Sunday, October 23 , 2016, 6:35 pm | Mostly Cloudy 66º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube

Santa Barbara Partners in Education Celebrates Awards, Volunteers

The organization's internship program receives two major state honors — the Golden Bell Award and the Apple for Excellence Award

The Santa Barbara Partners in Education organization celebrated two major state awards and another year of volunteer and internship programs during Wednesday’s annual breakfast.

The nonprofit organization connects local schools to community resources — someone likened it to a can opener, the tool able to get resources to those most in need.

“You, my friends, are the soup,” Susan Salcido told the crowd of volunteers, businesses and educators.

Salcido, deputy superintendent of the County Education Office, said the internship program was honored for the Golden Bell Award and Apple for Excellence Award this year from state boards. The program offers job experience for high school students and help with resume writing, interviewing and other workplace skills.

The hosting businesses and nonprofits contribute $4 per hour toward their wages, and Partners in Education provides the other half.

Thousands of volunteers contributed 30,000 hours to schools last year, and Computers for Families handed out its 10,000th computer after 17 years of handing them out to families on the South Coast. Board president Steve Ainsley said it’s an important part of Partners in Education’s goal to bridge the digital divide.

On Wednesday, Santa Barbara Junior High School student Luis Valencia and MedBridge volunteer Danielle Ivie stole the show. Ivie and other MedBridge employees volunteer weekly for the CORE program, a class tailored to help at-risk students with their academics and behavioral issues. Teacher Marc Fidel takes students on field trips and other experiences, such as Camp Whittier, with MedBridge’s help.

Ivie said Fidel wasn’t sure he would be able to continue the program this year without their volunteers. She said it’s incredibly rewarding to form those relationships with the students and means a lot when they accomplish something in school.

“It’s not always easy, but what is with junior high boys?” Ivie said.

Valencia, an eighth-grader, said he didn’t take school seriously last year and just wanted to have fun. CORE gives him more time and support for schoolwork, and Fidel works hard to make lessons interesting, he said.

“The way he leads the class makes me want to become a better student,” he said.

He said Ivie makes sure he keeps up with homework and helps with overwhelming assignments. The extra classroom help makes him more confident in school, and students love to visit the company office, especially since there’s pizza.

“MedBridge volunteers are like my friends, just older,” he said.

He even helped a friend, who was struggling in school, make the change to the CORE program.

In the future, he wants to be a soccer player or engineer — maybe even design his own car one day. He’s still “exploring options,” he told the crowd, but is very glad MedBridge volunteers are there to help him figure it out.

Partners in Education is always accepting “time, talent and treasure” from the community, and volunteers can sign up anytime through its website. All the programs rely on community support, and the Orfalea Foundation is offering to give a $100,000 matching grant this year if the organization can fundraise that much.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >