Caitlin Barringer

Caitlin Barringer“11 Comm. major, Business Admin. minor

By Stephanie Villafuerte
English major, Communication minor
Communication & Marketing Intern

From her test taking skills to her learning disability, Caitlin Barringer found school to always be a struggle. But she persevered and with the help of her family, remained close to her Santa Paula home as she attended Ventura College.

“With their support and my first-gen mother, it was important that I pursue higher education. I’m so thankful I accomplished that goal,” Barringer said.

She later transferred to CSUCI, where she majored in Communication with a minor in Business Administration. Though only at the University for three semesters, the alumna remembers her favorite class being Communication 340 – Conflict Management and Mediation with Communication with Professor Tracylee Clarke.

“You were able to practice your mediation skills and learn how to listen to others. I use these skills every day in my communication with others,” Barringer explained.

Before graduating in 2011 with her bachelor’s, Barringer did a service-learning project in which she interned at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Her job was to lead field trips for elementary schools, an experience that would ignite her love for non-profit organizations.

“After graduation, I was offered a position with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, and it was my very first exposure to working in development with a nonprofit,” Barringer said.

She then began working for organizations such as American Cancer Society and Kids & Families Together. And recently, Food Share has become her newest occupation. After she learned about their mission of giving food to those in need, Barringer was eager to join their team and do her part. It was a chance she wouldn’t have found without her connections.

“When people say, ‘It’s all about who you know,’ they’re right,” she said. “My years of relationships and connections is what drew me right here.”

The dedication she holds to helping others shows. Barringer was recently assigned the position of programs manager. Her job is to manage service programs such as Kids Farmers Markets, Kitchen-Free Bags, and Community Market which are focused on getting food out to the public. She also is planning future programs aimed at farmworkers, the homeless population, and senior citizens.

“I am so excited to explore my role as programs manager. I believe there is something special in being able to use your talents to give back to others.”

At the moment, Barringer is working on Food Share’s partnership with Spark of Love through the Ventura County Fire Department, for a county-wide toy and food drop-off. The donated food will be distributed back to the community through Food Share’s agency partners, while the toys will be given to those in need, especially during the holiday season.

She is also running an event, alongside the Ventura County Farmworker Resource program, that will provide food and toys to about 1500 farmworker families.

Barringer reflects on her career in nonprofits and is glad that she decided to attend college in the first place.

“I think being grateful and thankful every day is important to making the best out of any situation, as well as building a support system of peers and mentors. I learned to pursue my passions fiercely.”

She plans to work for a large foundation in the future that gives financial assistance to lower-income individuals. For now, Barringer is happy with her role at Food Share, and her involvement with projects such as Heritage Valley Young Professionals group and the Santa Paula Social Service Coalition.

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