Photo above, L-R: Tori Baggio, Shelley Dempsey, Stacey Savas, Jessica Kobsa
The Wilton Woman’s Club awarded four scholarships in June to Wilton High School seniors Jessica Kobsa, Tori Baggio, Lauren Wyman, and Sarah Moore. Each year, the Club awards two types of scholarships to deserving young women in Wilton. One is the Julia Robb Memorial Art Scholarship; the other is the Elizabeth Sternad Scholarship.
The Julia Robb Memorial Art Scholarship honors a former very active member of the Woman’s Club. Julia Robb was passionate about the arts, and ran the Wilton Autumn Art and Craft Festival, a 2-day, juried event at the Wilton High School Field House that featured over 150 exhibitors, and ran for over twelve years. The WWC used funds raised from the festival to help support over 40 non-profit organizations in Wilton and Fairfield County.
Local artist and WWC member Maya Boreen, and Doris Noonan judged the work of this year’s scholarship applicants. First place went to Lauren Wyman for her technically superior pencil drawings. She will be attending the University of British Columbia this fall. Second place went to Sarah Moore for the wonderful sense of composition in her photographs. She will be attending the University of Connecticut.
The Elizabeth Sternad Scholarship honors the founder of the Wilton Woman’s Club, Betty Sternad, who established the club in 1966 and, now, at the age of 90, remains an active member of the club along with her daughter Shelley Sternad Dempsey. This scholarship recognizes outstanding community service, strong character, and leadership. Dempsey and WWC member Stacey Savas evaluated the applicants, and awarded scholarships to Tori Baggio and Jessica Kobsa.
As president of C.O.D.E.S., Baggio facilitated a community-wide leadership conference, in addition to coordinating and leading a drive to help homeless people. As a leader of Circle of Care’s Art From the Heart team, she spearheaded fundraising efforts to make over the room of a child cancer patient into the room of his dreams. This fall, she will start at Providence College, where she intends to major in social work.
As president of the Open Art Club, Kobsa initiated a planned annual project, donating student-created art to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, and the Greens at Cannondale senior living facility. As president of the Habitat for Humanity Club, she not only worked each month on houses under construction, but also led fundraisers for the organization. Kobsa will be attending Dartmouth College, where she plans to take premed classes and major in Spanish so that she can become a doctor, and offer medical services in both languages.
Sternad has always been a passionate advocate of education, and prioritizes helping women attain higher levels of education. She attended Oberlin College, earned her masters degree at Wellesley, then taught Physical Education at UCLA and Greenwich High School. Ms. Sternad’s late husband was a trustee at Ohio Wesleyan University.
The Wilton Woman’s Club celebrates its 50th anniversary in Wilton this year, and remains committed to community service, philanthropy, education, and creating social bonds between women. For more information, please visit the WWC website. As scholarship winner Jessica Kobsa put it, “The Club is one of the parts of town that make Wilton not just a town, but a community.”