Feb 04, 2020
Rebecca Gershenson Smith (Bev Moss)

Low wage jobs are nothing new.  In our life journeys many of us held such jobs and simply viewed these as rites of passage on the path to the life we live today. By our very presence as Rotary members it is likely that these are bygone memories.  What then of those who continue with such work and do not move on…the cadre that tidy our rooms, prepare our meals, wash our dishes, and serve us with a helpful smile when we dine out?  Many in these service professions subsist on low pay, long hours, multiple jobs and they are often one paycheck away from disaster.  On February 4, Rebecca Gershenson Smith, board chair of CDAIDE, will tell about this organization.  CDAIDE seeks to facilitate a safety net for these heretofore underserved service professions that may “include financial aid for urgent needs, access to health care, connection to community resources, mentoring, counseling, and other measures to meet individual needs.”


Rebecca teaches English at Gonzaga University and has extensive experience in nonprofit development. She has founded or co-founded a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, the Patterson Park Public Charter School, and the Baltimore Education Coalition. In Coeur d’Alene, where she has lived since 2011, Rebecca co-founded the Coeur d’Alene Education Partnership and Raising Idaho Standards for Education, which she currently chairs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brown University and a PhD in English language and literature from the University of Michigan. While her background is primarily in education, Rebecca feels passionately about using her skills in nonprofit startups to lay the groundwork for forwarding the vital mission of CDAIDE to serve this hard-working, yet vulnerable segment of our community.