Director Receives ‘Woman of Distinction’ Award

Award-winner Robin Sklarin (l.) is congratulated by SIMHS President Fern Zagor.

Robin Sklarin, Director of the Society’s Program, received a Woman of Distinction Award from Second Chance International, at a ceremony at the Labetti Post on December 3.

Ms. Sklarin was selected for her, “Enormous work with the program, her work with youth, the LGBT community, and success stories from her mentorship,” according to the organization’s spokesperson.

She was honored with two other recipients – Dr. K. Barrett-Layne of the “Reach Out and Touch Ministries,” and Dr. Carole Reiss, a retired New York City teacher currently fighting to establish a Green Charter School in Stapleton.

The Woman of Distinction Award is a component of Second Chance International’s Women and Girls Empowerment Initiative. It was established in 2005 to identify and honor women who are making a significant difference in their respective communities and globally.

Each honoree also received a Congressional Proclamation from Congressman Dan Donovan and Citations from State Senators Diane Savino and Andrew Lanza, and from City Councilwoman Debi Rose.

The program, launched in 2006 with Ms. Sklarin as its director, prepares adolescents and young adults living with mental health challenges to successfully transition into the adult world, by providing a quartet of services: employment opportunities, educational support, strengthening personal living situations, and improving the ability to function in the community.

With more than 30 years in the education field, Ms. Sklarin is a leader in advancing the program’s goals. “Robin has given thousands of hours, both professionally and personally, to ensure that these youngsters attain a better quality of life and mature into contributing citizens in their communities,” noted SIMHS President/CEO Fern Zagor.

Ms. Sklarin, who has also received a citation for “Excellent Service to the Staten Island Community” from the NYS Legislature, calls, “A lifeline for young people who need support in the most critical time in their lives. This is a unique program that helps our clients navigate the maze of services they need in order to have a positive outcome. We really touch the lives of those who need it most, and I am fortunate to help guide their way.”