Scholarship Foundation Holds Annual Luncheon

More than 300 people attended the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara’s 2023 Community Leaders Luncheon at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort on Friday, December 8. The annual event recognizes Scholarship Foundation supporters, volunteers, and community partners.

Featured speakers this year included Dr. Richard Yao, president of California State University Channel Islands, and longtime community advocate Steve Hicks, who was the event’s honoree. Foundation Board Chair Danna McGrew also addressed attendees, as did Foundation President and CEO Melinda Cabrera and Massimo Genovese, a Scholarship Foundation recipient and student at the Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law.

“Our work touches lives throughout the county,” said Ms. Cabrera during her remarks. “It is hardly an overstatement to describe the Scholarship Foundation as a driver of educational attainment regionally, and by extension a catalyst behind much of the area’s enviable prosperity and cultural vibrancy. And so, I greatly appreciate this opportunity to pay tribute to you, our invaluable donors and supporters who make our work possible.”

In May, the Foundation awarded nearly $7.2 million to 1,864 students throughout Santa Barbara County.

The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara is the nation’s largest community-based provider of college scholarships, having cumulatively awarded in excess of $150 million to more than 60,000 county students since its founding in 1962. A nonprofit organization, the Scholarship Foundation also provides free financial aid advising services. For additional information, visit

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