Victoria Juarez, an experienced nonprofit professional who has led Girls Inc. of Carpinteria to new fiscal and programmatic heights as executive director, has been named president and CEO of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. She will begin serving in her new role on December 3.
“Victoria personifies what we hope to achieve at the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. A first-generation college graduate, she has gone on to distinguish herself as a nonprofit leader of outstanding vision, passion, and energy. We are confident she is well suited to building on the Scholarship Foundation’s remarkable 56-year heritage,” said Foundation Board Chair Don Logan.
A native of Kettleman City in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Ms. Juarez earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in public administration, both at California State University, Long Beach. Following a two-year stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cheboksary, Russia, she was named service coordinator for Project Access in Garden Grove, California, and later program director for the YMCA of Greater Long Beach. In 2007, Ms. Juarez accepted a development associate position at Storyteller Children’s Center, which helps homeless and at-risk children in Santa Barbara achieve kindergarten readiness through therapeutic preschool and support services. She was promoted to associate director of that organization three years later. As executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria since 2011, she has increased revenue 24 percent in support of new programming, operations, and regional expansion into Ventura County, among other accomplishments. The group currently serves more than 700 youth in the Carpinteria Valley and points south.
Ms. Juarez is a board member for Leading from Within and the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, and serves on the Commission for Women of Santa Barbara County. A past president of the Santa Barbara Peace Corps Association, she is also a sustainer for the Junior League of Santa Barbara.
Her appointment caps an eight-month nationwide search. Ms. Juarez will succeed Barbara Robertson, who has led the Scholarship Foundation as interim president and chief executive officer following the departure of Candace Winkler in January.
“There is no other organization in Santa Barbara County I’d rather lead,” said Ms. Juarez. “The Foundation’s mission, to help local students to and through college, resonates deeply with me because I’ve experienced higher education’s transformative impact firsthand. My grandparents were migrant workers and my father never made it past the third grade, but my family instilled a deep love of learning in me. They understood, fundamentally, that a college degree could open opportunities that would have otherwise remained closed to me. There’s nothing I’d rather do than help the next generation of students better their lives and enrich their community through access to higher education.”
The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara is the nation’s largest community-based provider of college scholarships, having cumulatively awarded in excess of $108 million to more than 50,000 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.