As they have in past years, delegates who attended Journey, the summer camp for middle school girls founded by the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County, hosted a tea on Sunday, August 24th, to honor five local female leaders in Howard County.
According to Megan Bruno, Chair of the Women’s Giving Circle, “The Journey Tea is an event that wonderfully illustrates the power of mentorship, positive role models and cross generational learning. The poised young women from Journey Camp 2014 will be the strong female leaders of the future, learning from women leaders in our community and having a positive vision of themselves for the future. I am proud that the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County was part of starting them on that journey.”
This year’s honorees include Toby B. Orenstein, Jean Flanagan Moon, Grace Kubofcik, Pearl Atkinson-Stewart and Barbara Lawson. All five women are members of the Howard County Women’s Commission’s Women’s Hall of Fame.
Toby Orenstein opened Toby’s Dinner Theater and established the famous Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts. She has served her community by coordinating multiple projects and programs that primarily motivate and teach children to cope with peer pressure through theater. She established the LABELS projects and founded TAPS, Theater Art Productions.
Jean Moon has been a member of the Howard County Community for over 25 years. She is well-known for being the former General Manager of the Patuxent Publishing Company. She served as President of the Columbia Foundation for three years and launched Howard County Community College’s first Women’s Studies classes.
Grace Kubofcik has served as President of the Howard County PTA Council as well as Assistant to County Executive Liz Bobo. She was involved in the creation of the Howard County General Plan and served as President of the League of Women Voters for Howard County.
Pearl Atkinson-Stewart founded the first active women’s democratic club in Howard County. She currently serves on the Owen Brown Village Board and served on the Columbia Association Board of Directors for close to two decades.
Barbara Lawson served as President of the Columbia Foundation for many years. She is a founding member of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County and well known for helping other non-profits find their footing. She served on the Howard County: A United Vision project and helped Howard County win the All-American County designation from the National Civic League.
The honorees were selected by Journey delegates as part of an intensive camp experience that included workshops on self-awareness and decision making and other topics. Journey was operated by Maryland Leadership Workshops, which has been providing leadership training programs for middle and high school students in the state of Maryland for over 50 years.
In the words of Jean Moon, 2014 honoree and founder of Journey, “I’m really honored to be included in this particular group of women. When I was your age, a teacher nominated me for a leadership program and I went, and I feel like that experience changed the way I thought of myself. If I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t be here today and neither would you. Because of that experience, I worked with the WGC to start Journey. I wanted other young women to learn and to care about each other and to advance each other. I hope right now that you carry this with you all your life and that someday you look back and see that you’ve been a leader and a role model. And that you want to pass that along to other girls so they want to become leaders and role models, too.”
Twenty-four young women attended the Journey summer camp in 2014. Over 260 delegates have completed the camp since its start in 2006. The signature program was founded and is financially supported by contributions from donors to WGC.