Senator Leyva Hosts Young Women's Leadership Summit

Will Recognize Community Activist Ethel Gardner as 'Woman of the Year'

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SACRAMENTO – On Friday, March 27th, Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) will host the first annual Young Women’s Leadership Summit in the 20th State Senate District city of Chino.

Held during Women’s History Month, the purpose of this inaugural event will be to empower, educate and promote leadership among young women from the Inland Empire and California.  In partnership with Chaffey College, the Leadership Summit will feature a resource fair, informational panels and motivational speakers.  Senator Leyva will offer welcoming remarks and Cal Poly Pomona President Dr. Soraya M. Coley will deliver the keynote address.  

At 12pm during the lunch portion of the event, Senator Leyva will also recognize active Pomona resident Ethel Gardner as her 2015 ‘Woman of the Year’.  Ethel Gardner serves as Founder / Executive Director of the Kennedy Austin Foundation, a Pomona-based non-profit organization that she founded in 1993 following the tragic death of her only son.  As part of Ms. Gardner’s dedicated community outreach and with minimal financial support, she sponsors free weekly support meetings for grieving parents who have also lost a child, as well as meetings for survivors of domestic violence.  She also organizes the “Million Mother March” every May so that families who have lost family members and friends may come together to honor and celebrate the lives of their loved ones.

“I am very excited to host this wonderful community event geared primarily at young women so that we can help to foster and develop the next generation of leaders here in the Inland Empire.  I know that the motivational speakers and panels that we have lined up—including our keynote speaker Dr. Coley from Cal Poly Pomona—will energize attendees to go back out into their schools and communities as leaders,” Senator Leyva said. “During the Leadership Summit, I will be pleased to recognize a truly committed woman, Ethel Gardner, as my first ‘Woman of the Year’.  This amazing community gem will serve as an inspiration to all of the bright young women in the audience that will witness the recognition and hear more about her tremendous journey of pain and triumph.”

Seating is limited to high school seniors and college students.  Lunch will be provided to attendees.

RSVP: 909-591-7016 (Office of Senator Connie M. Leyva)

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WHAT:         Young Women’s Leadership Summit

WHEN:        Friday, March 27th from 8:30am – 2:00pm

WHERE:      Chaffey College Chino Community Center (5890 College Park Avenue; Chino, CA)