Boys & Girls Club hosts Chamber Mixer



‘New Year’s Resolutions’? There’s a Class for That at SBCC’s Center for Lifelong Learning

December 4, 2013  |  Article, News  | 

Noozhawk 2011

This winter, the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning is ready to help the community achieve their new year’s resolutions, with 360 classes and workshops for every schedule and lifestyle.

Winter registration opens Monday, with class schedules available for preview this week at both CLL campuses, at newsstands throughout the area and online byclicking here. CLL offers evening, weekday and Saturday classes and workshops in more than 25 different interest areas for the body, mind and spirit. Winter classes start and end throughout the term, between January 13 and March 22.

“With the new year just ahead, we’re excited to offer hundreds of ways for our community members to discover their potentials,” said Andy Harper, executive director of the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning. “Now is the time to reclaim some ‘you time’ and get ready to re-energize your year ahead. Come try the something new you’ve been dreaming of, or get back into a favorite art, craft, language, fitness or intellectual pursuit you’ve been keeping on hold.”

The CLL’s fall term, the first official term under the restructure, attracted more than 4,500 community members of all ages, including more than 900 new students.

SBCC CLL welcomes tax-deductible donations through the SBCC Foundation to support programs and to provide tuition assistance for students in need. Click herefor more information.

2014 Winter Term Highlights

» More than 360 classes are offered in five major categories (in more than 25 sub-categories): arts, crafts, performance; body, mind, spirit; business, finance, work; events, film, language; and home, nature and technical.

» 40-plus brand-new classes for winter include: Harmonica Blues, Getting Started; Mixed Media Jewelry; Stand-up Comedy 101; Bicycling for Health & Happiness; The Power of Myth: From Ancient Egypt to the Iroquois; Yoga Flow; Beginning Screenwriting; Investing and Financial Planning for Women; Beautiful Brunches at the Very Last Minute; Flavors of France: From Paris to Provence; Need to Know About Home Repair and Maintenance; Tasty Dishes with Trader Joe’s® Ingredients; Website 101 with WordPress

» Flexible schedule options: Classes are offered evenings, weekdays and Saturdays, and include one-meeting workshops, two- to five-session offerings, and longer classes up to nine weeks; classes start and end throughout the winter term, Jan. 13 to March 22.

•  “CLL Presents,” the lecture and special event series focusing on today’s vital issues, with dynamic guest speakers. Winter highlights include: Water Harvesting Workshop; The Middle East: What’s Happened Since the ‘Arab Spring’? (with 2013 California Professor of the Year, SBCC’s Dr. Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar); Talk About Santa Barbara Treasures; and Mind and Supermind — “The Melting Polar Ice: Remembering our Broken Bonds with Nature.”

» Free CEUs (Continuing Education Units): There will be no additional charge for CEUs for eligible health care and mental health care professionals.

» Winter class schedules are available at the SBCC Wake and Schott Campuses, at newsstands throughout South Santa Barbara County and in the Santa Ynez Valley, and online by clicking here.

Important Dates

» Dec. 9-12: “Staggered” registration schedule

» Dec. 14: CLL Holiday Crafts Faire at SBCC Wake Campus, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

» Jan. 13: First possible day for winter classes

» March 22: Last day of winter term

Give the gift of learning. CLL gift cards are available now! CLL e-gift cards for classes are a unique gift for the holidays and any occasion. Purchase online or at the SBCC Schott or SBCC Wake Campus Information/Registration office. Click here for more information.


— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning.

Foodbank: Not just for Thanksgiving

December 3, 2013  |  Article, News  |  ,

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Local Investment Co. Celebrates 5 Successful Years

December 3, 2013  |  Article, News  | 

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Monarch Wealth Strategies Attributes Growing Business to Industry Knowledge and Insights, a Strong Commitment to Clients, and Independence

Santa Barbara-based Monarch Wealth Strategies has achieved what many of its larger investment competitors have not; surviving and even thriving during one of the most difficult economic periods in recent history.


