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Connecting People, Ideas, and Resources
Nonprofit News for March

Welcome to Nonprofit Connection's bi-monthly newsletter of timely information 
All of this information plus the Resources you need are available on our Website and updated regularly on our Facebook Page and LinkedIn Page.
In this issue: More digestible bites of information
  • Celebrations of People Who Make a Difference and Nonprofits in the News for February and March
People Who make a difference!

Welcome Maritza Lara, Executive Director

Health Improvement Partnership
of Santa Cruz County (HIP)

has named a new Executive Director

Across the state and country, we see more and more public servants reflecting the rich diversity of our communities.
These leaders marshal their race/ethnicity, gender and/or gender identity, ability status, other significant identity markers, and lived experience to drive systems change toward remedying long standing inequities. The HIP board is thrilled to have appointed a leader who understands why, as a community, we must come together in the design of systems that resolve glaring gaps in health locally and nationally. 

The Board of Directors of the Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County (HIP) is pleased to announce that Maritza Lara is the new Executive Director. Maritza comes to this role with deep experience and understanding of HIP and the Santa Cruz County community, having served in several capacities at HIP since 2017.

Maritza’s commitment to improving the structures that deliver health services to low-income communities comes from her South American roots and immigrant experience. Prior to joining HIP she served as a Health Education and Leadership Consultant for a rural town in her native country, Ecuador. She is a Doctor of Public Health candidate at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where her research focuses on the integration of patients’ voices within healthcare spaces in the US. Read more.

Nonprofits in the News
Santa Cruz Warriors Go Surfing
with Black Surf Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Warriors Coach Noel Hightower exults as he stands up for the first time while on his initial foray into surfing. Black Surf Santa Cruz organized the event to give local Warriors staff the opportunity for the quintessential Santa Cruz Surf experience as part of their efforts to celebrate Black History Month. Photo: Shmuel Thaler Photographer
Founded in 2020 by Esabella Bonner, Black Surf Santa Cruz works to break down systematic barriers to surfing and promote physical and spiritual wellness through surf for the local Black, Indigenous, LatinX and People of Color communities. Black Surf SC’s pop-up programs provide access for community members to one free day of learning how to surf and other skills useful to being on the water including how to catch a wave, how to paddle, how to ride a wave, how to stand up, and what to be aware of while on the water. Read more.
Kristin Praly and Horse Sense
Education and Advocacy

Kristin Praly, a woman who owns a holistic horse-riding business in Felton launched a nonprofit in 2022 to spread the joy of horsemanship to people who don’t normally have access to equines. She plans to offer a range of programs, including for veterans, children with families going through the court system and students of all ages.
Horse Sense Education and Advocacy Nonprofit is working to build a future with horses in nature so that they can then improve the lives of their human friends. "Our goal is to preserve land that will serve as a place to allow horses to thrive and help people rejuvenate, recharge, reconnect and care for family and loved ones." Read more by: Drew Penner, Press Banner

Senderos was honored with the
Trailblazer Award at the Chicana Latina
Foundation’s 45th anniversary celebration
for the organization’s work in providing free
cultural arts and educational support programs to
the immigrant community for more than 20 years.

Co-founders Nereida Robles Vásquez and Fe Silva-Robles, who founded Senderos in 2001, accepted the award speaking in Spanish and Zapotec. Speakers included social justice activists Angela Davis, retired UC Santa Cruz professor, and Olga Talamante, the first executive director of the Chicana Latina Foundation. Talamante will also deliver the keynote address at the annual Latino Role Models Conference on March 25 at Cabrillo College in Aptos. Read more from the Sentinel.

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