Weiss "flabbergasted" by award, humbled by honor.
Long-time activist and family advocate Stephanie Weiss was honored with the Carmen Sarro Award for Community Service on Saturday at the Women In Service Celebration sponsored by the Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley.
Twenty women representing local community service organizations honored some of their volunteers at the event, which recognizes service that improves the status of women. The event was held at Robinson Ranch, where each nominee was given an opportunity to share the mission of her nominating organization.
Weiss was nominated for her service to the ACTION Parent and Teen Support Group Program by its founder, Cary Quashen.
“I was very honored to receive the Carmen Sarro Award,” she said. “I personally knew Carmen. She was an incredible woman in this valley who marshaled talents of volunteers to achieve so many things in Santa Clarita.
“I believe that it’s important to be the change that we want to see in the world. I was flabbergasted and truly honored to get this award,” she said.
“For the past nine years, Stephanie has supported the program with all areas of her skill, knowledge and expertise,” said Quashen. “By her very actions as an ACTION Parent and Teen Support Group volunteer, she shares her mentorship skills and experience, strength and hope with women, men, boys and girls.”
Weiss is a parent group facilitator with ACTION, working every Tuesday evening with parents of at-risk teens. She also works with at-risk teens themselves and is especially effective working with teen girls, according to Quashen. She often advocates on behalf of the ACTION teen population and helps them return to school. She has worked with ACTION staff to start a support program in the
. She is also co-host of the Families In ACTION radio show on KHTS AM-1220, with Quashen.
She has been a working member of the City of Santa Clarita Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force since 2000, working on drug and alcohol education programs. She has just joined the board of the SCV Education Foundation. Other programs in which she has assumed leadership roles include Project Echo, a high school business development/education project at
; Habitat for Humanity; SCV Celebrity Waiter Dinner, a fundraiser for the
; SCV American Red Cross; and Joshua Tree Council, Girl Scouts. She was an original member of the SCV Hotline We Care and served as a listener from 1971 to 1973.
Professionally, Weiss is president of Strategies for Success, a local public relations and marketing firm. She previously worked for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, where she worked on the Educational Equity for Women Project and served as editor of an affiliated newsletter dealing with gender equity in education. She has used her expertise in public relations and marketing in support of many of her volunteer activities.
“Working with ACTION, she sets an example to women, young and adult alike,” Quashen continued. “She advocates for women and assists them in honing their life skills to advance them educationally as well as in the workforce.”
The Carmen Sarro Award is named after a charter member of Zonta who personified the ultimate community volunteer before she passed away several years ago.
Keynote speaker Deborah Deras, a spiritual counselor, professor and author of “Confessions Of An Adrenaline Addict” offered practical tools for participants to achieve more with less effort.
Each nominee was given time to talk about their nonprofit group, illustrating the vast support network provided by volunteers and service groups throughout the valley. Nominees and their organizations included:
- Onyekachi Amadi, Boys & Girls Club of SCV
- Terri Cadiente, Soroptimist International SCV
- Jeannie Carpenter, Assistance League of Santa Clarita
- Vicky Cooke, Family Day Care Association of SCV
- Nancy Coulter, American Cancer Society
- Judy Delaney,
- Cris Embleton, Mending Kids International
- Liisa Froggat, Girl Scouts of Greater
- Kathy Hefferon, Help the Children (formerly Hunger Defense Fund)
- Debbie Heys, Child and
- Elizabeth Hopp, Michael Hoefflin Foundation
- Tricia Gaye Jones, Santa Clarita Community Development Corporation
- Jenny Ketchepaw, Single Mothers Outreach
- Wendi Lancy, SCV Rotary Club
- Tera McHugh, Betty Ferguson Foundation
- Judith Poppe, Circle of Hope
- Tiffany Ray-Michaels, Ragdoll Restoration Foundation
- Joanne Timmerman,
- Stephanie Weiss, ACTION Parent & Teen Support Group
- Dora Zavala, Soroptimists International Greater SCV.
This is the 25th year Zonta has been saluting outstanding local women with this program. The Carmen Sarro Award was announced by Christine Sexton, Sarro’s daughter, who follows in her mother’s footsteps as a member of Zonta and active community volunteer.