Kathy Witkowicki, founder and executive director of the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, has been named one of five women across the country to receive “Traditional Home” magazine’s 2014 Classic Woman Award.
The award is given annually to women who, in the judges’ opinion, best represent the American spirit in caring and giving by making a difference in their community through their volunteer efforts or through their creation of a program or initiative to help others at home or around the world.
“While it’s gratifying to receive this award, the real recognition goes to the hundreds of dedicated mentors who make such a big difference in the lives of so many children in our community,” Witkowicki said. “It’s a tribute to the volunteer spirit that’s so important in both our community and our country today.”
Award winners and their organizations are featured in the magazine, and secure a $2,500 donation to their charity. They also receive a trip for two to New York City to attend a recognition dinner.
Witkowicki honored for her work with the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, an organization she founded in 1996 and continues to serve as the Executive Director. The organization creates and oversees enduring relationships between caring adult mentors and school children in need of academic and social support, and currently has 450 children in the Stand By Me program paired with volunteer mentors.
It recently created a College Success Program to provide scholarships to mentees graduating from high school, and also provide them with mentoring support while attending college or trade school.
Witkowicki noted that while one out of every 10 children in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District currently has a mentor, the organization has a waiting list of children who need and want a mentor in their life, so more adult volunteers are needed.
For more information on one-on-one or group mentoring opportunities, contact the Mentoring Alliance at 707.938.1990, or visit Sonomamentoring.org.