Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Presents Fuel Her Fire Event Honoring Community Leaders Sonia Aguila, Tim Cohen, and Junior Honoree Ellie Lou Olvera Ignite Success!

CARPINTERIA, CA (March, 2024)Girls Inc. of Carpinteria


Girls Inc. of Carpinteria proudly announces Fuel Her Fire, previously known as Women of Inspiration, to be held on April 4th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Girls Inc. campus. Fuel Her Fire is a fundraising and mentorship event designed to champion Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s STRONG, SMART, and BOLD mission, celebrating the remarkable contributions of community leaders who have ignited the passions and fueled the futures of girls in our community.


This year’s event will honor three outstanding individuals whose commitment and dedication have significantly impacted the lives of young girls in Carpinteria: Sonia Aguila, Tim Cohen, and junior honoree Ellie Lou Olvera.


Sonia Aguila’s journey began in a small town near Guadalajara, Mexico, to becoming a celebrated educator, embodying the spirit of resilience and determination. With 26 years of experience as an educator, Sonia’s impact extends far beyond the classroom. Her advocacy for bilingual education and dedication to empowering students have earned her numerous accolades, including being named Carpinteria Unified School District Teacher of the Year in 2017, California Bilingual Teacher of the Year in 2022, and National Bilingual Teacher of the Year in 2023.


Tim Cohen has been a longtime resident of Carpinteria and was instrumental in the growth and development of Girls Inc. He served on the Board of Directors for 12 years and played a pivotal role in the design and construction of our current facility on Foothill Road. After concluding his career at a prestigious international engineering and environmental services consulting firm, Tim remains deeply engaged in the Carpinteria community, presently serving as the Board Chair at the Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center. Additionally, he maintains a longstanding affiliation with UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, serving on the Dean’s Council.


Ellie Lou Olvera, a Fuel Her Fire junior honoree and resident of Carpinteria, embodies the spirit of advocacy and innovation. She has garnered recognition for her dedication to combating period poverty, a cause affecting a significant portion of the population. Through her research and experimentation with various eco-friendly materials, Olvera strives to create affordable, safe, and reusable menstrual pads, earning her the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award at the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge. Beyond her scientific endeavors, Olvera volunteers, engages in water sports, and practices flamenco dance, all while homeschooling through Santa Barbara Charter School in Goleta. With aspirations to become an environmental engineer, Olvera’s commitment to addressing societal challenges through innovation shines brightly.


Fuel Her Fire is not just a celebration; it’s an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the changemakers who uplift women and girls and serves as an invitation for the next generation of leaders. Attendees can expect an inspiring evening honoring Sonia, Tim, and Ellie in addition to celebrating the five Girls Inc. Teens who received Girls Inc. National college scholarships. One of which received a $20,000 scholarship from a Powerade, a Girls Inc. National partner, who will also be in attendance. The evening will feature a cocktail hour, light bites, raffle, and opportunities to contribute to Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s vital mission.


“Fuel Her Fire is a celebration of all those who champion women and girls’ success,” said Jamie Collins, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “As we honor Sonia, Tim, and Ellie, we’re reminded of the transformative impact individuals can have on the lives of girls. Join us in celebrating their dedication and unwavering support for empowering the next generation of strong, smart, and bold leaders.”


Tickets for Fuel Her Fire are available now for only $30 and can be purchased online at For media inquiries or sponsorship opportunities, please contact


Girls Inc. of Carpinteria is an affiliate member of Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Our programming focuses on the development of the whole girl: we deliver life-changing programs and experiences designed to equip girls to overcome barriers, build resiliency, and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. A combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and research-based programming prepares girls to lead fulfilling and productive lives and become role models in their community. Girls Inc. of Carpinteria currently serves 1,000 youth in the Carpinteria Valley, from Pre-K through 12th grade. To learn more, donate, or become a volunteer, please visit

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