Kathy Witkowicki, Executive Director for the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, has been named the 2010 Jewel of a Woman by Girl Scouts of Northern California. She will share the honor with the Executive Director of Mentor Me Petaluma, Val Richman, when the two are awarded at a Girl Scouts ceremony later this month. The Sonoma City Council recognized Witkowicki with a proclamation at Wednesday night’s meeting.
“There’s nothing better than being recognized for doing work that you love,” said Witkowicki. “Each and every day I count my blessings that I’m in the job that I’m in – in the town that I’m in.
As the founder and ED of the Mentoring Alliance, Witkowicki has manned a ship that has helped more than 1000 of the Valley’s at risk youth over the course of the past 14-plus years. Presently, 450 children have a mentor in their lives because of the work that Witkowicki started. And her model has been copied in other parts of the county, most notably Petaluma where Richman’s Mentor Me Petaluma program was patterned after Witkowicki’s.
“I’ve mentored Val as she’s built Petaluma’s incredibly successful mentoring program during the past six years. We have a great partnership and I’m thrilled to share this honor with her,” said Witkowicki. Mentor Me Petaluma serves 200 children and youth ranging in age from five to 17.
The Jewel of a Woman award – named after the first honoree, Ruby Jewel Codding Hall – is given to women selected for outstanding service in their community and for being excellent role-models for young girls. The event, to held September 10 at the Sheraton Petaluma, is a fundraiser for Girl Scouts and includes a reception, gourmet dinner, silent auction and a program honoring the selected “Jewels.” Community support of this event greatly helps to provide Girl Scout services to thousands of girls who, in turn, learn valuable ways to support their community while enhancing their own communities.
“I feel this award is not so much about Val and me but more, about mentoring,” said Witkowicki. “We’ve begun working with local Girl Scouts to introduce our mentees to the program. If more mentoring opportunities like this come from being Jewel of a Woman, I’m all for it.”