Honoring the Kindness of Others 

November 15, 2023

For Apryll Nakamura, becoming a philanthropist started with one professor’s kindness. As a young engineering student in the 1970’s, Apryll had to work several jobs and watch every penny to attend UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. When one of the tools she needed for class, a plastic slide rule, broke before her first final she feared she would fail the test and flunk out of school. Instead, Professor Joseph DiStefano let her use his slide rule – and then told her to keep it.

Professor DiStefano’s act of kindness fueled Apryll’s determination to finish her degree and become an engineer. This was no small feat in an extremely male-dominated field. Apryll went on to have a long, successful, and satisfying career in aerospace engineering.

As a member of CCF’s Sartori Circle, Apryll established a fund at CCF through her estate plans that will support the causes she cares about most. In this way, she honors the acts of kindness that made her life possible. “I’ve had several people show up at critical junctures in my life and they’ve changed my life. And you often can’t go back and say thank you. So, working with the California Community Foundation is one way that I have to give back,” Apryll shares.

CCF’s planned giving team has worked with Apryll to make sure she can give back to the community through her estate in her interest areas of education, homelessness, and social justice. Apryll is also exploring options for current giving through one of CCF’s different charitable funds.

In partnership with StoryCorps, CCF recorded the stories of our Sartori Circle members. We invite you to learn more about Apryll Nakamura’s story of overcoming hardship, her love of Los Angeles, and her wonderful generosity. To explore how you can honor the kindness of others and give back to your community, please contact CCF at DonorRelations@calfund.org or (213) 452-6234.

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