Vincent Iuculano's work at the all started with a girl, but his dedication to hundreds of children and teens landed him an executive, beachside position.
The army veteran, youth advocate and now associate executive director of the Santa Barbara YMCA spent the past 15 years working with foothill kids.
Iuculano was drawn to the YMCA in 1996 for one reason, he told Patch.
"A girl. I was dating the child care director at the time and she found me a job working within the after school program area," Iuculano said. "I stayed because I enjoyed working with kids and young adults."
Before his time at the YMCA, Iuculano served in the United States Army from 1992 to 1995 in the 7th Infantry Division out of Fort Ord, Calif. and Fort Lewis Washington.
graduate Scott Carpenter met Iuculano in 1999 when Carpenter was a high school student working at the .
"Little did I know the no nonsense Army veteran ordering me around would become a great friend and mentor," Carpenter, policy advisor for Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, told Patch.
"I'm incredibly lucky to have worked with him, and more importantly I'm lucky to call him a friend," Carpenter said. "Few are as loyal to serving others and those around him as Vince, he will be missed, the central coast is lucky to have him."
Iuculano knows he will miss the people in the area the most.
"Our membership base is amazing and this community is really supportive of the Y," Iuculano said.
He hopes that locals keep going to the YMCA, participating in activities.
"Continue to support the Y programs, make space available inside the community for [YMCA leaders] to program and interact with kids and teens," Iuculano said.
Iuculano looks forward to working with a new staff and community. His future? Well, he said that's a loaded question.
"I hope to make an impact on the Santa Barbara community, to get married, have a couple of kids and one day return to the Crescenta Valley to be the CEO of the YMCA of the Foothills," Iuculano told Patch.
CVHS graduate and former YMCA program director Shaun Rundle worked with Iuculano in youth programs, including the long drives and camping along the California coast and teach middle school kids about government.
"Vince is rare leader whose passion for serving youth and young adults comes across in everything he does," Rundle, district manager for the nonprofit Junior Achievement, told Patch.
"He has maintained such a valued presence in the foothills community for many years, and I have witnessed him hone his creativity time and time again in various programs," Rundle said.
"Santa Barbara is gaining a true builder of tomorrow's leaders," Rundle said.