Photo by Jonathan Daniels on Unsplash

Mentoring Avalon’s Young Ladies

Many people don’t know how much the CIWF does for the Avalon community. The Mentoring Program began in 1996, chaired by Peggie O’Neal and Kathy Moritz, with committee members Leslie Shannon, Jeanne Brazil, Elizabeth DeVries, and Linda Salo. It continues as a heartfelt labor of love that was successfully managed by Kathie Fitzenberger and her committee from 2010-2013. Since the fall of 2016, Jenna Macklin and Bertha Frantz now oversee the program. As always we continue to look for additional assistance. Voluntary meetings with the Avalon junior and senior girls are held monthly and bring a host of information and activities their way.

Some of the highlights of our curriculum include a self-defense course demonstration, lectures from professional women on a range of challenging occupations from law enforcement to health care, healthy relationship seminars, etiquette lessons, and many social times including mini-golf or a trip to Three Palms Arcade. Our graduating ladies have stated the most beneficial or favorite part of the program is the “reality check” they receive. The mentoring offers support for the transition into adulthood, moving away to college, and preparing to live a whole new life of independence.

The mentoring program helps these girls develop valuable life skills that are sure to make their transition off the Island more pleasant. With the end of school comes the best part — the scholarship awards. The CIWF receives many scholarship applications. The scholarship committee allows for 10 minutes with each applicant for a Q & A session giving the girls the freedom to display their personality and aspirations for their future. All the applicants are commended for their time spent with the Women’s Forum and each young woman receives the priceless experience of sisterhood and fellowship. It is always a very difficult decision as all the applicants have exceptional qualities; however, the scholarship committee singles out the most promising ladies for their well composed application, polished interview skills, and thorough preparation for their move to college.

Thank you to the local business who have directly supported our mentoring program:

  • The Island Spa Catalina
  • The Hotel Metropole
  • Three Palms Arcade
  • Seaport Bistro
  • Catalina Island Expeditions Descanso Beach Ocean Sports
  • Avalon Grille
  • Santa Catalina Island Resort Services / Descanso Beach Club