The Carlsbad Chamber Community Foundation started in 1993 as the Carlsbad Companies on Campus Foundation. The purpose in 1993 was to benefit public schools serving the city of Carlsbad. In 2000, the Foundation changed its name to Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Partners in Education. Throughout its history, the Foundation has been involved in supporting students, celebrating teachers, and partnering with schools. Biz Town was one of the popular programs that the Foundation supported for many years. In addition, the Foundation hosted an annual awards luncheon to honor teachers and educators.
Two significant events, however, motivated the Foundation to change it name once more. The first was the Poinsettia Fires that hit Carlsbad in 2014. A general-purpose Foundation was needed to help raise money for and distribute money to the residents, homeowners and businesses that were adversely affected by the fire. In response, the Board amended its “purpose” so they could help. Then COVID hit in 2020. Once again, the need to help the community was great. The Partners in Education Foundation jumped in. This time, the primary need was for the survival of our small businesses. The Foundation created the Gift Carlsbad program. Through Gift Carlsbad, the Foundation raised funds that assisted both residents and put real money into our small business owners’ bank accounts.
During that time the Board decided to amend the name of the Foundation once more to the Carlsbad Chamber Community Foundation.
The Foundation passionately supports workforce development at all stages. Two of our most popular programs are our Rising Star of the Month program (founded in 2019) and our SOCAL initiative (2021). Rising Star of the Month brings the community together to honor our local high school seniors for demonstrating character, integrity, love of learning, involvement in school and community activities and/or the ability to overcome challenging life circumstances without compromising their education. The core of the Rising Star of the Month is the student who makes a difference in their home, school and community with sincerity and passion. At the end of the school year all our Rising Star who were honored are eligible to apply for Rising Star of the Year scholarships. In the first four years of hosting this program, nearly $50,000 in scholarships have been awarded.
SOCAL stands for Student Opportunity for Career Advancement and Learning. It is a workforce development platform that allows students to explore real job and career opportunities that are right here in their immediate community. High quality videos are shot on location through North San Diego County to showcase a diverse cross section of career options. The videos are three minutes long and help a student learn the benefits and challenges of each career, as well as the job outlook for that position in the immediate future.
In the summer of 2020, the Carlsbad Chamber Community Foundation also became the backbone for our corporate kindness initiative. Due to the pandemic and all the social unrest of 2020, Kids for Peace, a Carlsbad-based charity, approached the Chamber to discuss partnering together to bring kindness into corporate America. The program officially launched in 2021. Now over 100 local companies and 30 chamber across the Western United States have taken the plunge to identify themselves a “Kindness Certified Company”.
This is just the beginning. In 2024 we intend to bring back a popular program called “Boots to Business”, to help active-duty military members who are transitioning out and seeking jobs/work. We would also like to launch Jr. CEO, an entrepreneurship program for elementary school students. And we have many more ideas.
There are many ways to become a valuable supporter of the community through CCCF. Check out all the different ways you can be involved and help our local community thrive.