Shared Goals; United Way honors Tocqueville Society and Leadership Circle

From left, Betty Noling, Mike Noling, UWSBC President & CEO Steve Ortiz, UWSBC Board Chair Rick Scott, Mike Nissenson and Dale Nissenson at the Tocqueville Society and Leadership Circle Summer Reception (Photo by Scott Gibson).

Dedicated supporters got a glimpse of the United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) community programs they helped make possible during the nonprofit’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society and Leadership Circle Reception June 12.

Generously hosted by Adam Liff at his residence in Hope Ranch, the event recognized the outstanding efforts of local volunteers and philanthropists who backed UWSBC and its programs, which further youth education, health and financial stability in the community. The Alexis de Tocqueville Society and Leadership Circle recognize local philanthropic leaders and volunteer champions who have devoted time, talent and funds to create long-lasting changes by tackling our communities’ most serious issues.

In particular, the reception highlighted a newly expanded and enhanced partnership with Carpinteria Unified School District to provide additional early educational opportunities and literacy development curriculum to Pre-K- to 5th-grade students.

“United Way and CUSD’s primary shared goal is to help more Carpinteria students reach critical 3rd grade reading benchmarks when ‘learning to read’ becomes ‘reading to learn,’” said Steve Ortiz, United Way of Santa Barbara County President & CEO. “Carpinteria Unified School District students will have more access to early education programming and online reading improvement tools to ensure that they are on track to graduate high school on time.”

McKinley Elementary School parent Luis Munoz discussed during the reception how his children and family have benefited from United for Literacy programs. Through the Kindergarten Success Institute, Munoz’ youngest children, Andrea and Junior, gained the skills they need to keep up with their kindergarten classmates starting on day one. They practiced using pencils, glue, and scissors; mastered writing their own names; and learned early literacy skills. Meanwhile, Munoz’ older daughter, Shirleen, has made huge gains with help from another UWSBC school-based literacy program, Lexia Reading software. 

UWSBC also presented its Outstanding Volunteer of Time, Talent & Treasure for Individual Leadership to Mike and Betty Noling. Mike has been on UWSBC’s Board of Directors since 1997, and Betty is a founding member of Women United. Mike explained how passionate he and his wife are about the growing impact UWSBC is making in Santa Barbara County schools.

This year, the Alexis de Tocqueville Award for Outstanding Philanthropy Award went to Mike and Dale Nissenson. Mike and Dale have always been among the first to raise their hands to assist with new projects, fundraising campaigns and friend-raising efforts to help ensure that many more students and families in our community have better and brighter futures.

“It is a gift to be able to work with this organization to provide financial support for young people in our community through these programs,” said Mike Nissenson, a UWSBC Board Member since 2013.

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About United Way of Santa Barbara County

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has the unique and positive vision that “in our community, everyone has a hopeful future.” Since 1923, UWSBC has served Santa Barbara County community through funding, volunteer development, and by utilizing its own unique initiatives that involve dozens of local non-profit and public sector agencies. UWSBC’s local community driven Power of Partnership™ priorities help children, families & seniors with a focus on Education, Income and Health.

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