Every year, the Hope Awards honors individuals and programs making strides to help Santa Barbara’s students reach their full potential. This year’s event will honor Sara Miller McCune and Frank Stevens for their longtime support of Santa Barbara’s public schools. The evening will begin with a reception featuring fine food and beverages from local restaurants, wineries, and breweries.
About the Honoree: Sara Miller McCune
Sara Miller McCune’s philanthropic support of arts in the community is well-documented. A life-long entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sara has consistently advocated for access to quality education and the arts. Sara founded the Léni Fé Bland Performing Arts Fund in honor of her good friend and fellow champion for the performing arts community. The fund ensures that all students have equitable access to performances and promotes the performing arts in education. She is also a strong supporter of programs increasing literacy rates for students. This past fall, Sara shared what literacy means to her at SBEF’s Love of Literacy Luncheon and described reading as “a way to be happy.” According to Sara, “It is also a way to grow as an individual, and it is a door that opens in your life and will never be closed afterward. And I feel that every child in this region deserves to have that ability as a human right.”
About the Honoree: Frank Stevens
Frank Stevens has been involved with the Santa Barbara Education Foundation for the entirety of its 37-year history. But that should not surprise anyone considering Frank has been an educator and advocate for public education since 1960 when he started as a student teacher and soon transitioned to counseling at the newly opened San Marcos High School. He first learned about what was then known as the Santa Barbara Public Education Foundation when he received a grant from the organization. Frank then volunteered to help where needed most, which he did until he became a board member and eventually president. Since his retirement in 1995, he has been volunteering even more of his time by serving on boards and holding leadership positions for the California Retired Teachers Association, Santa Barbara Teachers Association, University of California Santa Barbara Alumni Association, and the Santa Barbara Education Foundation. It’s hard to imagine our public schools without Frank Stevens.
More than 50% of SB Unified students are socioeconomically challenged.
We Care is a partnership between the Santa Barbara Education Foundation and the Santa Barbara Unified School District that supports students, families, and staff during this challenging time.
This initiative ensures that students of families who are struggling have the tools they need to attain a quality education and successful academic outcomes. It gives kids who are underresourced the opportunity to focus on what’s most important — their learning.
Family Engagement Liaisons at each school site work with parents to inquire about their child’s needs. With continued reports of SB Unified families who do not have the resources to provide children with some of the basics, SBEF wants to best support the needs of students and families.
So, after three years since our last Hope Awards, we’ve come together to show students that we are here and We Care!
About the Santa Barbara Education Foundation
Since 1985, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation has worked with community partners to strengthen the educational experience of ALL students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. SBEF has raised funds to:
- Support at-risk students
- Ensure equal access to quality education
- Support art & music education
- Provide instruments
- Offer summer school
SBEF believes that great schools have long-lasting effects on students and the community. Our goal is to continue to elevate the quality of public schools in our community.