Skip to content

Leadership Santa Maria Class of 2024- Youth & Education Topic Day

On December 1st 2023, the Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class visited local institutions and non-profits that support Santa Maria families through various programs. The main focus was youth and education opportunities. The Santa Maria Valley education system offers numerous tools and options to adapt to individuals’ needs and challenges. 


St Louis de Monfort School is a private school located in Orcutt that stayed open during COVID in 2020— a rare benefit during those challenging times. The school provides a solid educational foundation from Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through 8th grade. This school is a community where students, parents, and educators collaborate to create an experience adapted to its members. The YMCA Santa Maria Valley childcare was also able to stay open during covid thanks to a beautiful and large outdoor classroom providing a safe environment for young children. We learned that mental health support is also available for children to better cope with COVID experiences and other traumatic events. 


A challenge faced by the community is the shortage of childcare providers. Local Families with two working parents rely heavily on daycare and afterschool programs. Our class was able to visit a few places that help with these challenges. Some schools such as St Louis de Monfort offer an after-school program. Other schools benefit from the YMCA after-school program. The YMCA provides care to 1,800 kids with a team of employees dedicated to mentoring and inspiring individuals and families to develop to their fullest potential through STEM and art programs, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Children’s Resource & Referral (RCC) is also a valuable resource that runs programs to fund childcare for low-income families in the community and fund childcare provider licenses. Last year, the non-profit distributed 1,000 free car seats to the community! It runs numerous impactful programs that have helped many families in the Santa Maria Valley. 


Finally, the youth is not always prepared with real world skills after high school. The Career Technical Education (CTE) is a unique program intended to fill the gap by providing students with a pathway to post-secondary education and careers such as agriculture, construction, culinary arts, cyber security, diesel mechanics, and industrial design. The classes increase career opportunities, college enrollment and are open to the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District. The CTE is delivering teenagers with hands-on, skill-based education that better prepares them for future education or entering the workforce. Not only does it teach students real-world knowledge and skills, but increasingly provides opportunities for dual enrollment, industry-recognized credentials, and meaningful work-based learning experiences. 


Overall, the Youth and Education Topic Day highlighted valuable opportunities and options available to our community to face education and youth challenges. The class was impressed by the commitment witnessed during the day to help support our local youth. We appreciate the time and dedication of the leaders that we met during this insightful day and will spread the information learned. 

Scroll To Top