Teachers & Schools

Down Payment Surprise for an Oakland Teacher

Last fall, Landed launched a partnership with Extra Yard for Teachers to create a giveaway for three lucky educators to each receive $25,000 to help own a home in the Bay Area. Our first two winners were Stephanie Hardinger, an elementary school teacher in Palo Alto, and Beti Magana, a Spanish teacher in Santa Clara. Since winning in November, Stephanie has already bought a home using the grant money she received combined with Landed's down payment program.

On a Wednesday in January, Landed and Extra Yard for Teachers traveled to Dewey Academy in Oakland to surprise our third grant giveaway winner, veteran science teacher Nestor Gonzalez. Students and staff gathered in the courtyard, where Principal Darrell Ross and Kelley Nayo Jahi gave a brief introduction before presenting Nestor with a check for $25,000.

Nestor (or “G.” as his students call him) has been teaching and enriching the lives of Oakland students for nearly three decades, but he has never been able to buy a home in his community. He is excited for what the future brings, noting how expensive homes are in Oakland and the surrounding areas:

“Here in Oakland, you know how much it costs to buy a home. This is a spiritual and morale boost to help me go forward. I really appreciate it, and it gives me a responsibility to the future to help somebody else out. Instead of having to live far away, I can live closer to school and spent a lot more time here. I really love what I do and I really love being a teacher in Oakland.”

Nestor will have the option to combine this grant with Landed's down payment program or other down payment assistance programs to put money down on a home in the Bay Area. He plans on finding a home close to the school so he can walk to work and spend more time helping students.

Nestor Gonzalez at Dewey Academy

“This grant means a lot to me, given the struggles teachers face,” Nestor said.

Extra Yard for Teachers awarded an additional $2,500 to the school to further the work educators are doing there. Dewey, a continuation school, offers students with problems at their regular high schools a second chance to earn credits and graduate on time.

View the video from Nestor’s surprise! 

Grand Prize Winners

Down Payment Giveaway for Educators

Round 1
Stephanie Hardinger
Elementary School Teacher
East Palo Alto, California

Round 2
Beti Magana
Spanish Teacher
Santa Clara, California

Round 3
Nestor Gonzalez
Science Teacher
Oakland, California


Landed helps educators purchase homes by providing down payment funds. Please click here to learn more about our down payment program, or click here to apply now.

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Teachers & Schools Northern California

About the Author

Jennifer Nash Darukhanawalla

Raised in the Bay Area, Jennifer is a senior attending San Jose State University planning to double major with a B.A. in Graphic Design and a B.S. in Advertising. As a MarComm Intern, Jennifer works with the Engagement Lead on photography, videography, editing, writing, and communications.

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