Winter 2009

In Brief

Haas Alumna Wins Service Award


Dagmar Serota, MBA 94, was watching a TV show about homeless schoolchildren with her son four years ago when she got the idea for Good Cents for Oakland.

Her son wondered how he could help, and Serota contacted the nonprofit organization mentioned in the show, Common Cents New York, about bringing a program to Oakland. The group was unable to expand, so Serota created her own nonprofit locally. She works full-time as the unpaid executive director for Good Cents for Oakland, whose mission is to help young people improve their local communities.

In November, Serota, formerly a financial broker, received a Jefferson Award for Public Service in recognition of her work. The awards were created by the America Institute for Public Service, a national foundation that honors community service, and are administered by local media outlets.

One of Serota's programs teaches children about food, nutrition, and the local food bank. In another program at Oakland and Piedmont schools, students collect coins and vote on which charities to support with their fundraising.

“We want kids, particularly in underserved schools, to know that there is something that they can do,” Serota says.


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Dagmar Serota, MBA 94


Social Entrepreneur Dagmar Serota, MBA 94