December 19 2016
We recently had the opportunity to get to know one of 100 Women Strong’s newest members, Stacey Panepinto. Learn more about her in our conversation below.
Tell us about your background, family, job experiences and other charitable work.
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, but have called Orlando my home for the last 22 years. My first visit to Orlando was with my husband to see my in-laws and we just fell in love with the area and we decided, “why not move?” At the time, we didn’t have children or anything holding us back.
My passion for children and early childhood education began prior to moving to Orlando. In New York City, I worked for HeadStart and worked as an education coordinator. After moving to Florida, I was both a preschool and kindergarten teacher and even spent time as an assistant director of a local daycare. However, after having my girls, Ali (15) and Samantha (13) – I was very fortunate and excited to be home.
I decided after moving to Florida, I wanted to continue to work with children. I began volunteering and continued to work with young children and education. I spent 2 years with the Central Florida Foundation as part of the application review process for the Goodman Scholarship with Susan Arkin and Robin Roberts. I also served on the Board of Friends of Casa Feliz, a nonprofit that focuses on historical preservation in the Winter Park Area. In addition, I served on a committee for special events for the Conductive Education Center of Orlando, a nonprofits that serves children with motor disabilities.
Lastly, when I was younger, every summer I would go to Surprise Lake Camp, a sleep-away camp – and now my children attend. I am still so passionate about Surprise Lake Camp that I have become a donor and am involved in the scholarship process.
In my free time, I enjoy to exercise, especially going to Bar Method, and I love to cook and travel. By far, my favorite place to travel is Europe, specifically Italy.
How did you hear about 100 Women Strong?
My husband, Rob Panepinto, is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at Central Florida Foundation. He had mentioned to me that 100 Women Strong is doing wonderful things. I was excited to take my passion from childhood education, and I saw the pleasure that my husband had being part of the Foundation that I knew this was near and dear to my heart. With my kids getting older I now have more flexibility, and I wanted to get involved in the community, specifically with issues related to women and children.
What impact do you think 100 Women Strong can have on the community?
I think 100 Women Strong has already had a significant impact, specifically at programs such as Jones High School. There is always a need in the community and we can help. We have already made a great impact and we can keep going!
What do you hope to see this year with 100 Women Strong?
I hope to see the 2017 grant take off.
What would you tell other women who want to join or are thinking about joining?
Anyone can write a check and say I am going to donate. The beautiful thing about 100 Women Strong is that we rally together and come up with a plan to make a larger impact in the community.
Thank you Stacey for taking the time to share with us!