Lea Boyd shares her story in time for Mother’s Day
Through her daughter’s participation in Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, La Conchita resident, mother and business owner Lea Boyd has come full circle with the nonprofit, which she first became involved with during its early days.
Looking back on the many years she has dedicated to the organization in various capacities, Ms. Boyd in part credits Girls Inc. of Carpinteria with shaping her into who she is, both as a mother and a working woman.
Her story is a timely one for today’s holiday: Mother’s Day.
In an interview with the News-Press, Ms. Boyd remarked that her local Girls Inc. chapter’s core ethos of developing strong, smart, and bold girls and fulfilling that aim by providing them role models is something that always resonated with her.
Though the messaging of Girls Inc. has been one she has seen as important throughout her life, she especially took notice of how many role models it gave to young girls when she became a member of its board in her 20s.Ms. Boyd added that this also inspired her to be among those women who Girls Inc. held up as examples for its participants.
Ms. Boyd was first introduced to Girls Inc. of Carpinteria around the ages of 10 or 11, playing soccer through its league. At that time, now around 30 years ago, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria was conducted out of a small cottage in downtown Carpinteria rather than its current campus on Foothill Road.
Throughout her life, Ms. Boyd has served on the organization’s board several times, beginning her first stint in her 20s after the nonprofit asked her to join. This lasted for a few years until she moved away from Carpinteria, but when she returned to the town, she was asked to rejoin the board.
Impressed with how Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s programming had progressed during her years away, she accepted the position.
She departed the board once again around the time her daughter Holyn Vega was born, as it was too difficult balancing taking care of an infant with her board duties and her job editing the Carpinteria newspaper Coastal View News. Still, she left with every intention of rejoining when it became doable.
After a decade of editing the Coastal View News, Ms. Boyd felt she was “ready for a new chapter” and a job that “offered some different challenges.” She departed her longtime position to co-found communication outreach company Two Trumpets Communications with her partner Peter Dugre.
Though starting a business while taking care of a young child may sound like a lot to handle, Ms. Boyd explained that it is in some ways easier than caring for a kid while working for someone else. Due to the nature of owning a business, she gets to make her own hours.
That said, with her daughter now 8 years old, afterschool and summer care are of great importance to Ms. Boyd, and she has depended on Girls Inc. of Carpinteria for providing the latter through its summer camp. Because she sees great value in Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s programming and believes in its underlying message, getting her daughter involved with Girls Inc. was a “natural” choice.
In her view, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria providing an environment entirely composed of girls and women allows the young girls involved to develop “confidence and a real sense of self” separate from comparisons to boys and the pressures that can come from those comparisons.
“It’s a really safe and loving environment,” she said. “I would say that. The curriculum, the mission, it’s all aimed at helping girls discover who they are and celebrate who they are without the social pressures that are really prevalent outside of a program such as that.”
Though Ms. Boyd’s own self-belief is rooted in a strong home life with a good mother who served as a constant role model, the influence from Girls Inc. remains strong in her life.
When asked about what lessons from her time in Girls Inc. she carries with her today, Ms. Boyd said being around all of the female exemplars the organization puts forward made her feel not only a desire to emulate them, but a duty.
“It was a responsibility I felt for girls in my community to add to that list of role models,” she said.
As a woman who has edited her hometown paper and started her own business, Ms. Boyd believes she has succeeded in doing this by serving in positions of leadership.
By seeing her and the other women leaders involved in Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, she hopes the girls who come through the program walk away with one idea: “Their gender doesn’t dictate where they end up in their life.”