United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Fun in the Sun summer enrichment program has kicked off, and this year there are many educational and fun activities for the participants.

For the last 17 years, FITS has served an average of 250 financially and academically at-risk children (ages 7 to 18) and their parents for seven weeks each summer.

There are more than 90 partners involved that donate their resources to ensure FITS success (involving 63 service delivery partners, 19 funding partners, and more than 500 volunteer mentors). Once again, Some of United Way’s partners are volunteering hands-on workshops for the campers.

John Daly, president of Key Class, has expressed his excitement in working with FITS this year. Daly’s Key Class will offer FITS participants critical tools for success through etiquette training courses.

He uses simple but effective techniques such as how to use direct eye contact, or the proper way to shake a hand. Daly’s methods have been found to be extremely useful in both social and professional settings. Teaching FITS participants everything from the importance of personal grooming to how to make a good first impression on a potential employer.

Key Class was founded by Daly, who began mentoring teens as a young adult. After becoming a court-appointed special advocate, Daly realized many of the young people he worked with had never been taught proper etiquette or manners. To Daly, proper etiquette was a hobby he enjoyed to practice, but he turned it into his expertise when he started Key class.

Key Class is not led by rigid or stuffy rules, as most people think of when hear “etiquette.” The success of Key Class is due to Daly’s easy-going and witty sense of humor that students really connect with. 

United Way of Santa Barbara is proud to be in collaboration with Key Class, and appreciates its fun and interactive style that attracts and ensures the success of young people involved in it.  Every year, United Way seeks to improve the academic, social, behavioral and life skills of each participant involved in FITS, and the help of volunteers like Key Class guarantee it.

— Kerstin Padilla is a development and marketing assistant for United Way of Santa Barbara County.