Santa Barbara Education Foundation Turns Hope into Reality by Raising $71,000
On Thursday, April 29, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation hosted the Hope Awards to celebrate individuals and programs making strides for students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
The online gathering raised over $71,000 in critical funding for the Santa Barbara Education Foundation to continue making a positive impact on SB Unified student outcomes.
SBEF tried to make its virtual event feel like its in-person Hope Awards gatherings of years past to properly celebrate the work of Craig Price and Nick Rail for their long-time support of public education. Like in years past, the event featured a student performance. This year the Dos Pueblos High School Jazz Band helped kick off the festivities.
Craig Price is best known for his work in providing counsel in education law locally. What many may not know is that he is a leading advocate of public education. For nine years, Price served on SBEF’s Board of Directors and notably served as its president for two of those years.
And as the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Price’s daughter, Mallory, a teacher at Adams Elementary School, had the privilege of presenting the Hope Award to her father for his support of public education.
Even though Nick Rail is more commonly known in the community as the founder of Nick Rail Music, he has worked for decades to make music accessible to Santa Barbara students by providing new instruments valued more than $100,000 to public school music programs. Rail also created low-cost and high-quality music instruction through the Nick Rail Summer Band Camp, which is now in its 32nd year of operation.
During Rail’s acceptance speech, he summed up his philanthropic motivation by saying, “Our future is only as good as the education we give our students, both in the classroom and in the arts.” He went on to say, “the opportunities I’ve been given to open doors to others has been my blessing in life. Thank you!”
SBEF also wishes to recognize and thank Hope Award sponsors, including Visionary Sponsors: Griffith and Thornburgh and Mechanics Bank; Ambassador Sponsors: Atkinson, Anelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, KBZ Architects, RHS Construction, Santa Barbara City College Foundation, Toyota of Santa Barbara and Union Bank; Champion Sponsors: Arroyo Seco, Bryant & Sons, Cottage Health Systems, DA Davidson, Frontier Technology, Future Leaders of America, LogMeIn, M.F. Strange & Associates, Montecito Bank & Trust, Montecito Journal, Pueblo Radiology Medical Group and Sage Publishing; and Underwriters: Dennis Forster, Jessica Foster Confections, and Noozhawk.
Santa Barbara Education Foundation promotes private support of Santa Barbara’s public education system, serving over 13,000 students in 19 schools. For more information, visit www.santabarbaraeducation.org.
Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) provides and supports programs that enrich the academic, artistic, and personal development of all students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
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Antonña Gives Back
“My grades went from all F’s and a GPA of 0.0 to graduating Dos Pueblos High School with a 4.0 and getting a $10,000 scholarship to attend a CSU. I had never even imagined myself graduating high school let alone going to college. The Academy for Success completely changed my life and I’ll forever be grateful for that. Proudly, I’m in my last year of school at Santa Barbara City College and have been interning with the Academy for Success the past four years in hopes to spread the same hope the program provided for me.”
Bridging the Digital Divide
Even before the pandemic, Santa Barbara Education Foundation Executive Director Margie Yahyavi had heard that the parking lots around Santa Barbara schools were full at night. Why? Parents without Internet were driving their kids to pick up the school’s Wi-Fi so they could do homework.
With students forced online to learn during the pandemic, the digital divide has shown even more stark.
The Education Foundation jumped into action, raising funds so that internet accounts and hotspots could be set up and noise reducing headphones are provided – making education accessible to the thousands of lower income students who need it. But, as Yahyavi points out, this is a problem that won’t go away.
“How are kids supposed to learn without access to Wi-Fi after this is all over?” she says. “How can they be competitive without having the information available over the Internet?”
To help meet the demands today and tomorrow, please make a donation at: www.sbefoundation.org/donate.
Board of Directors
Mat Gradias, President, Associate Architect, Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects
John Ogilvie, Vice President, Financial Consultant, Strategic Planning
Tisha Weber Ford, Secretary, CEO, Weber Logistics
Diana Ciontea, Treasurer, Director of Finance, ProductPlan
Terri Allison, Immediate Past President, Early Childhood and Non-profit Consultant
Debbie Arnesen, Retired Fund Development
Isis Castañeda, Project Coordinator, IV Coalition for Healthy Communities
Jon Clark, President, James S. Bower Foundation
Eder Gaona-Macedo, Executive Director, Future Leaders of America
Larry Harter, President, Pueblo Radiology
Victoria Juarez, Community Leader
Daniel Meisel, Regional Director of ADL Santa Barbara/Tri Counties
Jeffrey Milem, Dean and Professor, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UCSB
Britt Ortiz, Director, Early Academic Outreach Program, UCSB
Felicita Torres, Attorney, Griffith & Thornburgh
Hilda Maldonado, Superintendent, Santa Barbara Unified School District
Kelly Fresch, Principal, Adams Elementary School
Carolyn Ross,Teacher, Goleta Valley Junior High School
Wendy Sims-Moten, Executive Director, First 5 Santa Barbara County