Sunday, June 10, 2018

Center Moriches Resident Wins Peconic Bay Zonta Scholarship

Olga Santangelo (second from right) won a scholarship from Peconic Bay Zonta, a service and advocacy group that works to improve the status of women.

Mary Ann Miller (left), treasurer for the local Zonta club, presented Santangelo with a $300 check at Suffolk County Community College’s eastern campus, where she successfully completed Level 3 of the school’s English as a Second Language (ESL) course. Also on hand to congratulate Santangelo were Peconic Bay Zonta co-president Diane Greenberg and Rudy Small, Santangelo’s ESL instructor. The local Zonta group awards the scholarship biannually to a female student in an ESL program who is studying to achieve an educational goal.

Santangelo came to the U.S. from Colombia in 2001, and she resides with her husband, 12-year-old daughter and mother in Center Moriches. She started working in housekeeping at Peconic Bay Medical Center in 2012 and has since progressed to become a supervisor in environmental services.

Santangelo plans to continue her ESL studies and hopes to eventually earn a college degree.

Peconic Bay Zonta covers the eastern end of Long Island and is affiliated with Zonta International, which works to empower women worldwide through service and advocacy.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Trekking to Trenton for the Spring Workshop

Thanks to District 3 Area 1 Director Suzanne Scalcione (far left), Peconic Bay Zonta members (from left) Liala Strotman, Diane Greenberg, and Kathy Walker were able to attend the Zonta International District 3, Areas 1 & 2 Spring Workshop in Trenton, NJ, on April 21, 2018.

Suzanne took care of the driving from her home in Sea Cliff, so the 3.5-hour trek to Trenton from eastern Long Island was not as daunting.

The informative meeting was worth the trip, as the members learned about numerous topics important to Zonta, from fundraising and service projects to advocacy and social media. Sharing ideas with members from other clubs brings a new perspective that enriches Peconic Bay's own agenda.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Equal Pay Day, April 10

                                                                                                 Photo by Allison Rowe

Peconic Bay Zonta member Mona Rowe spent April 10 urging all she met (in Honolulu, Hawaii) to be mindful of equal pay for equal work.

It's the day that average pay for women in the U.S. caught up to the average pay men earned during 2017. Think about it: That's an additional 72 days of work!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Peconic Bay Zonta Recognizes Isabella Sorgi for Academic Performance and Volunteer Work

Isabella T. Sorgi (center), a senior at Mercy High School in Riverhead and a Hampton Bays resident, holds a scholarship certificate from Peconic Bay Zonta. Peconic Bay is a local chapter of Zonta International, a worldwide organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls through service and advocacy.

The local group awarded Isabella $300 in honor of her outstanding academic performance and volunteer work.

Isabella is a dual citizen of Finland and the U.S. Last summer, she obtained two internships in Finland. In one, she worked for a social services organization helping Somali refugee women and their children who were granted asylum in Finland. She learned about their desperate economic and political conditions in their home country and their need for assistance. She also worked with Finnish women and their children, learning about their culture.

In her second internship, Isabella worked with a Finnish political party and came to better understand the complexity of immigration policy. Her experience that summer led her to decide to study business and political science in college. She will be attending New York University’s Stern School of Business in the fall.

Joining Isabella in the photo above are Peconic Bay Zonta members (from left) Kathy Walker, Diane Greenberg, Annika Shapiro, Linda Rundlett and Liala Strotman.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Then and Now: Catching Up with Zonta Recipient Allison Rowe

Perhaps the most famous Zontian is legendary pilot Amelia Earhart. To honor Earhart’s contributions to the aerospace industry and to encourage women in STEM occupations (science, technology, engineering and math), Zonta International awards Amelia Earhart Fellowships. Since 1938, over one thousand women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering around the globe have won more than $9.7 million (US).

In 2001, Zonta giving got a girl airborne – literally! Here’s the tale of her flight.

Peconic Bay Zonta was originally chartered under the name Zonta Club of Eastern Suffolk Area. That was in 1987, the year Allison Rowe was born.*

That earlier Zonta club supported the Dowling College Summer Aviation Scholarship Program for Young Women. At the time, Dowling’s School of Aviation maintained a fleet of aircraft, a virtual airport operations system, and flight simulators. The girls in the program, all graduating 8th graders who showed an aptitude for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), were selected by their schools for the week-long course.

