Francesca Ginocchio Memorial Fund

Fatima Francesca Ginocchio died suddenly on December 1, 2020, from complications after a six-month battle against a very rare form of melanoma.

Born on December 29, 1983, in San Francisco, California, Francesca's infancy was spent in the Philippines. Educated at Notre Dame des Victoires and the French American International School, she was academically gifted and invited to represent her school in France and Tahiti.

Francesca graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Asian Studies. Her passions for culture grew from extended visits to France, China, and the Philippines. Brave and discerning, she didn’t shy from adventure. In 2014, Francesca moved to New York City for her Master of Arts (TESOL) at Hunter College, where she found her professional calling and taught English as a Second Language at Lower East Side Preparatory High School.

Francesca modeled team spirit as a tiny dancer with the San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker, as a young basketball and softball player (the first girl on all-boy teams), community service as a teenaged lifeguard, and love of competition as an adult swimmer in Masters Leagues. She crossed the Pacific and the Atlantic and traveled to Asia, Central America, and Europe with her friends, her sister, and her mother as often as possible. She became a world citizen, was a true epicure, loved music and was wildly creative.

Francesca’s personality and life inspired us. She made lifelong friends wherever she went. She studied French and English from Kindergarten, Mandarin from 6th grade through college, then Spanish when she became a teaching professional. She will be remembered for her authenticity, vitality, zest for life, compassion, and adventurous soul. She was loving, deeply intellectual, beautiful, and a bright light in our lives.

A naturally talented and dynamic teacher who never hesitated to put in the work to uplift others, her students adored her. She had an innate ability to connect with young people and became an inspirational and influential teacher. Recognized by Hunter College for her teaching excellence, an annual award (that she once received) is now named in her honour, as the Francesca Ginocchio Excellence in Teaching Award.

In April 2020, she left her Brooklyn home to return to the San Francisco Bay Area because of the pandemic. Subsequently, she was diagnosed with cancer. She spent her last days teaching her students (online) in New York, at home with her partner and their two dogs, surrounded by friends and family.

We understand her loss is a loss to her community, and we are deeply grateful to the community that embraced her with so much love. We would like to give back with this fundraiser.

Gifts made to the Francesca Ginocchio Memorial Fund on this site will be forwarded to the San Francisco Foundation to support nonprofit organizations and causes that were important to Francesca as an educator—higher-level education to single mothers.

Please consider your donation to the Francesca Ginocchio Memorial Fund in any amount you like. If you wish to donate an amount in excess of $250 that may be eligible for tax deductions, please contact Pamela Doherty​, Director of Gift Planning at the San Francisco Foundation, or visit this link at the San Francisco Foundation

Organizer and beneficiary

Micaela Van Zwoll 
Alamo, CA
The San Francisco Foundation 
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