Empowering women with the skills to succeed through education, leadership development and networking opportunities has been the focus of the annual Karen A. Stout Leading Women Symposium and Golf Experience—one of Montgomery County Community College Foundation’s key fundraising events.
Since it started in 2005, Leading Women has generated more than $300,000 for scholarships as well as career and support programs for female students at MCCC. Last year’s proceeds alone provided scholarships for 22 students totaling more than $37,000.
As part of the event, participants have the chance to meet and network with other female business leaders during the symposium and on the greens, either by playing the 18-hole scramble or through honing their golf skills at the learner’s program, all of which are held at the Talamore Country Club in Ambler, Pa.
This year, 140 participants heard from one of the Leading Women scholarship recipients Trudy Jefferson, who graduated in May. She earned her associate’s degree in Human Services, while working and raising her five children, ages 7 to 25 years, and plans to continue her education at Chestnut Hill College.
Despite her full schedule, Jefferson completed more than 300 hours of volunteer service with AmeriCorps in the College’s Disabilities Office, served in the Minority Student Mentoring Initiative and worked in the Keystone Education Yields Success (KEYS) program, providing administrative support and mentoring. She also served as president of the Single Parents Achieving & Raising Children Club for three years.
“From the moment I stepped on the grounds of Montgomery County Community College, I felt welcomed. The KEYS staff recognized my talents and helped me see where I could fit in and grow,” she said. “They also told me about scholarships, for which I am very grateful because they made the difference, allowing me to stay in school and graduate. I would not have been able to afford my education without them.”
This year’s keynote speaker Dr. Kathleen Owens, president of Gwynedd Mercy University, spoke about the impact “teachable moments” can have on personal growth and success.
“Failure is not an enemy of success but a teacher, a harsh teacher, but when we absorb the lessons we learn from those moments, we can move forward,” Owens said, who congratulated Jefferson on her amazing journey, noting how she is an “inspiration to all of us.”
MCCC’s President Emerita Dr. Karen Stout, who is the President and CEO of Achieving the Dream, presented the 2017 Leading Women Award to Dr. Owens.
“Dr. Owens has continued the long tradition of strong female leadership and has championed the advancement of women through world-class education and the highest level of professional preparation possible at the University. She has been a mentor, friend, and inspiration to her fellow colleagues in higher education and beyond,” Dr. Stout said.
During Dr. Owen’s tenure, Gwynedd Mercy University has been one of Montgomery County Community College’s strongest partners, continually working with the College to strengthen our articulation agreement so students can transfer seamlessly to Gwynedd Mercy, and recently signing a unique agreement to provide student housing at Gwynedd Mercy for Montgomery County Community College students who want an on-campus living experience.
Members of the Leading Women Committee include co-chairs, Cindy Diccianni and Pat Nunan, Carolyn Carluccio, Renee Chesler, Erin Cohen, Carol Crisci, Denise Gargan, Linda Gerhard, Peggy Interante, Alma Jacobs, Crista Lowrie, Regina Lowrie, Elizabeth Peters, Celeste Schwartz, Gay Seidman, Karen Stout, Lena Tella Gelenberg and Nanci Ziegler.
The Committee and Foundation thank this year’s sponsors for their support:
- Presenting Sponsor: Wilmington Trust
- Golf Cart Sponsor: Fox Rothschild
- Foursome Sponsors: Gwynedd Mercy University, Dr. Karen Stout and PNC; Beverage Sponsor Diccianni Financial Group
- Hole Sponsors: Alma Jacobs, Andersen Windows and Doors, Andy Gulotta, Chartwell Law Offices, Customers Bank, DRIVE Engineering, Freeman’s Auction, Joe and Kathy Gallagher, Judy Mackey-Malik, Keiffer’s Appliances, Lifestyles Design, LTW Management Consultants, LTD, Millenium Administrators, Inc., Montco Elder Law, Montgomery County Foundation, Inc., Patriot Financial Partners, and UNIVEST-Banking, Insurance, Investments.
Established in 1983, the Foundation through its staff, volunteers and generous donors has raised private support to help students achieve their dreams of higher education. The Foundation provides funding for scholarships, student support programs, faculty projects, capital and equipment, and cultural enrichment programs.