Saturday, September 5 , 2015, 10:56 am | Fair 71.0º




Partners in Education Volunteer Spotlight: Deb Stowers

Career woman leads by example, and is as proud of her three successful interns as she is of her own children

Deb Stowers believes the key to getting students to succeed “always comes back to teaching them how to listen to themselves, gather information and follow their hearts. It’s also about having faith.”

Deb Stowers believes the key to getting students to succeed “always comes back to teaching them how to listen to themselves, gather information and follow their hearts. It’s also about having faith.”  (Garrett Geyer / Noozhawk photo)

By Leticia Carrillo for Santa Barbara Partners in Education |

[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series on Santa Barbara Partners in Education volunteers. This article is sponsored by Rabobank N.A., a Partners in Education President’s Council member.]

Deb Stowers has been giving back to Santa Barbara Unified School District schools for more than 10 years. Over a decade ago, she was asked to share pearls of wisdom with students for Career Day. Her years of experience in sales, stocks and bonds, and real estate make for an interesting presentation that breaks from the students’ typical classroom topics.

While sharing about her career, she manages to make a real impact on her young audience. Over the years, she has participated in Career Days, mock job interviews, and has advised and mentored three student interns with whom she made connections during a few of her many Career Day presentations.

      |  Partners in Education President’s Council Series |  Complete Series Index  |

Stowers is proud to inform us that her interns, now active young adults, are doing well. One young man, who learned about real estate and the stocks and bonds industry while under Stowers’ wing, graduated from Dos Pueblos High School and is now excelling in sales.

A second intern, a young woman who also worked in the financial industry with Stowers, graduated from Santa Barbara High School, went to college and then obtained master’s degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. She now lives in New York City and is very successful.

Stowers’ third mentee focused his interests on the real estate industry. He graduated from San Marcos High School and is now a senior at UCSB. Despite the hardships college students face finding jobs after graduation, he has already been recruited for a job at a top accounting firm in San Diego.

Stowers firmly believes that her interns “excelled because of their own personal desire and efforts.” However, she certainly helped them improve their skills through her guidance during the internships and by staying in touch with them through the years. Although her interns pre-dated the Santa Barbara Partners in Education Job Training & Internship Program, she says Partners in Education allowed for her to make the connection with young people interested in her career field.

“It is truly a privilege to work with Partners in Education and to have the opportunity to interact and work with all the students,” she said. “It’s great to see the enthusiasm blossoming as students begin to discover their career paths.”

When she speaks in classrooms, Stowers likes to talk to students about communication skills that are strengths in any workplace. She emphasizes the importance of listening, being able to understand the needs and wants of others, and problem solving. She tells students that they must “know how to communicate, how to have enthusiasm ... (and) to be able to give.”

Stowers appreciates that Partners in Education creates ways for businesses to play a direct role in the classroom.

“The hands-on, interactive experience that Partners in Education (and volunteers) provide to students is fantastic!” she exclaimed.

“How do we get each student the information they need to decipher what they want out of life, what career path they may want to take, or what to do next after school if they haven’t had the opportunity to ask questions from the professionals?” she asked.

“It always comes back to teaching them how to listen to themselves, gather information and follow their hearts. It’s also about having faith.”

Despite her own professional success, Stowers, a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty, says her most important job has been being a mom.

“My most rewarding and joyful life is being a mom,” she said. “My husband and I are blessed with four great children, now all young adults. We are surrounded by their great talent, their own leadership and their great hearts. We are truly blessed and so happy when we see their successes and how they make a difference in the world!”

Although her life is full with family and work, Stowers doesn’t plan to retire from volunteering any time soon.

“I hope I can always play at least a small part of making a difference today, as well as for the future,” she said.

Rabobank is a member of the Partners in Education President’s Council, a group of local businesses, organizations and individuals who support Partners in Education with contributions of at least $2,500. Any company or organization has the opportunity to participate in Partners in Education, but the President’s Council is limited to no more than 30.

» Click here for more information on Santa Barbara Partners in Education.

» Click here for more information on how to become a President’s Council member or contact Michelle Magnusson, development and membership director, at 805.964.4710 x4417 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

» Click here for a related article from Partners in Education board president Lynda Nahra.

» Connect with Partners in Education on Facebook.

      |  Partners in Education President’s Council Series |  Complete Series Index  |

— Leticia Carrillo is an AmeriCorps volunteer who has been working as a Santa Barbara Partners in Education volunteer coordinator. Both AmeriCorps and Partners in Education are programs of the Santa Barbara County Education Office.




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