Back to School: Girls Inc. Carpinteria Opens a Door to Higher Education


Noelia Romero

Empowering young women to reach their full potential and to understand, value and assert their rights, is at the core of the work done by Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. Nineteen year old Noelia Romero embodies these core values, and has achieved success through belief in herself, hard work and the support of the programs and opportunities available at Girls Inc.

Romero participated in the ‘Fun and Sun Program’ with Girls Inc. of Carpinteria when she was 12. During this program, she was mentored by young women of color who showed her the meaning of “sisterhood” and the power it could bring to her life. Learning from these role models and being part of a community of strong women led Romero to acquire a drive that she acknowledges – is unmatched. “Despite circumstances, I am going to do it!” are the words Romero tells herself every day.

Romero was a recipient of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Breitling Scholarship Award, a fund set up in 1994 by Jacqueline Breitling for the purpose of providing financial assistance to female high school seniors desiring to visit college campuses outside of California. “When young women visit college campuses the possibility of attending a four-year university becomes an achievable reality,” says Rubayi Estes, Community Investment Officer for the Santa Barbara Foundation. “Providing opportunities to travel out of state builds self-assurance and personal growth for these young women. Noelia was the ideal candidate for this award.”

This past summer, as a freshman considering enrollment in the Promise Program at Santa Barbara City College, Romero was able to give back to the Girls Inc. of Carpinteria community by serving as a full time volunteer counselor. “Noelia is acting as a mentor to the girls, just like the girls were a mentor to her when she was younger,” says Victoria Juarez, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Executive Director. Juarez’s goal for every young woman who walks through the doors is to learn from the exposure to role models such as Romero and those that came before her. Through these relationships, young women develop a sense of self and often seize opportunities to discover who they are and what is possible to achieve.

To learn more and support Girls Inc. Carpinteria please email Victoria Juarez at vjuarez@girlsinc-carp.org.

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