Media Releases & Videos

Below  are media releases and videos that describe the  wealth of experiences gained by the population that  is served by the Santa Barbara Alternatives to Violence  Project.
Santa Barbara Alternatives to Violence Project
Read the Santa Barbara Independent Article

All-Ages Outreach Program Holds Monthly Workshops for Area Youth at Elings Park.

“Troubled” teens often get a bad rap, but area youth outreach programs are working to reach these kids — who can be disregarded at school and at home — and make them feel connected to their community and themselves.

Santa Barbara’s Alternatives to Violence Project (SBAVP) was founded in 2018 and was the first of the worldwide organization’s community workshops to refer youth from area middle and high schools to its program.”


Life Chronicles interviewed 5 members of SBAVP.

Luis Vargas is a formerly incarcerated gang member who has worked as facilitated workshops both in prison and in the community. He loves helping others find better ways for people to deal with stress and reduce violence. 

JP Herrada, growing up both in Goleta and Mexico, is a founding member of SBAVP and believes that SBAVP has allowed him to gain insight and awareness boh for himself and others to help make better choices in everyday life. JP is currently the Executive Director of SBAVP yet still manages to help with gang intervention and facilitate workshops.

Alex Munoz was once a gang affiliated member and once he was referred to SBAVP in high school, he readily got involved and turned around his life: graduated from high school, became a facilitator and found that SBAVP has really opened him up.  He feels that he has bettered himself to make his family and particularly his daughter proud of him.

Jessica Bixler, a founding member of SBAVP, facilitator and former elementary school teacher has seen the organization adjust to COVID and has seen the positive results of students and adults experiencing these workshops.

Wendy Rodrigez joined SBAVP when she was in 7th grade as a closed up young teen. She says SBAVP has really opened her up and given her a voice to speak up for herself.  She has observed this in others as she has been a facilitator in many of the workshops.  While finishing high school, having a son, she is now attending Santa Barbara City College and hopes to be a social worker.

Many thanks to Kate Carter and Life Chronicles for filming a slice of SBAVP

This documentary follows formerly incarcerated students at the University of California Santa Barbara as they develop the first ever program for formerly incarcerated students called the Gaucho Underground Scholars. Ryan Flaco Rising and Gilbert Anthony Murillo were accepted into UCSB in 2019 both formerly incarcerated and working with the Berkeley Underground Scholars they Co-Founded the Gaucho Underground Scholars and worked diligently with Juan Bran-Gudiel, Luis Munoz, Lisandra Barrera-Rising, Melissa Ortiz, Arturo Cheech Raygoza and many other formerly incarcerated and system impacted students to create resources and support for formerly incarcerated students. One thing this program has been really successful in doing is working closely with the community and developing the warm handoff system giving marginalized community members the hand up through higher education.