Congratulations on a Job Well Done!

We’re proud to announce that Board Member, Carlos Escobedo, has earned his Masters Degree in Organizational Management and we are so honored to have his expertise and advanced education serving our Clubs and our kids.  After 18 months in the graduate program offered by UMass Global, he earned this degree with an emphasis in Public Administration and HR.  Typically, this program takes 24 months!  Carlos also works full time with the Tranitional Youth Services Division of the Santa Barbara County Education Office as a Program Associate, is a Councilmember with the City of Santa Maria, and serves with a number of non profit organizations including The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast, Open Streets Santa Maria, Rotary Santa Maria South, Santa Maria in Action, United Way and others. 

After much deliberation and trying to figure out how to fit in school work on top of his work and volunteer responsibilities, he made the decision to pursue an advanced degree because he knew with more education he could better serve the City of Santa Maria and all of the groups he wants to make better.  Oftentimes, he would find himself beginning his studies at 10 pm but knew that the hard work and sacrifice would be worth it—he knows his efforts inspires his nephews and other young people in his world to not set limits on their goals.  “Avoid thinking you don’t have what it takes.  There should be no excuses.  The only barriers there are, are the ones we put on ourselves,” shares Carlos. 

After graduating with an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the University of Guadalajara, Carlos decided to visit close family living in Santa Maria.  “I was only supposed to be here for 3 months.  That was six years ago,” he says with a laugh.  In that six years, Carlos developed deep ties with the community going so far as to serve on the Santa Maria City Council after his first run for elected office.  In fact, one of his favorite classes during his graduate school experience was “Introduction to Public Administration,” a class that really opened his eyes to the work staff put in to make his City Council experiences possible.  “It was really helpful to see how City operations work from the staff perspective.  That class fit really well with the work I do on the City Council,” he shares. 

Of course, it’s the Escobedo family he wants to share the credit with.  Having two educators as parents—his mother served as a principal at one of the schools in his hometown in Jalisco, Mexico, while his father was a teacher and then a district administrator in Jalisco—Carlos has always been taught that education is the only thing that changes circumstances.  Not surprisingly, he received enormous support from his family as he embarked on his graduate degree journey.   Carlos even surprised his parents by being the elected class speaker during the graduation ceremony.  Carlos remembers, “my dad rarely cries, but seeing me up on that stage, speaking to the audience about my experience, brought tears of pride to his eyes.”  Those of us who serve young people in our community alongside Carlos, share in that pride.