The “Rising Star of the Year” Bravo Award from the local chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners will be given this year to SBCC student Tally Darsonval, a talented martial artist who wants to start her own studio.
Darsonval, 19, has been studying business at SBCC. A $500 scholarship is included in the award along with a chance to meet potential business investors. The young woman will receive the award at a March 10 NAWBO-SB luncheon at Hyatt Santa Barbara.
In her spare time, Darsonval trains to become a Hollywood stunt double by taking gymnastics stunting classes, specialized martial arts training and a discipline, known as Parkour, using movement that was developed from military obstacle courses.
“Tally has an uncanny common sense plus a talent to communicate and relate to people of all ages,” said her mother, Lisa Amador, founder of Santa Barbara Matchmaking LLC. “Tally has had an unconventional life giving her a fuller understanding of the world in which we live.”
The youngest instructor at Santa Barbara’s Martial Arts Family Fitness, Darsonval has been teaching child and adult martial arts and kickboxing for more than a year. Her love of martial arts began when she was quite young and by the age of 10 she was an Oregon State champion in Taekwondo; by 13 she earned her black belt and at 17 she earned another black belt in Hapkido.
From the age of 1 to 4, Darsonval spent five months a year on the road with her family who owned a helicopter fire fighting and construction business. From ages 4 to 6, she lived on a sailboat as her family cruised from Canada to Mexico. From 6 to 8, she lived in France where she learned how to speak French fluently.
At Santa Barbara High School, Darsonval learned of the Middle College Program. She immediately applied. “Who gets an opportunity to skip high school yet get credit while also receiving college credit and pay nothing?” she asked.
She moved with her family to Santa Barbara in January 2012 and after five months at Santa Barbara High School, earned a Career Education Award from Partners in Education. She volunteered hundreds of community hours as a student athletic trainer for the school’s football and volleyball programs.