Where’s Sheryl? Finding a Local Hero

By: Sheryl Young, San Mateo County Program Director

“We didn’t have much, but every Sunday, my dad took us out for ice cream cones, and we would fight over who got the little one for a nickel or the BIG one for a dime,” Michael Scott chuckled as he shared his humble and simple beginnings with me.

Over 40 years later, Michael retired as one of the earliest most successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Then, he started his next career and became just as successful as in his first one—as a local hero.

Writing a check from his own bank account and urging his friends to do the same, he created Coastside Hospitality. I asked him, “Why?”

His reply was simple: “Rather than get involved with causes somewhere else, I wanted to help those in my own neighborhood.”

Michael Scott with Coastside Hospitality volunteers, Daisy Woods and Lucy Fernandez (photo from Coastside Hospitality)

Michael met Bill Somerville 15 years ago and asked PVF to help him with his work through a donor advised fund. Because of him, many formerly homeless families now have a place to call home, first generation immigrant youth have scholarships to go to college, and hundreds of frail seniors have medical care and food.

After we finished our coffees, Mike, dressed in jeans and blue shirt, gave me a shy smile and ambled off to ride his horse, a “sweetie” on the rugged remote Skyline trails. I realized that’s how he has lived his life—no fanfare, no drama—just doing a job that needs to be done and offering a helping hand where it’s needed most.

A real local hero.

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