Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley awarded more than $14,000 in grants and scholarships at the club's annual Awards Night program, May 9, 2018 at Embassy Suites Hotel. The evening included hors d'oeuvres and group photo opportunities, followed by the program and presentation of awards.
Awards are based on the club's fund-raising efforts in the previous year. Committee chairs and co-chairs announced each winner at the awards program, the first public announcement of the recipients.
The club presented $2500, divided between two Community Grants recipients. The winners are local non-profits that have pledged to use the grants to improve the lives of women and children in the local community. This year's recipients are Fostering Youth Independence (FYI) and Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers, Inc.
Six women are sharing $8,000 in Virginia Wrage Memorial Scholarship grants, given to mature women who have faced a life-changing situation and need help to become self-sufficient again. The award is named for a former Zonta member who re-started her life as a flight attendant in her 50s and followed her dream for several years before succumbing to cancer. The club developed the memorial scholarship program in her name shortly thereafter and has maintained it every year in her honor. This year's recipients include Fidelie K., Frances Sotelo, Asha Blanchard, Nairy S., Mary Lightbourn-Rowe and Luz Garcia.
One recipient received $2,000 as the club's Jane M. Klausman Women in Business winner. Amanda Ameson's application has been forwarded to Zonta's District 9, where the winner will receive an additional $2,000 cash prize and become eligible to compete for 12 additional prizes of $8,000 each from Zonta International. The award is open to women who are pursuing second year of an undergraduate program through the final year of a Master’s program in business administration or business related fields.
Three young women share $2,000 in the club's Young Women in Public Affairs program. The prize money is distributed to first, second and third place winners, who attend local high schools or college, and are 16 – 19 years of age. The competition, which also has District 9 and Zonta International levels, provides a potential amount of up to $5,500. This award is designed to encourage young women to take an interest in public affairs and perhaps pursue a career in a related field.
This year's recipients are Naibe Aguilar and Alexandria Gillespie, both from Hart High School, and Jennifer Elliott, from Valencia High School