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Partners in Education Volunteer Spotlight: Michael Rattray

Mentoring youth is all in a day's work for a busy CEO and a dedicated volunteer

[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series on Santa Barbara Partners in Education volunteers. This article is sponsored by Partners in Education President’s Council members Maryann and Richard Schall.]

As CEO of the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, Michael Rattray has a mission for our youth: for each child to reach his or her potential for greatness.

Volunteering in schools is one way he personally helps with this effort. On top of his demanding job, since 2008 Rattray has managed to spend more than 70 hours volunteering with the nonprofit Santa Barbara Partners in Education, which connects local businesses and professionals with opportunities to serve school needs.

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

“My involvement goes back to my days as a Raytheon employee when we were the first corporate sponsor of the Computers for Families program,” he explained.

“From there I got very involved in several programs with the high schools, as my own kids were soon moving on to college and I wanted to share in their experiences. In the last decade, I’ve let students ‘shadow’ me at work, I’ve been a Career Day speaker, and I’ve done mock job interviews at high schools, including Los Prietos Boys Camp.”

Rattray was also a member of Partners in Education’s Board of Directors in 2008-2009 and joined the organization’s Computer Technology Committee, working with Steve Keithley of the Santa Barbara County Education Office and his team to advance high-tech education in schools.

As both the head of one major nonprofit organization and an active volunteer for another, Rattray exemplifies the Partners in Education hope for nonprofit organizations and businesses to effectively collaborate, resulting in beneficial changes in our public schools.

When asked why organizations like Partners in Education and volunteering in general are so important, Rattray was quick to respond.

“For many of us, our talents or skill sets are the best legacy we can share with the generations of youth now facing the same challenges we or our children may have faced,” he said. “This, coupled with my experiences with the Boys & Girls Clubs, allowed for many life skills that I’m honored to extend.

Among Michael Rattray's volunteer projects with Partners in Education is the Santa Barbara County Education Office's Computer Technology Committee.
Among Michael Rattray’s volunteer projects with Partners in Education is the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Computer Technology Committee. (Valorie Smith / Noozhawk photo)

“Giving back to the community that has blessed my family is a small token of appreciation for the wonderful life we have experienced,” he said. “Without the network of teachers, principals, coaches and mentors, my kids would not be the great citizens they are.

“There’s a quote that says, ‘Children are a third of our population, but all of our future.’ That says it all.”

» 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 is a program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office and is the beneficiary of the upcoming Santa Barbara Triathlon, Aug. 26-28. Ben Romo, executive director of Partners in Education, will be competing in the triathlon. Click here to make an online donation.

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

— Devin Urbany is a Noozhawk intern through the Santa Barbara Partners in Education internship program.

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