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Anna Bachman, who worked with Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, fell to her death while posing for a photo while visiting a San Diego beachside cliff. (Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley)

A Bay Area woman who fell to her death last weekend while posing for a photo on a San Diego beachside cliff had worked as an AmeriCorps Fellow in Bay Point and had attended UC Berkeley before leaving for graduate school.

Anna Bachman, 25, had been living in the Chicago area and studying for a master's degree in urban planning and policy at University of Illinois, Chicago, the school's spokesman, Sam Hostettler, told the U-T San Diego newspaper.

Bachman, who grew up in Cotati, was posing for photographs taken by her sister Gail, 29, at 5:19 p.m. Sunday, when she stepped too close to the edge of a cliff at the south end of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

"The soil gave way, and she fell to her death," her father, Richard Bachman, said by telephone from San Diego on Monday, according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

Bachman's death was accidental, he said, and a San Diego police official said it was "just a tragedy," according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

Several bystanders tried to revive Bachman, but she was declared dead when paramedics arrived.

Bachman was an AmeriCorps Fellow with Habitat for Humanity in 2011-2012.

"Anna Bachman was a superstar among AmeriCorps members. She (helped) families reach their goal of homeownership through Habitat's program and leading our neighborhood revitalization efforts in the Bay Point community," Janice Jensen, president and chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, wrote in an email.

"Anna's love for people was evidenced daily by her tireless efforts to work with others to improve their lives and community. Her gregarious energy, sense of humor and positive attitude were infectious to all those who were lucky enough to work with her.

"Anna never met a challenge that she could not overcome. The Habitat community is shocked and devastated by her loss. Anna is a rare gem who was taken far too soon."

She was also an active participant in the Bay Point Partnership, Unity in Community and Bay Point Vision, according to Elaine Prendergast, executive director at the Center for Human Development in Pleasant Hill.

"I remember Anna for her 'can do' spirit and beautiful smile. She was full of positive energy and ideas. Anna was eager to make a difference -- and certainly made an impact in a very short life. I will not forget her," Prendergast wrote in an email.

Prendergast recalled that while working at Habitat for Humanity, Bachman brought a playhouse to the yearly Unity in Community event that takes place in Bay Point.

"She brought in the playhouse for the kids to put together," Prendergast said. "She was so community-minded. She just jumped right in and had great energy and had so much potential."

The Associated Press and McClatchy-Tribune News Service contributed to this story. Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.