Girls Inc.

From back left are Ana Delgado, Liset Navarro, Brenda Camacho, Yulisa Rosales, Eneida Dominguez and Jazmin Garcia, and from front left, Maria Zamora, Guadalupe Echeverria, Jessica Irabon, Lisset Chavez and Karen Nunez. Not pictured is Xochitl Moreno.

After five years of programming, the first group of participants in Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s Eureka program is gearing up for college this fall. The girls are bound for U.C. Santa Barbara, U.C. San Diego and University of San Francisco and Santa Barbara City College next year.

“Combining college and career preparation, our focused multi-year effort exposes girls to female role models and diverse career paths while encouraging them to step outside their comfort zones and establish life goals,” said Victoria Juarez, executive director of Girls Inc. Carpinteria. “The programming helps build their confidence in achieving these goals so they can begin envisioning their own paths to success.”

Girls Inc. launched the Eureka program in 2012 with a cohort of teens entering the eighth-grade. The program kicks off with two consecutive summers spent at UCSB, and includes meetings with mentors, STEM engagement, field trips, and college tours throughout the year. In the third year of programming, participants shift their focus to the workplace with an immersive summer externship (a temporary training program in a workplace). The fourth and fifth years are committed to seeing the girls through to high school graduation and supporting them and their families as they navigate the college application process. The program currently serves 76 local girls.

“We’re so incredibly proud of our first cohort of girls for everything they have accomplished and the milestones they’ve reached,” Juarez added. “They all have bright futures ahead and we know as future female leaders they will soon be inspiring the next generation of young girls.”

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