How do you begin to describe someone who has devoted a lifetime to serving and giving? Francesca Daniels can be described as generous and charitable but it goes much further. She self-describes her magnanimous life as being her “passion.” Francesca was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Italian immigrants and after completing her studies was transported to Beverly Hills in a corporate merger. There she lived and worked in business for 50 years in a successful company that she created, “Financial Sciences of America.” The company serviced publicly trading corporations in the areas of corporate development, finance and communications. “Although I was compensated by the issuing companies, my concerns were always to protect and represent the shareholders. I did that by reporting to them in a timely fashion and with accurate results of operations,” she said. She endured a position at which even hardened men
failed, and added “I survived 5 recessions and prevailed.”
Then in April 2016, Francesca fulfilled a commitment to head to Boca Raton to be closer to her niece, Donna Shelley, who leads the well known girls singing trio named ”The Rhythm Chicks.” Francesca explained, “I dissolved the business and after living in my beautiful condo for 48 years, I sold everything, including all of my furniture.” She added, “I’ve always been a fiscally conservative liberal thinking person— being kind and giving back with public service and charity.”
In California she volunteered at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Not one to avoid the toughest assignment, she ran the triage of volunteers in the Emergency Room. Francesca explained, “Not only was the ER grueling, but I worked on Monday nights which was the most difficult shift of all.” At the same time, Francesca was certified by the L.A. County Probation Department as a Mentor to incarcerated teenagers. With great pride she spoke about how she served there for 7 years, helping teens who struggled with drugs, home issues and juvenile delinquency.
The challenges didn’t end when Francesca moved to Florida. She continued to volunteer, as she had in California. She said, “When I applied here at Boca Raton Regional Hospital I had come from working more than 10 years at one of the toughest hospital ERs in the country and on the worst night of the week.” She added, “I didn’t require much training and was moved right into the shift I wanted, Monday nights.”
In addition to volunteer work, Francesca has discovered that raising money for charity is not much different than raising money for company businesses. She explained, “During the Pandemic I became driven to raise money for my two favorite charities in Boca—FAU’s College of Arts & Letters and the YMCA’s newly formed “Teen Lab.” She befriended a wonderful woman philanthropist and thanks to Francesca’s encouragement, her friend made a substantial donation to both.
Francesca’s passion for teens and their needs was driven by her volunteer work at the Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles. Now, at FAU, young people can engage in creative arts with paid-for-tuitions and scholarships. Also, they have a safe place to meet at the Y’s Teen Lab. There she boasts that the motto is “Changing the World one Teen at a Time.”
In keeping with her contributions to our community in 2021 Francesca became a member of the Rotary Club of Downtown Boca Raton. Also, for 5 years she has volunteered every Saturday at “Changing Lives”, a non-profit originated by real estate mogul James Batmasian of Investments Limited, which serves his vision of helping the homeless. All participants receive everything from free haircuts to clothing to meals and access to Francesca, who fits them with reading glasses. As Jim Batmasian once said to Francesca, “You’re doing the Lord’s work.” Indeed, how fortunate we are to have Francesca in our community and our world.