2020 Southbay Women of the Year Awards – Switzer Learning Center
A message from executive director of Switzer Learning Center, Dr. Rebecca Foo:
I virtually welcome you to celebrate and acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of Switzer Learning Center’s 21st annual South Bay Women of the Year Awards. True leaders step up in times of crisis, as well as convenience. So, when social distancing requirements interrupted our celebratory luncheon plans, we consulted with our honorees. They unanimously decided it was best to cancel the luncheon, and to at least make lemons into lemonade. They asked their supporters to donate their ticket purchase to help Switzer Learning Center during the crisis created by COVID-19. So, I want to thank our honorees for their leadership and understanding during this crisis.
Congratulations to the 2020 South Bay Women of the Year
- COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERISM – DEBBIE HAYS
- TORRANCE HISTORICAL SOCIETY promote interest and education in the history of Torrance and preserve historical documents and artifacts museum, and
- OLD TORRANCE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
- COMMUNITY SPIRIT – MARY HOFFMAN
- TORRANCE ROSE FLOAT ASSOCIATION BRINGING THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER to work together to create a UNIQUE SOURCE OF PRIDE for 60 years by participating in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
- COMMUNITY IMPACT – TARA NIERENHAUSEN
- COMMUNITY’S CHILD provides women and their infants with healthy alternatives by providing safe living environments, training and education to end poverty, neglect, abuse, addictions and hopelessness.
- COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP – TERRY RAGINS
- TORRANCE EDUCATION FOUNDATION independent nonprofit
- promoting academic excellence for students
- recognizing outstanding staff volunteers and contributors
- financially supporting TUSD award-winning public schools.
I’d like to give you a small glimpse of what Switzer Learning Center does.
What we have learned so far during the COVID-19 pandemic, is that the most vulnerable people are most likely to be the hardest hit. We learned that we need a global society approach to minimize those most at risk and respond effectively.
These are lessons that those of us who work in special education nonpublic schools know all too well.
Switzer Learning Center supports and serves students with substantial vulnerabilities. Our special education students have a auditory processing, visual perceptual, language processing, non-verbal, memory disabilities, ADHD, or autism.
Many of our students experience greater difficulties due to
- substandard living conditions,
- limited resources and access to nutritious food,
- foster home or kinship care instability, and
- other social, emotional, developmental, or medical conditions.
Their public schools determined that without more supportive and individualized education that Switzer Learning Center provides, their students would be at a much higher risk of joining gangs, dropping out of school, being incarcerated, having an addiction or self-injurious behavior.
For 54 years, Switzer Learning Center has been helping to level the playing field for those most vulnerable. We provide small classrooms with credentialed teachers and instructional aides for 12 students per classroom. We provide counseling, speech, behavior, tutoring, and enrichment activities for students to earn high school diplomas. Also provide independent living skills and transition training for students with moderate to severe autism.
So instead of social distancing, we provide social and educational supports that help vulnerable students with learning challenges turn stumbling blocks into stepping stone for personal and academic success.
Our success relies on our South Bay community to partner with us.
We may not be able to make a global difference, but together we can improve the future and the lives of many in our South Bay Community.
To the families, friends, and colleagues of our 2020 Women of the Year recipients, Your support amidst the cancellation of this special event is enabling Switzer Center to continue to serve our students.
On behalf of Switzer’s board of trustees, staff, We thank you for your help in making a meaningful difference so we can nurture students of all learning abilities to believe, achieve, and thrive.
We hope you enjoy our effort to virtually recognize these amazing women! Enjoy!