Community

Katherine Harvey Fellows Celebrates 20 Years of Leadership Development in Santa Barbara County

By Quinisha Jackson-Wright | September 17, 2018
Bruno Caputo, 2017-2018 Katherine Harvey Fellow, shares a story with his cohort.

“Connection” is a key word when discussing the 20-year history of the Katherine Harvey Fellows program. Since 1999, 128 Santa Barbara professionals from different backgrounds have been selected to learn how they can have a greater collective impact addressing significant needs in the community.

Each group of fellows participates in an 18-month leadership development program, meeting once a month for panel-style discussions, workshops, or group project time. Connections are made, and those connections expand into the community as participants meet with leaders in their focus area.

Program facilitator Carrie Randolph describes how the program establishes connections within the Katherine Harvey Fellows network:

“The goal of the program is to give people who are interested in making a deeper impact in the community the confidence, skills, and connections to engage in causes that are important to them,” Randolph said. “A lot of people care about certain issues, but don’t know how to engage in a way that is influential and personally rewarding.”

When connecting with participants, Randolph challenges new fellows to think outside of the box, rather than adhering to a strict set of guidelines.

“Many participants come in with a comfort for linear thinking, but the program has some ambiguity by design,” she said. “We want people to explore their own personal values and apply those values when engaging with the community. We have a methodology for getting them there, but it’s intentionally not a clear step-by-step process.”

Additionally, the program has evolved through the years since its stewardship shifted from the Santa Barbara Foundation to Leading From Within in 2012.

“Our founding program is Courage to Lead. We take some of the best practices from that and run it through all programs, which are strongly values-based,” Randolph said.

Randolph says the Katherine Harvey Fellows program has plans to re-connect with alumni who may have lost touch in previous years.

“When Katherine Harvey Fellows was originally established, you completed your time and that was it,” she said. “We are re-engaging alumni who didn’t have a space to connect upon completing the program. Over the next 20 years, we want our alumni to leverage their connections across our larger network in Leading From Within, which consists of more than 300 members. The program is a launching pad, not an end itself.”

Ninety-two percent of Katherine Harvey alumni still live and volunteer in Santa Barbara County, serving as executives of local businesses, leading philanthropic efforts in the community, and sitting as board members of nonprofits.

When asked about one of the most memorable alumni, Randolph’s eyes light up as she speaks of 2016 Fellow, Danielle Quiñones-Ortega.

“Danielle is from Santa Maria and works at UCSB. When she started the program, she was frustrated about the pain and suffering she saw in the community and didn’t know how to help,” she said. “Several years later, she’s gotten involved in multiple organizations, including Leading From Within. We recently expanded, and she’s done such a great job that she is now a co-facilitator of our program serving North County leaders.”

Stories such as Danielle’s are the ones that inspire Randolph to continue the work she does. She encourages individuals from all backgrounds to participate in Katherine Harvey Fellows, regardless of their level of leadership.

“We want to reach the person who may not think of himself or herself as a leader,” she said. “This program gives that individual the opportunity to realize their capacity to be a change maker.”

The Katherine Harvey Fellows program is now accepting applications for the January 2019-June 2020 class. Applications and nominations may be submitted online at: http://leading-from-within.org/katherine-harvey-fellows-program/

Applications are due by October 15, 2018. For further information, email: julie@leading-from-within.org or call 805-770-3232.

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