Nini Seaman A profile of a woman of Inspiration Honoree for Girls Inc of Carpinteria 2017
Each year, Girls Incorporated of Carpinteria holds a luncheon to celebrate those who are leading the way for those who are currently being served by Girls Inc. programs.
“Our luncheon celebrates the achievements of women who are inspiring the next generation of girls to have a voice and dream big,” executive director Victoria Juarez told Noozhawk.
I’ve been a regular at the friend- and fundraiser, and it is a powerful and rewarding event. Scroll down the page for more information about the April 3 luncheon.
Asa Olsson and Nini Seaman, this year’s Women of Inspiration 2017 honorees, more than live up to their billing. Both have deep roots in the community and with community service.
Olsson is an actress and teen director at Girls Inc., where she has spent 17 years building a drama program and performance center. Many of her alums credit her and the theater program for gaining confidence and finding their voices.
Seaman, is an artist, parent volunteer, former Girls Inc. board member and longstanding chairwoman of the Women of Inspiration luncheon.
“Nini has been involved in our organization for nearly a decade, and has transformed our annual luncheon and the way we fundraise,” said Juarez, who added that Seaman had helped Girls Inc. raise more than $500,000.
“Her leadership and commitment to our organization has helped transform the lives of many girls in our community.”
Along with her close friend, Sandra Tyler, Seaman has been determined to raise the profile of the Carpinteria chapter.
“People in Santa Barbara are mostly unaware of this chapter’s programs, and that they are fiscally and completely separate from Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara,” she said.
Seaman, husband Peter and their two daughters moved to the South Coast 29 years ago. Peter Seaman is a screenwriter and producer, and the movie business brought them to California.
Seaman is not one to talk about herself or her civic accomplishments, but she is happy to talk about Girls Inc.
“I was introduced to Girls Inc. by architect Andy Neumann, who designed their building and later our home,” she said.
“The facility was inspiring. Several years later, I was asked to join the board by board president Craig Price. I had always wanted to get involved with my hometown and children and girls. It was impossible to say no.”
Seaman is a longtime board member at Laguna Blanca School, her daughters’ alma mater, and she has lent her organizational talents to CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) and the Santa Barbara Foundation. She currently is working on developing a new Girls Inc. scholarship.
She is quick to give credit to other board members and her Women of Inspiration luncheon co-chairs, Amanda Kastelic and Nancy Koppelman, but she describes the girls of Girls Inc. as “the stars of the event.”
“When you see them and hear them, it becomes very clear that through the Girls Inc. of Carpinteria programs and their hard work, Girls Inc. can really change a child’s future,” Seaman said.
The Women of Inspiration luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 3, at Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, 5315 Foothill Road across from Carpinteria High School. Click here to purchase tickets, or call 805.684.6364.
Although it’s a no-frills affair held with décor panache and creativity in the facility’s gymnasium, it is always highly energetic and festive. Each year the message stays focused on the mission of scholarships for young women who need them and honoring Women of Inspiration in the community.
This year’s keynote speaker is Erica Ford, founder and CEO of LIFE (Love Ignites Freedom through Education) Camp Inc. The New York City-based nonprofit organization works to curb violence among urban youth.
Also sharing her story will be Andrea Saldana, a 17-year-old Carpinteria High student and longtime Girls Inc. participant.
Ford, an inspirational civic leader and innovator, grew up in Baisley Park Houses, a crime-ridden, densely populated housing project in South Jamaica, Queens. Today, she leads all-ages yoga classes on the project’s playground.
While Ford is on the South Coast, she will lead a free yoga session hosted by Girls Inc. of Carpinteria at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden. The event is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, and also features Urban Yogis Juquille Johnston and Raheem Lewis, Robbie Nova and DJ Magneto. The session is free and open to all ages.
Click here for more information about Girls Incorporated of Carpinteria or to make luncheon reservations. Click here to make an online donation.
— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at email@example.com. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.