Photo by Filippo Del Carlo
Allison attended the Dowling aviation program in the summer of 2001. After a week of intense studies, she and the other girls climbed into small prop planes at the Brookhaven Airport and flew to the Groton-New London Airport in Connecticut. Allison claimed the only twin-seater and doubled her flying time, taking the controls from the pilot both ways crossing Long Island Sound.

Fast forward to 2017. That’s when Allison tried her hand at flying a helicopter. "A lot harder than a plane because it’s so maneuverable, but also way more fun for the same reason," she said.

Allison lives in London, where she works as a designer/engineer. To watch her TEDx talk, "Being Rationally Irrational to Design the Future," click here.

COMING UP: Peconic Bay Zonta recognizes Isabella Sorgi, a senior at Mercy High School in Riverhead, for her outstanding academic performance and volunteer work.

*Full disclosure: Allison Rowe is the daughter of Mona Rowe, webmaster for Peconic Bay Zonta.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

All Girls Are Special!

Margarita Basurto in a violin lesson
with Nicholas Orifici 
at East End Arts School
In 2017 . . . Peconic Bay Zonta gave a music scholarship to young Margarita Basurto, a violin student at the East End Arts School. Excited by Margarita’s progress, we have renewed her scholarship at the school.

Recently, Zonta members Liala Strotman and Annika Shapiro sat in on one of Margarita’s lessons with her teacher Nicholas Orifici (see Orifici's faculty bio here).

Said Annika, “Margarita thanked us several times for our support. Nick has been teaching her for seven months and said she is doing very well and has improved a lot.”

In 2016 . . . Peconic Bay Zonta joined with Brookhaven Women In Science to send Camille van der Watt to a summer workshop on scientific computing, held at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Recognizing Camille’s potential in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), both organizations were happy to support her participation.

Today, according to David Biersach, her mentor at Brookhaven Lab, Camille continues to do exceptionally well in high school. As a sophomore, “she is approximately four years ahead of her peers in mathematics, having already completed college courses in calculus I & II,” said Biersach, a technology architect at BNL.

COMING UP: In 2001, Zonta giving gets a girl airborne – literally!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Zonta Rose Day, March 8

– Zonta Club of Shreveport
Zonta International celebrates Rose Day on March 8, which is also International Women's Day. On this day, Zonta members worldwide – 30,000 in 66 countries – take stock of progress made in gender equality, call for change, and celebrate those who work to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof also champions the focus on women. Here’s what he wrote in his introduction to the NYT 2018 guide to making the world a better place:

“One of the most effective ways to make a difference is to invest in women and girls around the world. That’s because almost everywhere you look, inequity attaches itself to gender. Globally, moms even tend to breastfeed their sons longer than they do their daughters. Only one company in six worldwide has a female top manager. Girls are 50 percent more likely than boys to never attend any school at all, according to Unesco. A United Nations study of 10,000 men in the Asia/Pacific region found that almost one-quarter acknowledged having raped a woman.”

Peconic Bay Zonta is determined to help women and girls, especially those in our own backyard of eastern Long Island.

Since 2013, we have been awarding scholarships to women enrolled in the English as a Second Language program at Suffolk County Community College’s Riverhead campus. The college’s ESL program equips second-language learners with the linguistic ability necessary to thrive academically, professionally and socially. Immigrants, in particular, benefit because better English skills will ultimately assist their ability to find work, to have an income to buy goods and services, to pay taxes, and to live cohesively within the community.

Below are the women who have received Peconic Bay’s ESL scholarships to date, starting at the top with our latest awardee.

   Ana C. Aucapina Tigre, East Hampton, originally from Ecuador
   Maria Guadron, Calverton, originally from El Salvador
   Myra Lopez, Riverhead, from Guatemala
   Zhuzhanna Mihal, Moriches, native of Ukraine
   Ginet Rendon, Hampton Bays, originally from Colombia
   Lilian P. Garces, East Hampton, native of Columbia
   Inci Tubluk, Wading River, originally from Turkey
   Nelly Abad, East Hampton, from Ecuador
   Maria Paula Sierra Narvaez, Montauk, native of Columbia
   Veronica Rivas, Amagansett, from Columbia

COMING UP: All girls are special!