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Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Joins Santa Barbara Cal-SOAP Consortium

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria teen director Ericka Lopez, center, with participants Mercedes Sotero, left, and Brenda Ortiz. (Girls Inc. of Carpinteria photo)

By Victoria Juarez

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, a nonprofit organization inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, has joined Santa Barbara Cal-SOAP, a consortium that facilitates access to post-secondary educational opportunities for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students.

Cal-SOAP brings together 14 distinct partners — school districts, public and private colleges and universities, community-based organizations and private-sector institutions — to focus regional higher education outreach efforts and minimize the duplication of services.

The Cal-SOAP consortium provides advising, tutoring, parent outreach and college awareness workshops for students and their families.

“Santa Barbara Cal-SOAP continually works towards helping those students with the greatest needs continue their educational journey past high school,” Cal-SOAP Project Director Ismael Ulloa said. “I believe with the addition of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, we are a stronger consortium and are better able to achieve our goal.”

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria serves girls ages 5 to 18 by providing hands-on and exploratory learning opportunities that develop the essential skills they need for college, career and life success. Its  award-winning Eureka! program, for example, introduces first-generation college students to STEM fields and the university as well as future career opportunities.

“Programs like Eureka! help build a more vibrant community,” Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Executive Director Victoria Juarez said. “Our new partnership with the Cal-SOAP consortium is an excellent opportunity to maximize our commitment to expanding post-secondary educational opportunities for the young women of Carpinteria.”

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