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Arlene Samen to Present Keynote at Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Women of Inspiration Luncheon

Arelene Samen of One Heart World-Wide, pictured here after helping a Nepalese women safely give birth, will be the featured speaker at Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s Women of Inspiration luncheon.
Arelene Samen of One Heart World-Wide, pictured here after helping a Nepalese women safely give birth, will be the featured speaker at Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s Women of Inspiration luncheon. (One Heart World-Wide photo)

Inspirational women and ambitious girls will take center stage at Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s Women of Inspiration luncheon, as community leaders, mentors, advocates and supporters come together to support the organization Monday, April 4, 2016, from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at 5315 Foothill Road in Carpinteria. 

Arlene Samen, the founder of One Heart World-Wide, will serve as this year’s featured speaker. 

A nurse practitioner in maternal fetal medicine for over 30 years, Samen’s whole life changed when His Holiness the Dalai Lama asked her to take her expertise to help pregnant women in Tibet, where one out of ten newborns died due to preventable causes.

In 2004, she left behind her clinical practice to help women in the most vulnerable conditions in the most remote areas of the world have a safe, clean delivery.

“At Girls Inc., we are in girls’ corners not only to help them reach for the stars but also to believe in the ability to accomplish their dreams,” said Victoria Juarez, executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “Arlene’s inspiring journey is one of courage and triumph and she is the definition of ‘strong, smart and bold.’ Despite tremendous obstacles — from natural disasters to political uprisings — she never gave up her quest to ensure all women had access to vital services and essential care. We are thrilled to have her at this year’s luncheon.” 

Samen founded One Heart World-Wide on the principle that access to lifesaving care is a human right. The organization has worked to set up centers that teach and educate local nurse practitioners, villagers and expectant mothers on how to deliver and care for newborn babies. 

Today, her lifesaving “Network of Safety” model for decreasing maternal and newborn mortality has reached over half a million people and created a safe environment for more than 50,000 deliveries around the globe. 

Raised in poverty by a single mother, she attributes her success to her mentors and other women who inspired her along the way. 

“Had I not had a community that created a ‘Network of Safety’ around me, I would never have had the wisdom to create a ‘Network of Safety’ for others, a program that saves lives of mothers and their newborns worldwide,” said Samen. “Thanks to the mentoring from those that stood by me through trials and tribulations, I was able to stand up and be a voice for those who could not speak.”

Samen’s journey proves that one woman’s vision and determination can save lives and create permanent change. She was selected as an Unsung Hero of Compassion in 2001 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is the winner of the 2008 CNN Hero Award along with many other awards and recognitions and presented a TED Talk in 2011. 

“We grow stronger by having many hands and one heart to catch us when we fall,” added Samen. “Girls Inc. provides safety and encouragement for young women to step into a new self with strength, courage and compassion, and it is an honor to be part of this luncheon and pay it forward.”

This year’s luncheon is co-chaired by Nancy Koppelman, Nini Seaman, Sandra Tyler and Amanda Kastelic.

Tickets to Women of Inspiration are $85 and proceeds will support the mission of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria currently serves more than 700 girls ages 5-18 each year through a variety of programs, motivating them to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges.

For tickets or more information, contact Ericka Loza-Lopez at 805.684.6364 or [email protected] or visit

Daniella Alkobi is a publicist representing Girls Inc. of Carpinteria.

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