Student organizations may have the opportunity to cash in on thousands of dollars in grants, thanks to the Community Project Grant Program, funded by the City of Goleta.

The city is giving away up to $20,000 in grant money for organizations and events that benefit local residents. City of Goleta Management Analyst Michelle Greene said organizations that coordinate cultural activities, Goleta-oriented special events or other regional projects are all eligible to receive grant money. UCSB groups may be eligible for the grants, she said.

“The amounts can range anywhere from $200 to the maximum of $2,500,” Greene said. “It just depends on how much the applicant is asking for and what the project is.”

According to the grant application, which can be obtained at Goleta City Hall or at, groups must submit their grants to the city before Feb. 13. After the applications are submitted, a committee will announce the grant recipients at the first Goleta City Council meeting in April. The money will be disbursed in June.

Greene said organizations from UCSB have as much of a chance of receiving funding as any other group.

“The activities range anywhere from environmental to cultural projects that will benefit residents of the city of Goleta,” Greene said. “The events can be regional and benefit other cities like Carpinteria and Santa Barbara as well.”

In 2003, 18 of the 20 organizations that applied received funding from the city. Greene said that the number of applicants grows each year. Last year, the city gave grants to approximately 16 organizations, including the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Friends of the Ellwood Coast and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce. Projects funded by the grant money included activities such as job placement programs, after-school and summer programs for local students and Fourth of July fireworks.

Karina Cervantes, a Goleta resident who often attends city council meetings, said she is glad the city is investing its money in activities that enable local residents to give back to the community.

“I think that this is an excellent thing because it gives people the initiative and extra resources to help the community,” said Cervantes.

Sophomore mathematics major Judith Arias said she is involved in many campus organizations and thinks the grant program will give UCSB students a chance to contribute to their surrounding community.

“I think this is a great opportunity for organizations to use more money and help the community,” Arias said.