Tag archives: Dear Montecito

Future Leaders of America: Jose Martin
By Stella Haffner   |   November 15, 2022

Established in 1982, Future Leaders of America was a joint initiative by Santa Barbara and Oxnard County to address pressures facing Latinx youth. By providing programming to encourage education and leadership, the founders created an environment where students learn what it means to effect change in their community. Today, we’re speaking to up-and-coming community leader […]

In Conversation with ASL Advocate Leah Martin
By Stella Haffner   |   November 1, 2022

As a kid, Leah Martin was a strong student and good friend. She enjoyed theater and all things media. But her landscape began to shift when she was diagnosed with Reverse-Slope Hearing Loss. Reverse-Slope Hearing Loss is a degenerative disorder that causes a person to progressively lose their hearing, starting with lower tones. By 15 […]

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
By Stella Haffner   |   October 18, 2022

Over in the sunny cove of Santa Barbara City College, a small health revolution is brewing. At the helm is Student Program Advisor Becky Bean, ASW.  With a background in the nonprofit sector and social work, Bean was excited to collaborate with the Student Health Services team at SBCC and spearhead their new wellness program: […]

The Do’s and Don’ts of College According to Santa Barbara Alumni
By Stella Haffner   |   October 4, 2022

Happy new school year! From interviewing people for this column, I have learned a lot about what it means to be a young person, and I have learned a lot of what it means to be a student. In honor of the new academic year, this edition of Dear Montecito is for the new college […]

Cal-SOAP: Providing Education about Financial Aid to Boost Local College-Going Rate
By Stella Haffner   |   September 20, 2022

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, questions concerning “education accessibility” become central to our discussion about school. But as the team at Cal-SOAP Santa Barbara knows, barriers to education did not simply appear with the pandemic lockdowns. At California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP), they ask: What is keeping students out of higher […]

Writing from the Wound: Resh Grewal
By Stella Haffner   |   August 23, 2022

For young writers, the advice is often “write what you know.” And so, the question becomes: What do I know? In many ways, this may be a question that young people seek to avoid. In painful periods of self-growth and in mundane life trials – your chemistry pop quizzes and the like – what you […]

Growing Up in Neverland
By Stella Haffner   |   August 2, 2022

When I started this column, I knew essentially what I wanted to do.  For new endeavors, what you want to do is largely defined by what you can do. And for me, that meant speaking to, about, and for Montecito’s young alumni.  Along the way, I learned that good newspapers strike a balance between the […]

Feminism and Faith
By Stella Haffner   |   July 5, 2022

Supreme Court leak in the USA, Spain’s new initiatives to improve reproductive rights and compensation, Northern Ireland’s abortion clinics – feminist issues are on the mind of the Western world. This week, we journey over to the campus of Westmont College to hear from their Feminist Society. Co-led by students Anna, Britta, Mika, and Riley, […]

Zander Meyer
By Stella Haffner   |   May 24, 2022

It was easy to get swept up in the liminal space of lockdown. Who can appreciate this more than the high school students who were asked to pivot from hour-to-hour classes to the vacuum of a stay-at-home education? With this country’s competitive college admissions space, our high school students are masters of the micro-scheduled and […]

Identity
By Stella Haffner   |   April 19, 2022

You’ve probably noticed that the column looks a little bit different in 2022, huh? Well, I’d like you to know that the team behind the Dear Montecito column – that is, me and my caffeine persona – appreciate your continued readership as we find our voice. The truth is that shifts in identity have a […]

Lean on Me
By Stella Haffner   |   April 5, 2022

A 2007 study from the Community College Journal of Research and Practice noted that 87% of students surveyed were experiencing moderate to high levels of stress. To cope, students reported enjoying exercise and talking to friends, but cited that they would often use alcohol, cigarettes, and hard drugs to self-medicate. Given our understanding of the […]

Admissions Abroad
By Stella Haffner   |   March 22, 2022

The air smells like printer ink and young people around the country are biting their nails. It’s that time of the year again: Admissions Season. If there’s one thing I have learned from studying abroad, it’s that Americans truly have some cultural quirks. One of those cute little oddities is the way we handle college […]

Finding a Way to Keep His Spirits High
By Stella Haffner   |   December 21, 2021

Whether Miramar Beach and Montecito or the University of Montana in Missoula, 22-year-old Will Borghesani is here to tell us that each new destination has its own special qualities and charm. The MUS, Marymount, and Cate alum is now a final-year college student with sights on law school. But before he takes the plunge into […]

Life’s a Ride
By Stella Haffner   |   December 7, 2021

A good teacher can be the difference between a great year and a not-so-great one. This is the tried-and-true knowledge that every student understands. In this week’s letter, 23-year-old Nathan Alvarez reflects on the path, people, and programs that encouraged his career in science. Since finding his true north, a fascination with the world of engineering, […]

A Project in Need of a Timeout
By Stella Haffner   |   November 30, 2021

Dear Montecito, It is rarely a good sign to hear the latest about your hometown through the national news before discovering the information on local sources. Such was my experience opening my browser to CNN and seeing the now infamous contribution of Charlie Munger to our local university. Of course, the news did not stay […]

Experiencing Tough to Appreciate the Amazing
By Stella Haffner   |   November 23, 2021

As the world of computers and scientific technology leaps forward, the phrase “machine learning” becomes more buzz-y than ever. In layspeak, machine learning describes the collaboration between human and machine — we set parameters while letting the machine find patterns in the data. But as any good data scientist knows, we can set all the […]

Montecito Provided the Platform for Her Ambition
By Stella Haffner   |   November 16, 2021

When I talk to little kids about psychology, I tell them that psychologists are interested in how people think, feel, and act. I like to remind them that there are many amazing things that change about us as we grow up. For example, if exposed to sign language from an early age, deaf children will […]

A Love Letter to Montecito…
By Stella Haffner   |   November 9, 2021

Tourists flock from all over to appreciate our beaches, exciting selection of food, and terracotta horizon. Some tourists may even ask themselves where a Santa Barbara local would want to go on vacation when they live in such a visual and cultural paradise. We may take a jaunty trip to Solvang, a quaint stay in […]

Finding a New Artistic Outlet
By Stella Haffner   |   September 21, 2021

This week, we’re hearing from a recent graduate of the Berklee College of Music, 23-year-old Jules Bartling. I’ll admit, it’s quite difficult for me to picture Jules as an adult. The last time we saw each other, we were probably nine and 12 years old, in the MUS auditorium, rehearsing for that season’s play — […]

Searching for Ladders to Climb
By Stella Haffner   |   September 7, 2021

Bringing my laptop downstairs to work in the few minutes I spend waiting for the kettle to boil is what my flat mates call the “American work ethic,” and they find it more than a little disgusting. For many Montecito kids, you would have to take a crowbar to separate the person from their ambitions, […]