What is AHA!?

AHA! serves teens and families year-round with after-school programs in Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, a summer program in Santa Barbara, and in-school programs in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, and Goleta.

We also offer an outdoor program throughout the year, groups for parents, and donation only therapy for families in need.

Our aim is to create a community of socially and emotionally intelligent adolescents who are committed to compassion, character, positive creative expression, and the celebration of diversity.

Our innovative experiential curriculum guides teens to set goals and to stop bullying and hatred. It lends invaluable skills for understanding and managing emotions and relationships. From this place of security in themselves, teens are inspired to do good, achieve in school and serve their community.

We deliver this curriculum in a mentorship setting, with one or more facilitators always present for every six teens.

In 2014, we are set to serve about 2000 teens and families. We’re growing because what we do works: Santa Barbara area high schools have reported decreases in truancy, disciplinary actions, and suspensions with the introduction of AHA!.

Our after-school programs offer important mentoring and learning for any teen who wants to be there. After-school programs are especially important for teens, who are most likely to get in trouble during the hours between school and dinner time. With us they get structure, substance, and support to prepare them for a balanced, happy life – and healthy snacks to boot.

ALL PROGRAMS ARE FUNDED BY DONATIONS. No one is turned away for lack of funds. Go to “Program Information” to find out more about what we offer. To contribute to AHA!, go to “Donations”.

  • "It was an honor to be part of a group committed to young individuals. I was inspired and filled with joy witnessing the depth of expression and creativity that these kids had. I saw and felt a sense of freedom to be unique and be different . I was so touched and moved by the appreciation everyone had towards each individual for being part of a group, the trust and openness to be outrageous and have fun. If I helped one child to feel loved and empowered, it's a wonderful feeling, I am so grateful that Santa Barbara has such a program that gives these kids the tools and awareness of the importance of community and self-worth that school class rooms do not have . Thank you, AHA!" - Love Aman