The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley recently honored five women with Virginia Wrage Memorial Grants at the group’s December meeting. Each woman overcame a life-changing crisis and required some assistance to make a significant life change.
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Grant applications were reviewed by committees and top candidates interviewed for the opportunity. The five grants will total $8,000, according to Committee Chair Chris Miller.
The Virginia Wrage Memorial Grants are awarded yearly to mature women who faced a life-changing crisis and require assistance to become self-sufficient again.
The grants are named for Virginia Wrage, a Zonta member who faced a crisis and was forced to make a midlife career change at 50-years-old.
Wrage pursued her goal of becoming an airline attendant and traveled the world for two years before being diagnosed with cancer. Before her death, she agreed to allow Zonta to administer a grant in her name, to be awarded to mature women who also were in need of help to make a midlife career change.
A.R. is a full-time nursing student and single mother. In addition to pursuing her nursing degree, and volunteering with the Mountain High ski patrol, A.R. also took care of her mother, who suffered a traumatic brain injury. She will use her Virginia Wrage grant to pay off her extensive student loans.
D.E.V. is a continuing student at Charter College looking forwarded to graduating in 2014. Her education had been interrupted by a long bout of depression, for which she turned to therapy in 2003 after a difficult divorce from an abusive marriage. D.E.V gives back to the community through volunteering at her church’s Celebrate Life Recovery programs, where she teaches two and three-year-olds to openly communicate with others as they mature.
G.M. is a breast cancer survivor. After her diagnosis in 2007, she received strong support from her three children, who she wishes to be a valuable role model for. Her goal is to continue her education to secure a full-time position in order to support her children as they pursue their individual dreams.
S.L. is a survivor of domestic violence and recently divorced after 23 years of marriage. She received an associates degree in computer science from College of the Canyons and is working towards her Medical Office Medical Administrative Assistant Certification. All her children are pursuing higher education, but due to lack of support from her ex-husband, she carries a heavy financial burden.
N.T. survived a violent attack in her home in 2006. In the following years, she discovered that she wanted to be a victim’s advocate, currently working with the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita. She returned to school and is pursuing a degree in Sociology.
The honorees were presented with their grants at a Zonta business meeting, supported by an audience of family members and school officials.
More than 60 women have received the grants since the program’s inception, allowing them to become independent and self-sufficient.
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Source: Santa Clarita News