The Women’s Roundtable of Northwest Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the recipient of the 29th Annual Woman of the Year and Diane DeLuca-Thompson Award, Sonya Arrington, founder of Mother’s Against Teen Violence (MATV). This award recognizes women who go beyond the call of duty to help other women and whose actions have made a positive impact on our community.
Ms. Arrington was nominated by Veronica Rexford. Ms. Rexford shared the following in her nomination:
In January of 2010, Sonja Arrington’s 19 year old son, Steve, was shot and killed. Knowing she had to do something to turn this tragedy into something positive, and determined to work to reduce youth and gun violence, she formed Mothers Against Teen Violence. Along with representatives from youth services agencies, Sonya developed a program for troubled youth, the Leadership Endowment Accountability and Diversity (LEAD) program which started with a handful of students in 2012. Since then more than 300 students have passed through the program. In 2014, Sonya ran for City Council in hopes she could further her work with the community and troubled youth and won. She attends virtually every Take Back the Site Vigil sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Sisters of St. Joseph, and Sisters of Mercy. At these vigils she reaches out to the mothers and their families to give encouragement and share their pain. Sonya is a tireless advocate for youth, mothers who have been touched by tragedy, and for the reduction of gun violence. She has encouraged the women of the Erie community to reach for their potential.
We recognize Sonya, and the other finalists for Women of the Year for their dedication to our community and the women who are a part of it. If you know a woman who you believe should be Woman of the Year, please submit a nomination by visiting our website, wrterie.org.