Non Profit Day
The Leadership Monterey County class spent an inspiring day visiting and learning about various nonprofit organizations in Monterey County. We started the day with Katy Castagna, President & CEO of United Way Monterey County, as she shared an overview of the nonprofit sector and provided us with details of the Impact Monterey County survey being conducted in an effort to engage with the public and learn about aspirations for our community’s quality of life. Next, we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s newly constructed Bechtel Family Center for Ocean Education and Leadership, which provides staff‐led experiences for all school groups at no cost, and is an investment in the next wave of ocean leaders (our youth). We were treated to a tour of the learning labs, with live animal displays, and collaborative learning spaces, as well as a discussion about this history of the aquarium and the importance of their ocean conservancy efforts. We also engaged in some fun teambuilding exercises, led by the aquarium staff. Our next stop took us to The Gathering for Women, a caring community where homeless women can get a hot meal, free clothing, emergency assistance and other vital services. The discussion here was focused on the challenges to providing services and shelter to the homeless population in our county. We proceeded to travel to the Chinatown neighborhood in Salinas where we encountered a “tent community” of homeless living on the streets, and met with MidPen Housing to discuss the affordable housing currently under construction in that neighborhood. Lastly, at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monterey County, we met with Ron Johnson, President & CEO, and his staff, whose focus is to inspire and empower young people in our communities to become responsible, healthy, productive citizens. We discussed the success of their programs, including after school education and activities, such as art and music programs, and the impact they have made on so many youth and families in the county.