Scholarship Recipients

Robert Vaca

Single father Robert Vaca has been in the construction industry for 18 years. Before that, he was a dedicated son who cared for his mother at a very young age. Robert is now looking to further his career for his son and his community. CSLS is eager to help Robert by awarding him the John Baker Scholarship. April 2019

Rachel Gekko

Rachel is a mother of 3 and grandmother. She was a certified appraiser, has an AS in Paralegal Studies and began her inspection journey as she did most everything: with a goal to be the best role model she could possibly be for her family. CSLS is delighted to award Rachel the John Baker Scholarship as she pursues her ICC Residential Building Inspector (B-1) Certification. March 2019

Jorge Campos

John Baker Scholarship awardee Jorge Campos has over 13 years of General B experience. Jorge’s driving force is his family. He and his wife set out on their pursuit of Jorge’s license in order to better support their three children. Jorge wants to continue making his family proud by reaching new heights and CSLS is thrilled to be part of his journey. February 2019

Joshua Schmelzer

Joshua has been in the construction industry for over 25 years. When both he and his wife were laid off from work, they knew it was time to make a drastic change and embarked on the pursuit of a license. Joshua wants to show his children that hard work and determination pay off and CSLS is prepared to help him achieve those goals with the John Baker Scholarship award. January 2019

Brian Steffes

John Baker Scholarship awardee Brian Steffes has been in the construction industry for over 9 years and will be pursuing his C-50 (Reinforcing Steel) license. CSLS looks forward to helping Brian achieve his goal of obtaining his license. With it, he hopes to start his own business and bring more opportunities to his community. December 2018

Ramiro Huerta

Ramiro has been in the construction industry for 8 years. The John Baker Scholarship will help him in his pursuit of his General B license. Although he’s been out of work due to an injury in mid-2017, he is determined to get his license, build his business, and secure a brighter future for his family. November 2018

Mayra Preciado

Mayra has been in the construction industry for over 13 years. She will be pursuing her C-54 (Ceramic and Mosaic Tile) license in honor of her father, who dreamt of building a family construction business with Mayra and her brothers. CSLS looks forward to helping bring this dream to fruition through the John Baker Scholarship. October 2018

Gerardo Sanchez

Gerardo has been in the construction industry for 6 years and will be pursuing his General B license with the help of the John Baker Scholarship. As a single father of 3, his driving forces are his children. With his license, Gerardo will be able to provide stable homes for both his children and clients. September 2018

Carlos Coleman

Recipient of the August 2018 John Baker Scholarship, Carlos Coleman, has been in the construction industry for over 10 years. After beating cancer, he decided to pursue his General B license in hopes of securing a better future for himself and those around him. CSLS is thrilled to be part of Carlos’ journey. August 2018

Dustin Coble

Dustin has been in the construction industry for 4 years. The John Baker Scholarship will be aiding Dusting in getting his general contractor license. Dustin’s drive is his family – he hopes that with his license, he can achieve his professional goals and set the example his family needs to inspire a winning attitude. CSLS looks forward to helping Dustin on his journey to become licensed. July 2018

Jason Johnson

Jason has been in the construction industry for over 13 years. Despite financial setbacks, Jason is determined to take his professional and family life above and beyond. With the John Baker Scholarship, Jason be pursuing his C-23 license to build his own business and have the flexibility he needs to support his family and keep important doctors’ appointments. June 2018

Jade Wiseman

Jade started off in the Fire Protection industry 20 years ago. She’s driven by a deep desire to support her family and community. On top of helping her customers protect their assets with her line of work, Jade is also focused on promoting sober living and making a difference in the lives of those around her. By acquiring her C-16 license, Jade is determined to catapult her company to the next level and heighten her positive influence.  May 2018

Erik Rapos

Erik been in the construction industry for 25 years and will be pursuing his General B contractor license using CSLS’s in-school law and trade study program. A single father on disability, Erik is confident that with the scholarship, he’s on his way to becoming his own boss and sustaining the life he’s aspired to make for his family. April 2018

