AUSB Alum Lynn Houston Succeeds at SB Fast Pitch

AUSB congratulates alum Lynn Houston, founder of the nonprofit A Different Point of View, for winning the $5000 Mission Award at Santa Barbara’s first ever Fast Pitch competition on Thursday, May 15. Fast Pitch is a collaborative contest, which originated in Los Angeles in 2008 and has since gained popularity across the nation, where nonprofits give short, passionate speeches to earn cash prizes for their organizations.

Over several months, the competition narrowed down 1,000 nonprofits to 20 and after a seven-week communication-training boot camp, the finalists were cut to just 10.

Houston, who graduated from AUSB’s BA program in 2011, was one of those 10.


Houston’s pitch impressed the judges and crowd as she entered the role of an airline captain to tell the tale of a 14-year-old student who stays off the streets because of a mentor she gained through the nonprofit that connects youth with aviation. Her pitch has earned her organization the $5,000 Mission Award.

The other contest winners included Bethany Markee — a professional chef turned nonprofit founder of Solvang Elementary School’s Viking Cafe – who took home the $15,000 Grand Prix and $10,000 Audience Choice awards, and Miechelle Arntz of Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara who won the $5,000 State Street Award.

The following community leaders judged the final competition, which was hosted by Social Venture Partners: Jose Huitron of Hub 81; Laurie Leighty of American Riviera Bank; event host Seth Streeter; Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider; Geoff Green of The Fund for Santa Barbara; Marybeth Carty of Venoco Inc.; SBCC President Lori Gaskin; and Harry Grammer of New Earth.

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