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Coastal Fund Supports United Way
updated: May 31, 2011, 4:01 PM

Source: UCSB Coastal Fund

Santa Barbara, CA - UC Santa Barbara's Associated Students Coastal Fund awarded Santa Barbara County's United Way (UWSBC) Fun in the Sun-Summer of Service (FITS-SOS) program $6,920.00.

Jeanette Delgado, a staff member at the United Way of Santa Barbara County, said that "with support from The Coastal Fund we will soon begin to train the UCSB FITS-SOS student staff members who will be guiding and mentoring the kids."

According to Ms. Delgado the UCSB students chosen to participate in the program are "students who have an environmental background [and will be] and helping the at risk and low-income community guiding them through the service learning program." The middle school students will research and complete projects that focus on improving and developing new methods of beach enhancement and preservation for UCSB's surrounding beaches. "The participants start the camp by brainstorming and research on the area's environmental needs of the UCSB shore line area," Ms. Delgado explained. "The participants will then implement their project's plans throughout the seven weeks."

In alignment with service-learning standards, FITS-SOS students will be able to improve the environmental conditions of beaches through their student-driven project, gain knowledge, and develop skills in beach preservation, conservation, and improvement. This unique partnership will also help FITS-SOS students develop leadership, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills while positively changing the conditions of UCSB's beaches in a team setting.

FITS-SOS "will be at the Devereux slough with 13 middle school students (incoming 6th-9th graders), two interns and one program leader," and will engage their students in community-based service intensive, learning projects that are structured to address environmental and disaster preparedness issues.

These projects are designed to produce identifiable improvements to the community. This opportunity provides youth, particularly those from disadvantaged circumstances, with service-learning experiences that motivate them to become more civically engaged and inspire them to pursue a higher education career. In addition, FITS-SOS qualified participants who are able to complete 100 or more hours of service-learning activities during the 7-week program are eligible to receive a $500 college scholarship.

United Way of Santa Barbara County has hired a UCSB student program coordinator for this summer as well and is looking to hire two paid UCSB student interns. Interns would help make a difference in the lives of underserved, at-risk youth, and the local UCSB community. They are also looking for volunteers to help with their Lunch Bunch program where professionals and college students talk to these underprivileged students about going to college and developing professional careers. The lunch bunch coordinators will assist "volunteers from local organizations or businesses such as Wells Fargo and Marborg where they will talk about careers and establish long term relationship with kids," said Ms. Delgado.

The Coastal Fund is a student-funded, student-run organization that serves to preserve, protect, and enhance the terrestrial and marine habitats associated with the UCSB shoreline. Since the fall of 1999, Coastal Fund has granted $2 million to over 400 projects.

For more information on projects and funding opportunities visit www.coastalfund.org.


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