Alejandra Mahoney was instrumental in group’s Camino Scholars program

Staff Report

Santa Barbara County Commission for Women, alongside the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, has honored six women from across the region for their long-standing service and dedication.
Selected from Santa Barbara’s 3rd District was People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH)’s Director of Special Programs Alejandra Mahoney. The honor, given during Women’s History Month, recognizes her 16-year career at PSHH and for her varied work in the wider community.

“Alejandra has been a core influence in moving our mission forward at PSHH,” said Chief Operating Officer Anna Miller “Her focus on social justice and equity has informed many of the organization’s decisions particularly in the field of education, but now through our Community Independence Initiative.”

Prior to serving as the PSHH Director of Special Programs, Mahoney served as the director of education, where she oversaw development and administration of the Camino Scholars program. Born in Costa Rica, and raised in Guadalupe, Mahoney joined the organization in 2006, bringing extensive experience from her career at Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, Fitzgerald Community School and the Santa Barbara County Office of Education. Since then, she has guided education initiatives across the Central Coast, serving as a board member for The Fund for Santa Barbara, an ambassador for Allan Hancock College, a graduate of Leadership Santa Maria Valley, and a founding board member for Central Coast Future Leaders. 

Leading the remarks of the Commission for Women, Judy Weisbart said, “We have an amazing group of women in this community to do the work that is needed to heal us, to make us strong, and to make us financially and emotionally independent, and hopefully at some point in the history of our country, to have total equality.” \

“[The Camino Scholars Program] is a model for the rest of the country to follow in supporting students’ success in graduating high school and attending college,” added 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann.

“There is so much that has been done, but so much left to do,” said Mahoney upon receiving the award. “So, here is to the workers, immigrant women, my sisters, the students, and their mothers who are resilient and strong and work together to form amazing communities all through Santa Barbara County.”
Camino Scholars serves over 400 students per year at its 11 onsite learning centers. As evidenced by standardized test scores, the Camino Scholars curriculum significantly improves math and literacy skills and sets students on the path to lifelong learning. The program also helps prepare college-bound students for higher education through application assistance, financial aid navigation, career exploration workshops, campus visits, mentorship, and continuing support while enrolled in college.

To learn more about PSHH’s Camino Scholars program, visit