Jackson St. Paul

Jackson been in the construction industry for 6 years and will be pursuing his General B contractor license using CSLS’s in-school law and trade study program. A dedicated husband and father, he’s driven by the concept of working smarter – not harder and he’s fueled by a dream to build self-sustainable homes that encourage creative growth and expression in those that inhabit them. With protections against economic, natural, and artificial disasters, Jackson’s dream projects will make it through the storms and provide for themselves financially. We look forward to aiding Jackson as he takes the first step in bringing those dreams of a better world to fruition. March 2018


Randy Lytle

Randy is the recipient of a scholarship for the In-School Law & Trade License Exam Preparation Program for a General B License. He is looking forward to the opportunities that will open up for him by getting his license, especially being able to pursue better-paying jobs. He has had 25 years in the construction industry. Although he has struggled with dyslexia, Randy is ready to step up and take on the challenge of the Contractors State License Exam and as long as he stays committed to the program, CSLS will support him. February 2018


Martin Lopez

Recipient of the CSLS scholarship for an In-school License Exam Preparation program. Martin has worked in the construction industry for 30 years in both Landscaping and Plumbing. He will be working toward getting his C27 license for Landscaping. Martin has always wanted his license and hopes to be able to overcome some of the financial challenges that his family has faced over the last few years. November 2011


Greg Daly

Greg has been working in the construction industry for 22 years, but like many in the construction industry, has recently been laid off. With so much experience, he has plenty of opportunities for work but needs his license to be able to work his own jobs. CSLS has awarded the In-School Law & Trade License Exam Preparation Program to Greg to help him get his General B License. With his license, he is hoping to get back on track to provide for his family and to keep their home. October 2011


Anthony Chattin

For more than 25 years he’s always been able to find and retain employment until recently his wife and himself were recently unemployed. CSLS has awarded Anthony with an In-School Law & Trade License Exam Preparation program to support him to become a licensed General B contractor. His longevity in the business, and strong network of potential customers, and even working small jobs would be beneficial to his situation. It is his hope that eventually he can develop and grow his own business, help his family and friends in the industry to work as well. August 2011



Stanley Amey

Stanley Amey is a family man that believes that what you do and how you do it matters in life. Over the last several years, he and his wife have struggled through several lay-offs, which has been especially challenging as their daughter is soon to graduate high school and college expenses are looming. CSLS has chosen Stanley to be the recipient of the In-School Law & Trade License Exam Preparation program for getting his C-33 Painting license. Stanley understands the value of learning and hopes to be able to apply the knowledge that he gets through this program and continued learning to provide a “dependable and wonderful service to his clients.” He is also looking forward to being able to give a helping hand to other qualified workers in his industry by hiring them for projects he works on in the future. April 2011




Mark Hefner

Recipient of a CSLS scholarship for the ICC Residential Inspector Certification exam preparation program. Having been laid off due to the economy, and looking to shift gears in his career, he is grateful for having an opportunity to get this education and to have a second chance at a career that he loves. He is hoping to integrate his twenty-plus years in the construction industry and this valuable ICC certification to become a Residential Inspector who would be a great asset to any company that hires him. May 2011


John Gonzalez

Johnny Gonzalez has worked for the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara for more than 12 years. The CAC is a non-profit organization that offers a Free “Home Weatherization” program, among many programs, to low-income families. In 2010, CAC weatherized 1,120 low-income homes in SB County, many of which Johnny was directly involved in. It is Johnny’s hope to get his General B license so that CAC will be able to expand some of their free program offerings to include attic insulation. Although there is a great need for this program, currently there is no contractor with CAC who has the proper credentials to participate in such a program. A General B license would also allow Johnny to “legally and professionally pursue contract work that I cannot obtain now.” Johnny also has plans to provide employment to others in his community once he is licensed. CSLS has recognized Johnny for his contributions and continued vision for his community by awarding him a CSLS In-School Law and Trade License Exam Program. March 2011






Keith Butler

Keith Butler is the recipient of a CSLS In-School Law & Trade License Exam Preparation program for getting his C-16 Fire Protection Engineer contractor’s license. He has worked in the trade since 1990 and was previously a union worker; however, he has been on the out-of-work list since April of 2010. It is Keith’s hope to earn his license so he can go out and solicit and bid jobs on his own. Having been in the industry so long, he has many connections in the industry and he hopes that the new fire sprinkler requirements that have recently been adopted by the California State Building Standards Commission will open up more opportunities for him as a licensed contractor.



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