Amidst the growing worldwide recognition of the role of research and technologies in improving global health care and human wellbeing, California-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, Kenny Slaught, acknowledges the value of scientific innovations in addressing international development needs. Having earned a degree in business and economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, he has served on the UCSB Foundation Board of Trustees since 1996. The prominent real estate developer has recently praised the University on his blog at KennySlaught.com, as the notable institution was announced the Grand Challenges Explorations grant winner last year in May.
Annually, the symposium allows educators, artists, donors, and local not-for-profits to meet students and members of the community and discuss the state of arts education in the area. This incredible initiative provides insight and direction for forming better, more focused programs in the future. Other education outreach projects include a drive to collect instruments to donate to students in need, grants for local programs that wish to make use of resources available at the Santa Barbara Bowl, and funding for college students pursuing the performing arts. Additionally, notes Kenny Slaught, the foundation finances a children’s program at Cottage Hospital and various in-school and after-school programs, particularly in neighborhoods feeling the concert season at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The Notes for Notes program, however, connects students with free instruments and lessons. A massive volunteer committee oversees the educational outreach projects.
The Santa Barbara Bowl is a large-scale outdoor music venue aiming to make the arts accessible to the larger community with a number of educational outreach initiatives. Annually, the foundation funds initiatives that reach nearly 20,000 students through non-profit arts classes, regional artists, and area schools. Ongoing advocate of regional philanthropy, Santa Barbara real estate developer and investor, Kenny Slaught continues to promote these initiatives on his blog at KennySlaught.com.
Hospice of Santa Barbara provides a wide range of donation-based services not just for residents facing terminal and chronic illness, but also to benefit their families. Many of the programs at the Hospice serve the needs of children facing the impending or recent passing of a loved one. About 20 percent of children face the death of a loved one before turning 18, with one in 20 children suffering the loss of one or both of their parents before they become adults. Hospice of Santa Barbara endlessly works to deliver free support to individuals in these situations, through numerous programs. Kenny Slaught notes that the group helps individuals cope with grief and avoid or mitigate depression, anxiety issues, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Parenting After Loss program runs eight weeks in length and is a support group for parents and guardians, as well as their children, following the death of a parent or sibling. The community support and care received in this program is built specifically around the emotional and practical reactions to tragic loss within a family unit. Kenny Slaught points out that via participation in the program, families master the tools they need to communicate with each other and effectively grow stronger as a group after experiencing the loss.