Source: Boys & Girls Club, Santa Barbara
On August 29th, Julia Danalevich began her first day of classes at Georgetown University courtesy of a full academic scholarship and a large donation from local businessman Charles Alva. She is the first member of her family to attend college. For years Julia has been an articulate, kind-hearted force for good in the Santa Barbara community and a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara since age 6.
As soon as she was old enough, she took on a role as a volunteer tutor there. Julia also volunteered at Transition House to help children with their homework and at Unity Shoppe, where she noticed that peanut butter was in high demand and started a “Peanut Butter/Jelly” drive. Julia took her advocacy to the national level last year as a guest speaker at the National Bicycle Coalition’s annual meeting held in Minnesota, arguing for the necessity of safe bike routes to and from schools.
“The Boys & Girls Club was like a second home for me where I found a positive environment and helpful people who challenged me to be better every day,” she says. Julia was a true leader among her peers at the club, leading by example after school while maintaining an unheard-of 4.85 cumulative GPA.
“We’ve been proud to welcome other club members who went on to become professional athletes, but a warrior for our community and scholar on Julia’s level might come along once in a generation,” said Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara executive director Laurie Leis. Julia has been the definition of a true leader: someone who excels at what they do yet remains humble and constantly strives to help others reach their level. With young people like Julia in the community, it’s always a great day at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara.