• Leadership Santa Maria Valley learns about programs & resources for youth during Topic Day

    Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2020 received a glimpse into the future of youth and education in the Santa Maria Valley during their December Topic Day. From numerous organizations and programs that provide new opportunities for the youth in Santa Maria Valley to a new Career Technical Education building, the Leadership class of 2020 was ready to explore the educational opportunities and resources Santa Maria has available for local youth.

    The journey started in the morning in the boardroom at Allan Hancock College. Project Director of k-12 partnerships for Academic Affairs, Thomas Lamica talked about “Bulldog Bound “and Allan Hancock Promise. Bulldog Bound is a Hancock program that introduces the college to fifth through eighth grade students and their families. Bulldog Bound is the first step of the Allan Hancock College Promise to make higher education opportunities within everyone’s reach. The bulldog Bound program highlights Allan Hancock’s campus, programs and services. With the collaboration of Santa Maria School District, tours are offered to local fifth through eighth grade students with hands-on activities and games.

    Lamica explained that the Hancock Promise provides one year free at Allan Hancock College. Students who enroll at Hancock College immediately after graduating from a high school located in the Allan Hancock Joint Community College District will be eligible for one year of free tuition.

    Next the Leadership 2020 class had a PowerPoint presentation by board members of Community Action Commission (CAC) of Santa Barbara County.  The class learned about the important role of CAC in the community and the amount of help and programs it offers to children, youth and families. 

    CAC is a private non-profit organization serving Santa Barbara County. Community Action Commission offers Family and Youth services that promote character and leadership development in youth. Martha Coracero, who serves as a counselor at CAC, talked to the class about the Adolescent Family Life Program (AFLP). This program was established to address the health, education and economic challenges of adolescent pregnancy, and helps educate teen parents on mother and child health, continuing education, building self-esteem and prioritizing personal goals. The class also learned about 2-1-1 Santa Barbara County Health and Human Services line. This service provides access to health and human services information through a free, confidential multilingual 24/7 service line. 

    After class members enjoyed a delightful lunch sponsored by Toyota of Santa Maria from Maya Restaurant. Then, the leadership 2020 class traveled to Juvenile Court and SB County Juvenile hall. At Juvenile Court, Judge Arthur A. Garcia spoke on the importance of parents’ roles to influence their kids with strong values to keep them out of trouble. At the Juvenile Hall, the focus was the continuing education and the implementation of new ways to improve kid’s lives that could result in better conduct. 

    The class then traveled to the new Career Technical Education Center (CTE), which sits on 25-acre property north of the Elks Rodeo Grounds. The class had the opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art facility that includes a barn, workshops and classrooms where students will be trained in construction trades, diesel system and medical technology. The CTE Center will also include a fully equipped commercial teaching kitchen for the culinary art program. The CTE Center will improve the education in the Santa Maria Valley and it will offer more hands-on opportunities for students. 

    The future of the Santa Maria community is our youth, and educational opportunities our community is able to provide will give youth the foundation needed to create a better future. The Youth & Education Topic day showed the Leadership Class just how many opportunities Santa Maria provides to help our local youth succeed.

    A final thank you all of our speakers and local businesses for making this topic day a success, and to the Law Office of Heater Weare for sponsoring breakfast. The LSMV class of 2020 appreciates the community support!