Zonta awards total $14,500

Community Grants: Ed Bolden Jr., Phillip Solomon, Gloria Mercado- Fortine of Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers; and Carolyn Olsen, Gina Stevens, Stacey Anton, Fostering Youth Independence co-founders, receive grants from Zontians Adele Macpherson and Carolyn Lodes. Courtesy photo

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) awarded more than $14,000 in grants and scholarships at the club’s annual awards night program on May 9 at the Embassy Suites hotel. The evening included hors d’oeuvres 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.

Two community grant recipients shared $2,500 to support their programs that empower women and improve their lives. The Sam Dixon Family Health Centers grant provides low-income uninsured women assistance with their overall health and well-being. Fifty women will be provided with free laboratory services and receive assistance to apply for Medi-Cal, Covered California or My Health L.A., if they qualify. Fostering Youth Independence helps the underserved population of foster youth leaving the L.A. County foster care system. Their College and Career Bound Project equips these young women with tools they need to complete post-secondary education and gain employment; their grant award provides five qualifying young women with dorm supplies or professional wardrobes.

Six women are sharing $8,000 in Virginia Wrage Memorial Scholarships, 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. A 2018 graduate of Humboldt University majoring in business finance, 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 their 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 Award. The prize money is distributed to the winner, Naibe Aguilar, Hart High School student and runners- up Jennifer Elliott from Valencia High School and Alexandria Gillespie from Hart High School. Naibe’s application has been forwarded to District 9 for $1,500 consideration; that recipient may potentially receive one of 10 Zonta International $4,000 awards. This award is designed to encourage young women 16-19 years of age, who attend local high schools or college, to take an interest in public affairs and perhaps pursue a career in a related field.

The Zonta Club of SCV is proud to present these scholarships and grants to women and local organizations with the desire that more women of all ages will be empowered in society – locally and worldwide.

andy Wrage, son of Virginia Wrage, with Zontians Barbara Cochran and Patrice Rifkind (center), present the Virginia Wrage Memorial Scholarships. Courtesy photo
Naibe Aguilar, winner-Hart High School and Runners-up, Alexandria Gillespie, from Hart High School, and Jennifer Elliott, from Valencia High School, receive Young Women in Public Affairs awards from Zontians Mary Ann Dortch (left) and Gloria Mercado-Fortine (right). Courtesy photo
Zontians Beth Heiserman and Alicia Estrada present Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship to Amanda Ameson, in absentia – taking final exams prior to graduation from Humboldt University. Courtesy photo

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