. The red slippers, the ruby red slippers, I loved it.

I love jazz music too, you know, I just like listening to jazz. My favorite artist was probably Boney James, BJ. You probably haven’t heard of him, he was way, way, way back. He plays jazz, different instruments, really gets into it. I don’t know what my favorite song is. I love a bunch of them. Yeah, jazz is just beautiful.

My favorite thing about working at UHS is you guys. I love all you guys. You guys are like my kids, my children. And that’s why I’m so hard on you guys, with the phones and the jay walking, because these cars are nuts. So when I get down on you guys, it’s because I love you guys: I care about you guys. It’s because I care.

My dream is to help more. I’m a sponsored parent internationally, I have a little girl in Guatemala. My little girl Nancy, I’ve sponsored her since she was 3 years old, and she turned 15 on January 1st. We correspond with letters and pictures. I just saw it one time, and I said, you know what, I can help this little girl, I can help a child, I can do more. I also belong to the Humane Society, SPCA, and Saint Jude’s hospital, for children with cancer. And it makes me feel great. My dream is to do more, do more for the world, and for my kids. That’s what I’m trying to do right now.