Santa Barbara-based Monarch Wealth Strategies has achieved what many of its larger investment competitors have not; surviving and even thriving during one of the most difficult economic periods in recent history.

As large investment companies and banks were considered to be responsible for the economic collapse, investors lost faith in these behemoth companies that were obsessed with making money for themselves and the interest of the client took a backseat for institutional profit.

Aaron Clark, President and Founder of Monarch Wealth Strategies worked for some of those well-known firms before striking out on his own. He saw an opportunity to stand apart by taking a personalized and ethical approach to financial planning. Monarch Wealth Strategies was founded in 2008. After experiencing firsthand the poor business practices and conflicts of interest plaguing the financial industry, Clark decided that it was time to proactively make a positive difference in his field and take matters into his own hands.

“People might have thought we were crazy starting Monarch in the middle of one of the most difficult economic periods in recent history, but ironically, I think that has a lot to do with our current strength,” explained Clark. “I believe we gained a lot of respect and credibility by taking a chance in a time when no one wanted to challenge the status quo,” said Clark.

“While working at a large firm, I felt a significant disconnect between what I wanted for our clients and what the firm desired. We had a vision that a financial services firm should operate under the highest code of ethics, have no proprietary products or conflicts of interest, and consider each client’s entire life picture before making any recommendations.”

Today, Monarch Wealth Strategies is an experienced firm known for philanthropy, integrity, exceptional and competent services, and integrated planning strategies. Monarch Wealth Strategies’ Clients agree:

“With Aaron and the folks at Monarch, we get full service financial planning and strategies over the long haul verses arbitrary investments ‘in a vacuum.’ They take a comprehensive approach which is really reassuring and led us very comfortably into our retirement,” said current clients Joe and Barbara Godley.

Each year since its founding, Monarch Wealth Strategies has managed more and more assets. In fact, the company has grown over 300% in the past 4 years. Clark believes their growing revenue stream is a result of their engagement and consistency with clients as well as a firm ear to the ground about all aspects of investing, the economic industry as a whole, and even new technologies. It doesn’t hurt that Clark is also a native to Santa Barbara and feels he has an innate sense of what his clients are looking for in a financial planner.

Clark graduated with honors from San DiegoStateUniversity with a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration and a minor in Sociology. He then pursued his Master of Science graduate degree in the Personal Financial Planning Major. His career began at A. G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., which operated as a full-service securities broker-dealer in the United States and Europe. Clark was duly recognized as being one of the firm’s top financial consultants while working with high net worth individuals. He was employed by Wachovia Securities, LLC after their acquisition of A. G. Edwards & Sons. Soon, Clark realized the need for an independent, objective, and trustworthy financial firm that would personalize the experience for high net worth individuals. In 2008, Monarch Wealth Strategies was born.

Clark is passionate about protecting his clients and advocating positive change in the financial industry. He was a member of the Financial Abuse Specialist Team for Santa BarbaraCounty. He served on the Board of the Mental Health Association in Santa BarbaraCounty, and is currently on the Board of the Montecito Rotary Club.




Community Breakfast Looks at Bullying

Lompoc Record


Hospice of Santa Barbara Offers Free Support Programs for Those Grieving During Holidays

December 3, 2013  |  Article, News  | 

Noozhawk 2011


Holidays are traditionally a time of celebration, but can be difficult for people grieving, oftentimes causing anxiety and dread. Hospice of Santa Barbara wants to emphasize that its free services are available to anyone in the community struggling with grief and loss.

Hospice of Santa Barbara provides free professional bereavement support to individuals and families, including community organizations, schools, hospitals and senior care facilities.

Holiday Grief Workshops Offered

“Grieving Through the Holidays:” This series of workshops will offer support and help you through the holiday season. Dec. 6, 13 and 20, 11 a.m. to noon.

“First Holiday for Families” (bilingual): This workshop is for families with children who will be experiencing their first holiday without their loved one. In the workshop your family will create and decorate an ornament in honor of you family member who has died this year. Dec. 11, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Holiday workshops require pre-registration. No drop-ins, please. Call 805.563.8820.

