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Meet Jen Baron of Girls Rock Santa Barbara

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen Baron.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jen. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I have been playing music since I was four years old and writing songs since I was nine. I come from a very musical family, and music has always been a way for me to connect back to myself and to the world around me. Growing up, I struggled, like many young women, with feeling confident.

In my teens, I suffered from an eating disorder, and I started self-harming when I was only eleven years old. I was lucky to find really incredible female mentors growing up who helped me see a future where I could dream and be successful. When I was going back to college at Antioch University as an adult learner in my early thirties, I was asked in one of my classes to present an end-of-term final project detailing a dream job.

I ended up writing the blueprints for what is now Girls Rock Santa Barbara. Everyone in my cohort was so excited by the idea. My professor encouraged me to pursue this idea, and the college allowed me to spend my senior year in independent studies learning all about how to run a non-profit. We were running our first program before I even graduated.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
When I first started on this journey, I can’t tell you how many people warned me not to do it, but I’m stubborn and passionate and have never liked to be told no. I can say, it has been much harder than I ever anticipated.

When I first started out, I was a single parent sharing a small room in a house with my then 6-year-old kid, finishing my bachelor’s degree and working two jobs to just keep us fed and a roof over our head.

For the first several years I worked for free. It was and still is very long hours and time away from my family, however, what I have gained I would never trade. I gained a whole family, a whole amazing community.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Girls Rock Santa Barbara – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a non-profit that empowers young women through music education and the creative arts. We run after-school programs, Summer day camps, Summer Sleep Away Camps, Weekend workshops. Some of the classes we offer are private and small group music lessons, journalism camps, music production camps, photography and film making camps, Dj camps, coding camps and more.

During our summer camps each day we bring a different female artist/band to perform for the girls at lunch. They are also taking tons of empowerment workshops daily. Some of our workshop topics include Screen Printing, Music Video Making, How to be your most authentic self, How to form healthy female friendships and more. We have an all female staff mentoring our girls.

Last summer we brought 65 women from nine different countries to teach with us. It was incredible. I think the thing I am most proud of is our commitment to providing girls with a safe, diverse, and inclusive space.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My motto for this year is ” next level.” I see a lot of growth, especially programmatically for this upcoming year. We were just able to hire our first full-time employee besides myself since our inception. She will be integral in the organization being able to sustain this growth.

Pricing:

  • Amplify Sleep Away Camp $1550 per week ( $275 discount for each additional week)
  • Girls Rock Santa Barbara Day Camp $375 per week
  • Girls Rock Santa Barbara After School Program Private Lessons $250 per 10 sessions
  • Girls Rock Santa Barbara After School Program Small Group and Rock Band Lessons $150 per 10 sessions

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Arna Bajraktarevic

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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