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  • Leadership Class Explores Youth Services, Struggles & Opportunities in Santa Maria

    On December 7th, the 2019 Leadership class had a full schedule visiting a number of organizations focused on the youth of the Santa Maria Valley and their respective ongoing efforts to improve the lives and future outlook for those youth.

    At the Boys & Girls Club, the class learned about the 52 years of service that the club has provided to the kids of Santa Maria. The organization prides itself on the fact that many former club members now serve as staff members with some serving at the club for multiple decades. In one heartwarming story, a former club member recently sought out a few individuals from the current executive leadership and told them how she will never forget when those same individuals pooled funds and purchased her a pair of proper sneakers to wear during basketball games. Their act of generosity made a big impact on her life.

    For the next stop at the Good Samaritan Shelter, Alexis Nshamamba, the training and development manager, provided the class with a brief tour of the Santa Maria campus which included the emergency shelter, detox program, the transitional shelter, dining hall, and children’s after school classroom.

    Established in 1987, the Good Samaritan Shelter has continued to serve those in need within the community of Santa Maria. It was also an eye opening experience to some of the challenges facing those kids in less fortunate circumstances.

    The group was then able to unwind for a few minutes at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum. Program Director Amy Blasco guided the class through the different exhibits sponsored by local businesses/organizations. J.D. Scroggins from CoastHills, one of the 2019 LSMV participants, was happy to hear that the banking exhibit sponsored by CoastHills was a favorite of the young visitors.

    During lunch at the Moxie Cafe, the class was treated to a leadership speech by Edwin Weaver from Fighting Back Santa Maria and an overview of the Career Technical Education program run by LeeAnne McNulty of the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

    The class rounded out the day with a visit to the SB County Juvenile Hall and Juvenile Court. The continuing education of the kids while serving their punishment was the focus at Juvenile Hall. A specific program of connecting the kids with characters in the different novels they read is a way for the kids to learn about and build on such qualities as leadership, respect, etc. After moving to the Juvenile Court, Judge Arthur A. Garcia spoke on improving the accountability of the parents as one of the more important items necessary for improving the lives of kids in our community and keeping them out of trouble.

    The youth of any community is an important group to focus on as they are the future of said community. Although there will always be some obstacles to overcome when working to improve the lives of children, it was heartwarming to see all of the amazing people and the work they do to make the future just a little bit brighter.

    A final thank you to Driscoll’s for sponsoring breakfast and Valley Cleaners for sponsoring lunch and afternoon coffee. The LSMV Class of 2019 appreciates your support!

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