Erik Frost & Raissa Smorol of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara speak about the program and money awarded to the local community.

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara for their March Business Development Forum on education. The forum’s focus was on volunteer opportunities in the education sector, and also recognizing local student’s academic achievements.

Recognizing the importance of volunteers to our local schools and teachers, North County Liaison for the Santa Barbara County Education Office Debra Hood spoke about the North County Volunteer Corps.

“There is no question that the health of our community and the strength of our economy depends on the success of our local schools in preparing our young people for a bright and successful future,” Hood said.

“With that goal in mind the Santa Barbara County Education Office has developed a county wide volunteer core – a comprehensive list of opportunities to volunteer with and spend time in our local schools.”

Hailee Silva accepting her April Youth of the Month award from Deputy Superintendent Susan Salcido

This resource provides opportunities to help the needs of local schools in areas that are also the best fit for you. You can learn more about these opportunities and discover the ways you can partner with educators to support our students HERE.

The forum also highlighted the success of local students by honoring them with Student of the Month awards and Computers donated though the Computer Connections program.

Deputy Superintendent Susan Salcido presented the April and May Student of the Month awards to Hailee Silva and Deryn Harris.

Prior to announcing the Computer Connections recipients, Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Glenn Morris spoke to the importance of a strong school system to the local community.

Deryn Harris accepting her May Youth of the Month award from Deputy Superintendent Susan Salcido.

“High quality schools, high quality education – it matters to our local businesses.” Morris said. “And as a Chamber of Commerce, we are trying to expand our community’s job base. As we try to recruit new businesses to Santa Maria, we know one of the factors they consider is the quality of our school system. And by having people participate in volunteer opportunities, in scholarship donations, we know we can continue to have a strong local school system.”

Thank you to Wells Fargo Bank, Dignity Health Central Coast, Boysen Family Trust, Altrusa International of the Golden Valley and Minerva Club for donating this year’s computers.

A special thank you to all parents, teachers and community members who came out to this event to show their continued interest and support in our local school system.

Be sure to register for next month’s Business Development Forum, where Mayor Alice Patino and City Manager Rick Hayden will provide an update on the State of the City. This event will be held at the Santa Maria Fairpark on June 22. Learn more and RSVP HERE.