by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Spark Photography

Balancing Volunteering, Family, and Career

A San Diego native and 10-year resident of 92127, Teresa Backer is a dedicated community member and volunteer. “I feel good about giving back to the community and trying to make it a better place to live, one project at a time, one person at a time,” she shared. She is quick to acknowledge she loves volunteering in her neighborhood of High Country West as much as she loves living there. Noting the community’s walkability, family events, and strong connections between neighbors, Teresa said, “Our little area is a pocket insulated from the hustle and bustle of life.”

volunteer_backer_1Teresa focuses her time and energy as a volunteer at the Turtleback Education Foundation. “I was a foundation board member and participated, led, assisted, and coordinated events like the Harvest Festival, Goodwill Drive, Art Corp, Room Parent, Valentine Dance,” explained Teresa. “My favorite program is the morning read program. I really enjoy reading with students.”

As a Turtleback Foundation board member, Teresa helped secure the grant from the San Diego Foundation to create the Collaboratory, a 21st century classroom designed to teach students new critical thinking, collaborating, and brainstorming skills. The foundation also recently received a grant to create the Makery classroom, a place with the tools and resources to assemble ideas born in the Collaboratroy.

In 2014, Teresa was instrumental in the “Get the Bus Back” campaign after the Bernardo Heights Middle School bus was discontinued from High Country West due to funding issues. “Many others had tried to get the bus back, so I knew it would be tricky to do,” Teresa acknowledged. With the collaborative efforts of the community and the school district’s transportation department, though, Teresa was successful in securing a bus route for the middle school students from High Country West.
Teresa also serves her neighbors buying and selling real estate as an independent realtor at The Backer Group, an affiliate of RSP, Inc. of La Jolla and Beverly Hills. “It is a natural culmination of all the things I like doing: real estate, law, negotiations, marketing, graphics, strategy, investing and helping others,” she acknowledged.

Teresa and her husband, Dam, have three children and appreciate hard work as much as family fun. “We love to travel a lot, play various sports, love games, and have an active social life with family and friends,” she shared. “Sometimes it is tricky balancing work, school, travel, volunteering, and extracurricular activities. All I can say is there is never a dull moment at the Backer house.”


Profile Information
Name: Teresa Backer
Community: Rancho Bernardo, High Country West
Volunteer Affiliation: Turtleback Elementary, High Country West HOA, and Get the Bus Back Campaign
Education: Juris Doctorate, Graphics Degree
Family: Husband – Dam Backer; Children – Bart, Ally, and Max
Hobbies & Interests: Spa queen, watching movies, traveling, and reading

Organization Information:
Name: Turtleback Education Foundation
Purpose: Established in April 2009, the Turtleback Education Foundation is a registered non-profit organization that raises funds specifically for the purpose of meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of the students of Turtleback Elementary.