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Just Communities Executive Director Jarrod Schwartz presents THRIVE Santa Barbara County Executive Director Anita Ferguson with a plaque for the scholarships that sent San Marcos High School students, from left, Benjamin Magdaleno, Samantha Hurd, Joanna Alvarez and Joshua Beasley to the CommUnity Leadership Institute camp this summer. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

THRIVE Westside Pays the Way for Students to Attend Leadership Institute

Just Communities, which organizes the summer camp, honors San Marcos High School and THRIVE Westside with plaques

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @magnoli | Published on 09.17.2012 6:27 p.m.

Local high school students attended the CommUnity Leadership Institute this summer on scholarships from THRIVE Westside, a partnership applauded Monday by Just Communities.

Schools from all over Santa Barbara and Ventura counties participate in the Central Coast CommUnity Leadership Institute each summer, which is put on by Just Communities as a social leadership camp for young people.

Eight students from San Marcos andSanta Barbara high schools attended the camp and have been working on action plans in groups. Just Communities honored San Marcos High School and THRIVE Westside with plaques on Monday.

For their project, San Marcos juniors Joanna Alvarez, Joshua Beasley and Samantha Hurd are trying to raise funds for SAT and ACT test prep materials for low-income students and families, an effort they said has been supported by Principal Ed Behrens and staff members.

“They want to be allies to us so we can achieve the goals that we have,” Alvarez said.

She added that the eight-day camp was a liberating experience.

Hurd had heard how good the camp was and said she was worried she wouldn’t be able to go.

“I knew it was something I really wanted to do — the scholarship was really great,” Hurd said.

There are other groups with similar goals, and the students want to collaborate with past CLI students and other high schools to get fundraising off the ground.

Other students worked with the nonprofit organization PALABRA on a project examining racial profiling and harassment issues, according to Just Communities Executive Director Jarrod Schwartz.

San Marcos students Elias Estrada, Jesse de Jesus, Jesus Molina and Benjamin Magdaleno and Santa Barbara High School student Lauren Carlos also attended CLI this summer.

THRIVE Westside provides resources for families in Santa Barbara and coordinates with schools in the area, including Harding University Partnership School,McKinley Elementary SchoolLa Cumbre Junior High School and San Marcos High School.

— Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at[email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk,@NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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