by LINDA FRABL

Helping Youth Grow

volunteer_macleod2Andi MacLeod, a resident of Solana Beach for the past 33 years, has cherished all of her opportunities for providing learning experiences that impact local youth. Whether as a teacher, tutor, or stay-at-home mom to two boys (now ages 27 and 31), Andi craved those moments when she could touch the lives of the next generation. That is why she is so grateful that her good friend introduced her to the wonderful world of volunteering for the Boys & Girls Clubs (BGC) of San Dieguito.

Andi recalled, “My friend, Katie Pelisek, thought I might enjoy teaching gardening and farm-to-table concepts at the BGC’s Center for a Healthy Lifestyle. I was hooked after my first encounter gardening with the kids, and here I am today!” Andi has since expanded her role at the BGC, and has helped build a garden for its La Colonia Clubhouse, taught the garden club, helped start up an eco club to expose kids to the natural world around them, and is now tutoring children in reading and math at the STEAM club.


Name: Andi MacLeod
Profession: Retired teacher and retired stay-at-home mom
Community: Solana Beach
Family: Husband – Don MacLeod; Sons – Jon and Ian
Hobbies & Interests: Pickleball, boogie boarding
Favorite Local Spots: Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito La Colonia Clubhouse, because there is so much love there. Also love Claire’s and Handcrafted on Cedros.


volunteer_macleod1Sharing a favorite memory from the flourishing gardening program, Andi exclaimed, “Exposing the kids to science and nature was a joy every day. We planted and grew seeds, and harvested enough for 70-80 people at a time, making finger salads, garden tacos, and kale smoothies.” At the STEAM club, she admires the resilience of the children she tutors. “They don’t even realize that whatever barriers they may have even exist. They just stay the course until they achieve,” Andi said. “It’s a great lesson to us all – that we can almost always do more than we think we can.”

“I love putting my voice together with other people, whether it’s tutoring or gardening or taking a stand for something.”

When it comes to her own pursuits, Andi keeps very busy. She gardens, takes bicycling vacations with her husband, draws, paints, sings in the choir with her fellowship, participates in the SeaWeeders Garden Club, and is active in several community groups. “I love putting my voice together with other people, whether it’s tutoring or gardening or taking a stand for something,” she said. “Every one of our actions count, so why not make them all count towards something good?”