Stephanie Barron Lu (Kresge '18, Psychology)

Life has been a whirlwind adventure filled with hard work, tears, sacrifice, love, and dedication to my family and my community. I am truly grateful for the opportunities I was privileged enough to receive thanks to my parent's hard work, and sacrifice immigrating to the US from Mexico and Guatemala. The encouragement given to me as an undergraduate transfer student-parent at UCSC and the connections made through networking has propelled me to where I am today.

I graduated in June 2018 with 3 offers at incredible community serving organizations here in Santa Cruz, though at first I had to peice together part-time work I quickly entered the non-profit sector with my heart and mind wide open-- it was due to the hardship of piecing together part-time work and kind, caring, thoughtful, encouragement of the graduate students I had been working with that I began to truly value my worth and negotiated a full-time position. Then a truly incredible call to serve came through one of the graduate students that had observed me, and mentored me throughout my time as their Research Assistant(s) (I served in two labs concurrently in leadership positions, and through my field study placement) that I was able to give myself credit and better market myself with the amount of experience I gained in my time as a student.

As the Executive Director of this Positive Discipline Community Resources (PDCR), we provide parenting and adult education to our Santa Cruz County and Monterey County communities has been serving our community since 2010 as a formal non-profit and informally since the 70's! Positive Discipline is now in over 60 countries and is a social movement for respectful relationships (across sectors!). We offer a variety of professional development opportunities for educators, service providers, and parents ready to jump in to be advocates and leaders in their parenting communities. We host an annual Special Needs Conference, host workshops, class series, and provide coaching, playgroups and support groups throughout the community at low cost/no cost as needed/requested. We partner with both for-profit and non-profit organizations and are now beginning to offer workshops to empower people in their workplace too!

God, and my family has been and continues to be my source of strength. My little guy Nicholas just turned 5 this October and I am so grateful for the opportunity to grow as an emerging non-profit leader, and better myself as a young parent with skills and tools I need to model in order for my son to thrive!