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Rosalyn Koo (1929-2021)

Founding Board Member


Rosalyn (Roz) Koo was born and raised in Shanghai. Upon graduation from McTyeire High School, she came to the U.S. to attend Mills College. After transferring to UC Berkeley, she graduated with a BA in Economics (with honors).

After a 30-year career, she retired as a business executive of a major San Francisco architectural firm, MBT Associates, in 1988.

A life-long volunteer and social activist, Roz was the founding president of Self-Help for the Elderly and served on its Board for  25 years, leading the agency through phenomenal expansion.

Simultaneously, she dedicated herself to the betterment of impoverished girls through education. First, she restored her alma mater as the pre-eminent public girls’ school in China. Her

Hope Project, launched in 1995, sent 84 girls through senior high school, 56 of whom completed college.

In 2001, she began the Spring Bud Project, which made it possible for 1,000 girls in Shaanxi Province to complete middle school. Through Roz’s 13-year commitment, 475 girls successfully completed high school and 170 graduated from first and second tier colleges in China. She also raised funds to build an seismically safe, environmentally-friendly green school to replace three schools damaged by the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China.


Roz received many awards for community service including her induction into the Women’s Hall of Fame in San Mateo County.


Roz passed away on January 30, 2021. Please read our tributes to her here.

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