About 250 people attended the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara’s 2022 Community Leaders Luncheon at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort on Monday, December 5. The annual event recognizes Scholarship Foundation donors and volunteers. The organization had canceled its previous two Community Leaders Luncheons in response to the pandemic and associated public health orders.
Featured speakers this year included Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons, a past Scholarship Foundation recipient and an infectious disease physician and internist at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and Arturo “Cheech” Raygoza, a current recipient and student at UC Berkeley. Foundation Board Chair Matt Rowe also addressed attendees, as did Foundation President and CEO Barbara Robertson.
Mr. Raygoza, an aspiring academic, shared his experience overcoming poverty, addiction, and gang life to excel academically at Allan Hancock College. “If you stop giving someone a second chance, they stop having one. Because of your generous donations, I’ve been given a second chance!” he said.
Ms. Robertson, who recently announced her retirement at the end of the year, reflected on her 22 years of service to the Foundation. “My involvement with the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara has been an exceptionally rewarding experience. I can’t imagine a more fulfilling way to spend one’s working years,” she said.
In May, the Foundation awarded scholarships totaling $7.7 million to 2,146 students throughout Santa Barbara County.
Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara is the nation’s largest community-based provider of college scholarships, having cumulatively awarded more than $140 million to some 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 www.sbscholarship.org.