Light Up a Life Ceremonies Honor Loved Ones

This year, Light Up a Life celebrates 30 years in Santa Barbara and 20 years in Carpinteria. Each year in December, families and friends gather for Light Up a Life in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria for a ceremony celebrating the life and the joy of remembrance of our loved ones. At this time, a memorial tree is illuminated with hundreds of sparkling lights and stars, each symbolizing a tribute to a loved one.

Light Up a Life, and other ceremonies like it, are international hospice memorial events that began over 30 years ago and are celebrated around the world. Stars will be available at each ceremony for a suggested donation of $15 or more for those wishing to personalize a star and hang it on the tree. All proceeds benefit Hospice of Santa Barbara.

Stars are now available at the following locations:

» Anna’s Bakery in Camino Real Marketplace
» Lovebird Boutique & Jewelry Bar (7 E. De la Guerra St., next door to Casa De La Guerra)
» Curious Cup Bookstore (929 Linden Ave., Carpinteria)
» Peebee & Jay’s (1007 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria)
» Montecito Bank & Trust (1023 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria)
» Hospice of Santa Barbara office (2050 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite 100), online by clicking here or by calling 805.563.8820

Light Up a Life Dates and Locations:

» Saturday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m. — Camino Real Marketplace, Goleta
» Sunday, Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m. — Casa de la Guerra, Santa Barbara
» Saturday, Dec. 14, 5:30 p.m. — The Seal Fountain at LindenPlaza, Carpinteria

During the Holidays: Twelve Practical Tips for Saying, Doing the Right Things

While many people look forward to yearly holiday traditions, gatherings with family and friends and the general good feelings associated with the season, some people dread the holidays. For those who have lost a loved one during the past year, the holidays may emphasize their grief.

The holidays, especially the first ones after losing a loved one, are especially difficult for people who are grieving. Often, friends and family members of those affected by a loss are unsure how to act or what to say to support their grieving loved one during the holidays.

Here are some suggestions:

» 1. Be supportive of the way the person chooses to handle the holidays. Some may wish to follow traditions; others may choose to change their rituals. Remember, there is no right way or wrong way to handle the holidays.

» 2. Offer to help the person with baking and/or cleaning. Both tasks can be overwhelming for one trying to deal with raw emotions.

» 3. Offer to help him or her decorate for the holidays.

» 4. Offer to help with holiday shopping or give your loved one catalogs or online shopping sites that may be helpful.

» 5. Invite the person to attend a religious service with you and your family.

» 6. Invite your loved one to your home for the holidays.

» 7. Help your loved one prepare and mail holiday cards.

» 8. Ask the person if he or she is interested in volunteering with you during the holiday season. Doing something for someone else, such as helping at soup kitchens or working with children, may help your loved one feel better about the holidays.

» 9. Donate a gift or money in memory of the person’s loved one. Remind the person that his or her special person is not forgotten.

» 10. Never tell someone that he or she should be “over it.” Instead, give the person hope that, eventually, he or she will enjoy the holidays again.

» 11. If he or she wants to talk about the deceased loved one or feelings associated with the loss, listen. Active listening from friends is an important step to helping him or her heal. Don’t worry about being conversational; just listen.

» 12. Remind the person you are thinking of him or her and the loved one who died. Cards, phone calls and visits are great ways to stay in touch.

In general, the best way to help those who are grieving during the holidays is to let them know you care. They need to be remembered, and they need to know their loved ones are remembered, too. Local hospice grief counselors emphasize that friends and family members should never be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, because making an effort and showing concern will be appreciated.


— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing Hospice of Santa Barbara.

All Saints-by-the-Sea Parish Student Collects 643 Pounds of Food for Foodbank

December 2, 2013  |  Article, News  |  ,

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Four-year-old Charlie LeRenard organized a drive at his school, All Saints-by-the-Sea Parish, to held feed “hungry bellies,” collecting 643 pounds of food for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. (All Saints-by-the-Sea Parish School photo)


By Padric Davis for All Saints-by-the-Sea Parish School

An All Saints-by-the-Sea Parish preschool student has inspired a drive that has brought 643 pounds of nonperishable items to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

“I have the receipt from the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County for a total of 643 pounds of food donated by All Saints-by-the-Sea Parish School,” said Padric Davis, school director.

