A new scholarship for students who have either left gang life, or resisted joining despite pressure, raised more than $100,000 at the Santa Barbara Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 102nd Annual Dinner.
The chamber’s February 8 announcement described the highlight of the evening, which was celebrated at the Biltmore Hotel on January 31, as a speech by Dos Pueblos High School graduate Ulises Rios, now a Santa Barbara Community College student, who recounted how members of his family helped him make positive choices through the things they taught him. His testimony moved the audience to deliver a standing ovation to his mother, who was in the audience.
The chamber’s original goal had been to raise $20,000 in order to sponsor five students through two years at the college. The final tally of chamber pledges for The Chance for Change Scholarship, to be administered by the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation, was $114,150.