By Latricia Wilson
A University of Illinois at Chicago graduate student was killed when she fell from San Diego’s south end of Sunset Cliffs on Jan. 12, while visiting her sister over the weekend, according to San Diego Police Officer Edward Zwibel.
Anna Bachman, who was working on a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Policy at UIC, fell just as she was posing for a photograph that her sister was going to capture in the popular park frequently visited by San Diego residents and international visitors.
Bachman’s fatal fall occurred just four days before her birthday. Bachman’s father told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat “the soil gave way” to the native of “the Golden State,” where she grew up in the city of Cotati on California’s North Coast.
The UIC graduate student who was also an alumna of the University of California, Berkeley had hoped to land a job with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, where she served as an intern and was expected to return back to work after visiting her sister, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Bachman, who was described by the Press Democrat as a “child of the universe,” had a passion for helping people and reaching out to underprivileged communities.
“Anna’s commitment to affordable housing stems from a conviction grounded in social justice and the dignity of all human beings,” said Anna’s UIC professor Janet Smith in an interview with the Press Democrat.
Before the young woman began attending school in the Windy City, she left a positive impact on residents of California’s East Bay community, where she was an AmeriCorps Fellow with Habitat for Humanity in 2011 and 2012.
According to the Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley website news update, Bachman “focused on helping families reach their goal of homeownership” and led neighborhood revitalization efforts in the Bay Point Community.
Bachman was alsoa leader on her swim team at Rancho Cotate High School where she organized fundraisers and team activities, according to The Press Democrat.
Chris Bongardt, former owner and director of a Hahn YMCA Daycare in Sonoma County, Calif. where Bachman attended as a “little girl,” remembered Bachman as “polite, kind and helpful.”
“You could count on her,” she said of the “beautiful young girl she watched grow up” at the Daycare. “She’s not one of the kids that would be up to no good or lead the other kids astray.”
Bongardt said Bachman would help her father at his veterinarian office, and she remembered her doing a lot of volunteer work.
“[She] had big, brown, welcoming eyes that you could trust, and a smile that lit up the room,” Bongardt said. “[She] was gonna do a lot and make a difference, and she did make a difference.”
Bachman’s family and Habitat for Humanity are keeping the memory of her volunteer service to the community alive. According to the Press Democrat, Bachman’s family will set up a scholarship program for individuals pursuing graduate degrees in urban planning. Contributions can be made to
WestAmerica Bank in the name of Anna Bachman Memorial Fund.
Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley has also created a fund “to build a home in honor of Anna and her tireless dedication to affordable housing and community development.”
According to Habitat EBSV, “Bay Point is an area where Anna spent much of her time and energy while at Habitat. Commemorating a home in a community that Anna cared deeply for will add to the lasting legacy of her work.”
To donate to the Habitat for Humanity Tribute to Anna Bachman fund visit give.habitatebsv.org/bachman-tribute.