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Your work resonates throughout our community – tell us about it.

Leading From Within creates an environment for social sector leaders to learn, share, and grow together.  As we collect stories from program participants, our alumni community, and network of peers – we grow in connecting leaders and their work with the community at large.

By sharing your story, you contribute to leveraging the impact of our social sector in Santa Barbara County and beyond.

Stories From Our Network

Spring/Summer 2018

View our first-ever edition of featured stories from our Alumni Community, as we highlight the inspiring tales from Alejandra, Ben, Michael, and Danna about their work as leaders driving positive change.

Learn more about Our Network.

My Story

Begin sharing your story here.
  • Describe your work in the social sector (above).
  • Share a photo of you, and/or image that represents your work in the community.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Alejandra Gutierrez

Alejandra is a Santa Barbara local, having grown up intertwined in two different cultures. Her Mexican roots and American attitude have supported her to interweave the different niches that exist in our town, grow as a professional, and expose first-generation…

Ben Romo

Ben Romo draws inspiration from his personal experience as he helps lead in disaster relief for our community. “I had friends plucked from their roofs, others who lost their homes, and a good friend who saved his parents’ lives. I’ve…

Eder Gaona-Macedo

As a Latino youth, Eder Gaona-Macedo felt his voice didn’t matter. He grew up as an undocumented immigrant in a single family household, yet held strong to his American upbringing and go-getter attitude. His perspective and view of his future…

Michael Heck

For someone who spent 10 years in prison, Michael Heck’s path to leadership was anything but ordinary.  And yet, his uncharacteristic background led to his present success and strong desire to help other ex-offenders change the course of their lives.…

Danna D. McGrew

Danna’s talents extend well beyond her accounting and business consulting expertise. With exceptional candor and positivity, Danna juggles a big family, full-time career as an audit and accounting services partner, and four current boards, which include the Santa Barbara Scholarship…

Leading From Within collects stories from program participants, the alumni community and network of peers to connect its leaders with the community at large. If you prefer to reach out to our team directly, you may contact Sarah Harris at or (805) 770-3232.

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