Gail Brenner: World Changer

Gail Brenner Partners in Education Volunteer

Gail Brenner is a clinical psychologist, author, and with clients all over the world, she is also a world traveler. In just one year of being part of the Partners in Education family, Gail completed nearly 50 hours of service, making weekly visits to the Goleta Boys & Girls Club.

In describing why she wanted to volunteer, Gail said, “I love the opportunity to develop relationships with the children and be a positive influence in their lives during their formative years.”

Which is exactly what Gail has done.

The Boys & Girls Club provides an afterschool program and safe space for kids to go. With so many students on-site, it’s often difficult for each one to get individual attention with their homework, or simply to check in with each one about how their day may be going.

Brad Pullen, the Assistant Club Director shared with us about the impact Gail had on their after school program:

“Gail would work 1 on 1 with the kids that really needed extra help. She would work closely with these students and explain concepts to them.  She was very patient when she worked through the homework and would make sure they understood it before moving on.  

Gail Brenner Partners Volunteer

She got to know some of the kids very well, and then every time she was here I had half the class asking to go with her. Gail did it all. In addition to working 1 on 1 with kids and with small groups, she even operated our snack shack when we needed the help.”

Though Gail enjoyed helping students make progress with homework, she shared that her favorite part of volunteering was having the opportunity to talk individually with students and learn about their lives. Sometimes she got to encourage them and help make them feel better about something going on. Other times she wasn’t so sure she was making a difference. But she continued to show up, despite her busy schedule.

Gail recently shared that she will be leaving Santa Barbara. The Goleta Boys & Girls Club expressed how much they will miss her, but that they wish her well on her travels. Though we are losing a true community gem, the impact she made will not be forgotten. She is an inspiration to us all.

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