Thriving Communities by Julie Packard

Julie Packard, Trustee, The David & Lucile Packard Foundation

Julie Packard, David and Lucile Packard Foundation (photo by Corey Arnold)

When We Work Together, Our Communities Thrive

Throughout my life I have been driven by the values of my parents who instilled in us a deep commitment to our local community. Through my own work and as a trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, I have been fortunate to see the positive change that happens when people work together toward a common goal, whether it be protecting and restoring Monterey Bay or supporting a youth basketball program in East Salinas. But it doesn’t happen without effort. It takes all of us, working together, to create opportunities that enable our children and communities to thrive.

Salinas Youth Initiative

That’s why the Packard Foundation supports the Salinas Youth Initiative, in partnership with the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC). The initiative, now in its third year, supports 7 grassroots organizations in East Salinas providing positive enrichment opportunities for youth. For this kind of initiative to succeed, working with the local community is crucial. By partnering with CFMC and other local stakeholders, the Packard Foundation has enhanced its understanding of the needs of the community to inform an investment strategy. Through this alliance, we have been able to support these East Salinas organizations, building their leadership and capacity to provide vital community services.

We are inspired by the great work the organizations are doing in the community.” – Julie Packard

Stories from Salinas

An after-school tutoring program at the Cesar Chavez Library in Salinas provides neighborhood youth a safe place to read and do their homework with the help of local college students. Jose Gil, an East Salinas native, is running an afterschool basketball academy that is doing a lot more than teaching kids to shoot hoops. The Gil Basketball Academy uses the fundamentals of basketball to engage youth ages 4-17 in learning the importance of healthy choices, discipline, academic success and perseverance.

You can learn more about the organizations participating in the initiative at, where we celebrate the people and programs that are inspiring and empowering youth in East Salinas.

Together, anything is possible.” – Julie Packard

I believe all of us share the conviction that our young people deserve to have the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe and supportive environment. To achieve this vision we must support the homegrown, passionate leaders who work tirelessly to address the issues youth and families face in our community. We’re fortunate to have the ingredients for success right here. I encourage you to take advantage of the resources of CFMC to fuel the momentum of positive change happening in our area.

Thank you to guest blogger, Julie Packard, Trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fund is a donor advised fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County