To celebrate the culmination of their 18-month program, the Santa Barbara Foundation’s 2010-11 class of Katherine Harvey Fellows awarded more than $55,000 in grants to five organizations that support student achievement at all age levels.

The grantees were AVID, Guadalupe Union Pre-K Camps, Just Communities Central Coast Family Dialogue Program, Mobile Waterford, and SBCC Running Start.

Each year the Katherine Harvey Fellows class selects a field of interest to invest in and fundraise for. This year’s class focused their research and funding in the field of K-12 education and high school to college transitional assistance.

Through the award of this year’s one-time grants, the Fellows seek to strengthen the ability of students and their families in Santa Barbara County to achieve their academic goals and provide a pathway to greater opportunity. This funding focused on two objectives:

» Programs that promote, support and empower students in critical transitional years (defined as pre-school to kindergarten, elementary school to junior high, junior high to high school or high school to college).

» Programs that result in increased levels of parental participation by preparing parents or other caregivers as partners in their child’s educational success.

“We need philanthropy now more than ever,” said Ron Gallo, CEO and president of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “These individuals have risen to the call, taking on tough issues and seeking solutions.”

Through their grant-making, the 2010-11 Katherine Harvey Fellows have expressed a commitment to developing future leaders and improving the lives of children in our community. Fulfilling this vision is made possible through donations from several community members and local organizations.

The honored graduates were joined by representatives from the five organizations as Fellow Judy Taggart introduced the grantees and presented the checks. The Katherine Harvey Fellows class of 2010-11 represents a group of bright, committed and outstanding young philanthropists who, through this program, have cultivated a deeper appreciation for our community and the power of philanthropy.

“The experience has allowed us a deep sense of renewal and inspiration towards committing to ensuring a healthy and successful community, while teaming up with local philanthropists of our generation,” Fellow, Patricia Madrigal said.

Fellow Susan Salcido reflected on the program, saying, “We learned how to do philanthropy well, collectively working together with a focused team dynamic and values, working towards a great purpose. It was an experience to be remembered and utilized for a lifetime.”

— Alixe Mattingly is the vice president of marketing and communications for the Santa Barbara Foundation.