Four-year-old Charlie LeRenard’s idea to collect food for needy children started one morning when his mother told him to eat all of his breakfast because some children don’t have so much food and have to go to school hungry.

Charlie said this was horrible and was upset at the thought of a “hungry belly” going to school. So, he asked his mother what to do about hungry children. The answer was Charlie’s Parish School at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito where parents, the staff, Parent Council and parishioners donated goods during one week in November.

So last week, Charlie and his classmates watched as his dad’s truck came to pick up 643 pounds of donated food.




SBCC Foundation offers nearly a million dollars in scholarships

TheChannelsLogoWriter: Marika Cederlund, Channels Contributor

The competition of receiving a CityCollege sponsored scholarship is big, but with the right technique, effort and willingness, every student has a chance of receiving one.

Applications for the next academic year are open on January 6, 2014 and closes on March 3.

Brad Hardison, financial aid director at CityCollege, said now is the right time to start looking for the different opportunities available.

“There are often more students applying than scholarships being offered,” Hardison said. “The most important thing I tell students is that you all have a story, so tell us what sets you apart and what is different about you.”

Scholarships start at $150 and the highest one is the President’s Scholarship of $10,000. Last academic year, the Foundation for Santa BarbaraCityCollege gave out 700 scholarships and awards totaling $833,700 to 500 students who were currently studying at the college, or transferring to or from it.

Samantha Bedolla was one student awarded last year.

“I’ve always had a lot of hurdles to overcome. Getting married at the age of 20, having a kid at 21 and deciding to divorce and go to college at 22. I stated what I had to overcome and I think that’s what moved the person who read my essay,” said Bedolla.

Bedolla, 26, is currently studying her last semester at the CityCollege as a sociology major. During her time at school she has been a full-time student, full-time worker and single mom. Last year she received the “Adopt-A-Student” scholarship and awarded $1000, divided into two semesters. The scholarships can be pretty much used for whatever you want said Bedolla. This year she decided to start working 30 hours a week instead of 40. Bedolla also had the chance to take her daughter to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida for the first time. “I never really travelled anywhere because my mom was poor.

The scholarship has helped me to budget myself and financially reach more goals in my life than I had expected,” Bedolla said. There are two different kinds of scholarships offered, the CityCollege sponsored and out of college sponsored.

The scholarships are divided into general and departmental scholarships. In the departmental ones, studying for a major in that area is often required for applying. This yearCityCollege is using a new electronic software application that makes the application process easier for students. The software is integrated with the student system and uses the students Pipeline information, therefore the students don’t have to answer basic questions such as name and major.

This saves time for the application, but Hardison advices student’s to put at least a couple of hours on the essay. He said it’s vital for students to put enough of time in the searching and not disqualifying themselves.

“Since we don’t get to meet the student, everything that he or she wants to be represented should be in the application,” said Hardison. “Answer what challenges you´ve faced, what community services you´ve done and state what sets you apart from other students.”

For students who want help with their applications, there are many opportunities offered on campus. The WritingCenter  can help students with the grammar and content of the essay. Some faculty members at on campus will even allow the essay as a school assignment.

Extra help is also offered for international students. English as a Second Language students can get extra tutoring to understand and complete the application. They get assisted by scholarship coordinators and ESL faculty members help with the essay.

Bedolla’s advice to other students is not to be afraid of applying and not to limit themselves.

“It’s about not being afraid of talking of whatever life changing has happened to you,” said Bedolla. “I think many people are not self-aware of their changes and what obstacles they had to overcome, so they decide not to talk about it. And that might hinder their situation and their chances of receiving the scholarship. For me it was hard, but I made it work.” – See more at:

Positive changes from a successful crisis management

December 1, 2013  |  Article, News  | 

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More local former foster children


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