The Virginia Wrage Memorial Fund
"Helping Women Achieve Independence"
"It was a big inspiration that someone believed in me when I was having a hard time believing in myself."
- Eve Reeves
Recipient of the Virginia Wrage Memorial Fund
Virginia Wrage was a dedicated and loved Zontian, mother, and grandmother who, at the age of 50, faced a family crisis that resulted in a major career change for her. Virginia applied for, and after a rigorous nine-month course, fulfilled a childhood dream of becoming a flight attendant for American Airlines. Two years later, Virginia was diagnosed with cancer. Before her death, she helped to plan this fund to assist other mature women make it through challenges such as those she faced.
Since its inception in 1995, the fund has assisted more than 35 women with grants ranging from $500 to $2000. Many recipients are returning to school at mid-life to be able to support themselves and their children. Some are victims of domestic abuse, some are single mothers, some are struggling to complete G.E.D.s or college degrees, and some are on the verge of becoming homeless.
Virginia Wrage Memorial Fund Scholarship
TOTAL AWARD AMOUNT: $6,000
There are three scholarship awardees.
Mari is a single mother and volunteers at the Domestic Violence Center. She heard about the scholarship through the Domestic Violence Center. After her divorce and the foreclosure of her house, she knew she needed to find a job to adequately support herself and her daughter.
She chose a career in Occupational Therapy Assisting (COTA) because it would be rewarding by helping those who would benefit most from the therapy.
Mari plans to use the funds towards her education. She hopes to enroll in Santa Ana College for their Occupational Therapy Assistant Program in the Fall Semester of 2015. She is currently a student at College of the Canyon. Mari needs to complete the prerequisites of Anatomy and Physiology before she can enroll in the Program at Santa Ana College. She feels that with the certification in hand she can find the job to support herself and her daughter.
Digna heard about the Virginia Wrage Memorial Fund at Luna Fest when representatives from the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley were presenting Programs that help women of Santa Clarita.
In the early 2000's there were several deaths in her family which threw Digna into a severe depression. As a result of this, her husband left her. Then one day she chose to fight back.
She created a network of support by interning at Single Mothers Outreach. In addition to interning with SMO, she is currently working part time for Strength United which assists children in foster care.
Digna decided to enroll in CSUN's MSW Program (Master in Social Work Program) and plans to use the funds towards her education. She plans to pursue licensure upon graduation. Digna wants to open her own consulting firm which will involve supporting professionals and home health agencies meet the special needs of their patients.
Babe Ramirez (pronounced Barbay)
Babe heard of Virginia Wrage Memorial Fund through Single Mothers Outreach. She became a single mother with one son when her husband decided to leave her. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Law in the Philippines. Babe worked as a Staff Assistant and a Court Legal Researcher at the Supreme Court of the Philippines for 22 years. She hopes to make better life for herself and her son by going back to school.
Single Mothers Outreach has been assisting Babe in helping her regain her self-esteem. Babe is planning to take courses in Medical Billing and Coding. She plans to enroll in the nearest Tri-Country Allied School.
All recipients are facing similar challenges to those Virginia faced. The members of Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley are honored to be able to assist these women in her name.Each year, the Virginia Wrage Memorial Fund awards individual grants of up to $2000 each to deserving women in the Santa Clarita Valley community. Some recipients are returning to school at mid-life to be able to support themselves and their children. Some are victims of domestic abuse, some are single mothers, some are struggling to complete G.E.D.s or college degrees, and some have been on the verge of becoming homeless.
Grants are distributed once a year in December. Maximum grant amounts have been increased to $2000.
Virginia Wrage grants are funded through our Foundation.
DEADLINE FOR 2016 APPLICATIONS:
MARCH 30, 2016
2009 Virginia Wrage grant recipients (l-r) are Terry Tindell, Janelle Seitz, Christianne Cardriche and Sylvie Griffith. With them are Foundation President Jo Ann Rodriguez (far left) and Alicia Estrada (front), committee chair