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Zonta of SCV celebrates grants

More than $8,000 is awarded in scholarships and to SCV nonprofits working to assist women and girls

Posted: June 2, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 2, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Representatives from Santa Clarita Valley nonprofit agencies that will receive Zonta Club of SCV Community Service grants pose with Zonta Community Service Grant Chairwoman Sharon Rodriguez.

 

 

he Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley recently presented $8,100 in grants and scholarships at its May business meeting, dividing $6,100 between five non-profit organizations in the SCV which share Zonta’s mission of improving the lives of women and girls.

 

The club also presented a $1,000 scholarship to a high school student with a strong record of leadership and community service and another $1,000 scholarship to a young woman college student majoring in business.

 

The club’s non-profit Zonta Foundation received seven qualifying applications for its community grants program and chose five recipients: The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Single Mothers Outreach, Carousel Ranch, Child & Family Center, and Domestic Violence Center of SCV.

 

The Boys & Girls Club will use its grant to support the SMART girls program (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training). The program is expected to support approximately 30 girls, ages 8 to 17.

 

Spanish speaking poverty-level single mothers are expected to take advantage of the Financial Recovery Program offered by Single Mothers Outreach. Zonta’s community grant has supported the program in the past and will assist again this year.

 

Carousel Ranch is also a returning recipient of Zonta’s community grant support. The grants are used to offer Go Girls Equestrian Therapy scholarships for special needs girls who are served by the therapeutic horseback program.

 

Zonta Club of the SCV became an official Guardian in the Child & Family Center’s Guardians of Hope program with its community grant this year.

 

The financial support will assist 25 to 50 women and girls desperately in need of guidance, according to the center’s grant application.

 

Domestic Violence Center of the SCV will use its Zonta grant to support its Stop the Violence: Mothers Break the Cycle program.

 

Eight Spanish and eight English parenting groups offered by the center will support 100 women throughout the coming year.

 

Zonta’s grant will be used specifically to purchase a Spanish language version of a successful program called Active Parenting Now.

 

"We were happy to have five outstanding applicants who fit Zonta’s mission well," said Sharon Rodriguez, Community Grants Committee chairwoman. "Each of these grants will have a direct impact on the lives of women and girls in our community. The top three recipients have received grants from us in the past, but all of the overall scores were close."

 

Zonta awarded its Young Women in Public Affairs award to Ashley Keith, a senior at Valencia High School.

 

The award recognizes young women for their commitment to volunteerism, leadership achievements and dedication to advancing the status of women. Keith has been a member of the Associated student Body (ASB) at Valencia for all of her four years in high school,

serving as sophomore class president, junior class secretary ad ASB vice president.

She also performs community service through her Girl Scout troop and has earned her Gold Award, the highest honor available to a Girl Scout.

She has also participated in the City of Santa Clarita’s River Rally community cleanup drive, donated to the military, organized food drives for the food pantry, and made sandwiches for the women’s shelter.

Through ASB, Keith has worked closely with the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Valencia and has organized gatherings where both ESL and English-speaking students can make friends and social connections on campus.

Keith was also selected to participate in California Girls State, a leadership conference with goals to motivate young women to become more active in politics, more educated voters and more understanding of the legislative process.

She looks at education as the solution for women to reach true equal status in today’s world.

"Zonta International believes young women are the key to women’s advancement in the field of public service," said Cheryl Wasserman, Zonta’s YWPA Committee chairwoman. "The YWPA award encourages young women who have demonstrated leadership skills and interest in civic causes to continue pursuing their dreams."

Danielle Horsman, currently completing her sophomore year at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, received Zonta’s Jane M. Klausman Women in Business award.

Horsman expects to earn her bachelor’s degree in May 2015, with a major in business administration, minor in psychology and four semesters of Spanish.

Her goal is to become a management consultant at the top Los Angeles firm that will help her earn her master’s degree and allow her to work on pro bono cases, particularly with non-profit organizations focused on children’s literacy and at-risk youth programs.

Eventually, she would like to become an executive of a non-profit organization, or start one of her own, that emphasizes the importance of early and continued education.

Horsman has earned a number of scholastic honors and scholarships, both at USC and at Cerritos College, where she completed her freshman year of college.

She is an active member of USC Jumpstart, a program which encourages literacy in young children from low income families.

As a teenager, she joined her church volunteers to build houses in Mexico every spring break for five years, where she saw first-hand the yearning for knowledge in children who would most likely never be able to achieve that dream.

"Being honored with tis scholarship (will) allow me to focus on my duties as a student, subsequently allowing me to follow my dreams so that I may one day help someone else follow theirs," she said.

Zontian Rosalind Wayman was chairwoman of this year’s Jane M. Klausman Committee for the local club.

Both the YWPA and Klausman scholarship winners received $1,000 from the local Zonta club, and their applications have been forwarded to Zonta’s District 9, where they are eligible for another $1,000.

The district winners also go on to Zonta International competition, with even higher award potential.

To learn more about the Zonta Club of SCV visit www.scvzonta.org.

lifestyles@signalscv.com

 

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