Youth & Family Services, a branch of the Channel Islands YMCA, has announced four new board members from the Santa Barbara area.
“We are thrilled to expand our board with the extraordinary talent, passion, and enthusiasm of these amazing new community leaders,” said Ashleigh Erving, executive director of YMCA Youth & Family Services. “As our community continues to respond and recover from the challenges of the past two years, their voices will be critical in building our resilience and enhancing our community impact.”
The new Youth & Family Services board members are:
— Paloma Arnold, dean of Student Affairs at Santa Barbara City College.
“Paloma’s personal passion is youth support, which she has demonstrated in her work with Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, a state-funded, educational support program for financially and academically disadvantaged students,” according to a news release from Youth & Family Services. “Her work has supported foster youth and first-generation low-income students. She has collaborated with counselors at YFS Noah’s Anchorage and My Home, and enhanced the bridge between SBCC and YFS.”
— Lt. Juan Camarena of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
Lt. Camarena manages the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau and teaches de-escalation techniques at the law enforcement academy.
He spearheaded the implementation of the Isla Vista Restorative Justice Program, which teaches civic responsibilities and respect.
Lt. Camarena has been involved with the YMCA’s St. George Youth Center, which serves Goleta and Isla Vista. He earned his master’s in communications at Purdue University.
— Meghan Carlson, clinical social worker at UCSB Residential & Community Living.
Ms. Carlson is the former associate executive director of Youth Family Services, working with Noah’s Anchorage, Street Outreach and My Home. In its news release, Youth & Family Services noted Ms. Carlson understands the complex needs of youth challenged by domestic violence, trafficking and homelessness.
Ms. Carlson is an active participant in the National Runaway Prevention Month Task Force. After the elimination of government funding for group homes, she was instrumental in writing grants for Youth & Family Services.
She was honored as Director of the Year for the Channel Islands YMCA in 2015.
Currently, Ms. Carlson provides collaborative advocacy, clinical social work, and mental health support to students at UCSB.
— Lis Wiehl, author, media commentator and retired law professor.
Ms. Wiehl’s connection with the YMCA began when she was a youth counselor.
She is a New York Times bestselling author of 19 books, one of which was about human trafficking.
After working with the Drug Enforcement Administration for two years, she successfully prosecuted an international human trafficking ring.
As a frequent guest legal commentator on CNN (and formerly NPR, Fox News and NBC), she is highly respected for her thoughtful analyses, critical thinking and objective conclusions.
Her “Wiehl of Justice” column recently premiered in the News-Press.
For a complete list of the board and staff, visit