Beginning March 21, over two dozen members of the local business community joined forces with Partners in Education, the Probation Department, and Juvenile Court and Community Schools for the annual Los Robles High School Career Week.
Los Robles High School is a Residential Court School for boys ages 13-18. The school allows male juvenile offenders to continue their high school education at the Probation Department’s Los Prietos Boys Camp, which is an alternative to traditional detention in a juvenile hall. They emphasize discipline, respect, and responsibility; provide work and vocational training, counseling, drug and alcohol programming, and religious and spiritual expression; and promote volunteer and community service work.
Over the years, Los Robles staff have worked with Partners to make Career Week a vital part of the effort to help boys prepare for life after they leave the camp.
The week kicked off with a welcome address by Deputy Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido, who then introduced keynote speaker Samantha Alvarez, a volunteer manager with Partners in Education. Alvarez shared the story of her own struggles and perseverance.
She told the assembled students, “After Friday, it will be up to you to use the skills you develop this week. It’s all meant to help guide you to be successful in a job and in life. I want to remind you,” she concluded, “that while struggles will come, remember this week when you need help. I’ve been through many struggles myself, but have pushed on through. You can, too.”
Throughout the week, students participated in Partners in Education Career Readiness workshops, focusing on graduation requirements, post-high school education, money management, interview skills, professional communications, and more. Each session was led by a Partners in Education volunteer.
By week’s end, over 25 volunteers from local organizations had driven to the bucolic camp, located several miles off Highway 154, to participate. Volunteers represented such diverse organizations as Transition House, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara Business College, The Art Institutes, PlanMember Financial, Montecito Bank and Trust, Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation, Santa Barbara Unified School District, Santa Maria Unified School District, Allan Hancock College, Bacara Resort & Spa, Workforce Investment Board, Hofmann Architecture, Goleta Barbers, and American Medical Response.
Wrapping up the week, students were entertained by world champion BMX flatlander Jesse Puente, who encouraged them to “find and follow their passions,” because “each and every one of them can be whatever they want.” Juvenile Court and Community Schools Director Mark Leufkens delivered closing remarks before awarding certificates of completion to all students who participated in the workshops.
“I never cease to be amazed at the way Santa Barbara County community partners rally around a meaningful cause,” said Partners in Education Executive Director Chelsea Duffy. “When we talk about working collaboratively to make a difference in the lives of young people, I don’t think there is a better example than the volunteer efforts at our annual career week here at Los Robles. Moving forward, our team will be working with Los Robles to ensure that the boys receive this support throughout the year and not just during one week.”
Visit www.partners.sbceo.org to learn more about Partners in Education and ways to volunteer. To learn more about volunteering at Los Robles High School, contact Elizabeth Adams at 964-4710 x4413, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Formed in 1977, Partners in Education is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization administered by the Santa Barbara County Education office, under the guidance of the business and educational leaders on its board of directors. The mission is to connect businesses and individuals with schools, and the organizations that serve them, to help improve public education in ways that support a vibrant economy, a health community, and the well-being of local children and their families.