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2019 Trailblazer Awards Coming Soon!

The Santa Cruz County Women's Commission will be accepting nominations for the 2019 Trailblazer Awards later this Fall. Keep an eye on this space for more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, start thinking about local women who have significantly impacted the lives of Santa Cruz County women and girls in a positive way. We'll update this page with criteria, nomination forms, and everything you need to know about nominating someone who inspires and empowers you or women and girls you know!

If you would like to be on the email mailing list for information about Trailblazer Awards and upcoming Commission meetings and activities, please send an email to with the words "Please add me to the Womens Commission Email List!" in the subject line.


2018 Trailblazer Awards

On March 20, 2018 the Santa Cruz County Women’s Commission presented Trailblazer Awards to five local women who had demonstrated great commitment to improving the lives of local women and girls in one of the six focus areas identified by the Status of Women and Girls in Santa Cruz County Report (SOWAG). The six focus areas include Health Care, Criminal Justice, Violence Against Women, Education, Economic Justice, and Political Participation. Awards were presented to the recipients by the Women’s Commission and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors during the March 20th Board of Supervisors meeting. Pictures of the event can be found here.

2018 Trailblazer Awardees were:

Heidi Boynton (Focus Area: Health Care)

Heidi Boynton, Co-Founder of the Mini Mermaids Running Club, is a role model for girls and women all over the County. She encourages us all to listen to the authentic, strong, resilient voice inside all of us, or what she calls our “inner mermaid.”

Kristen Petersen (Focus Area: Political Participation)

As Community Action Board Treasurer, Kristen Petersen supports their efforts to eliminate poverty and create social change through advocacy and the provision of essential services. She helped to organize the Capitola Women’s Leadership Mixer and is working to stimulate youth membership in Capitola City’s advisory boards and commissions.

Susan Greene (Focus Area: Criminal Justice)

As Director and Co-Founder of the GEMMA program, Susan has worked to provide support to women transitioning from incarceration. She has been conducting and publishing studies on women and the justice system for more than twenty years. In 2017 she published “Gender Matters”’ a profile of women in the Santa Cruz County correctional system.

Maria Campos (Focus Area: Violence Against Women)

Through her work with Monarch Services, Maria Campos has been a powerful advocate for victims and survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking for more than twenty years. She has empowered and continues to empower many women and girls in Santa Cruz County.

Gina Gallino Cole (Focus Area: Education)

Gina Gallino Cole has been an educator and an advocate for health, safety and the empowerment of girls, women and families in South Santa Cruz County. She has advocated for girls and women in athletics, and a community advocate assisting parents (particularly mothers) to become more connected, active and impactful in their children’s schooling.

Linda Skeff (Focus Area: Political Participation)

As creator and Executive Director of the San Lorenzo Valley Habitat Restoration Program, Linda has been a mentor for young citizens interested in the preservation of healthy ecosystems and watersheds. Her successful AmeriCorps grant proposals resulted in teams of 18 to 24-year-olds contributing more than 14.000 hours towards the restoration of native habitat at parks and non-profit sites.











Santa Cruz County Women's Commission Members - March 20th, 2018

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