In 1960, the Castro regime confiscated the zipper business. The family, virtually penniless, escaped Cuba to the United States, looking for work to make ends meet. In 1966, they pooled all of their savings and Mariita, her husband Saul and her parents opened a zipper factory in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami. That small local business, Scott Notions, eventually grew to become a leading supplier of zippers for that most-American-brand-of-all: Levi Strauss.
Mariita worked long hours, often seven days a week, to build her business so that one day she could send her three children – Howard ’82, Scott ’83 and Eliza ’87 – to Ransom Everglades. Through her actions and personal sacrifice, she taught her children the value of education.
As a Founding Mentor of Women of Tomorrow, she also sought to instill in her children the importance of helping others and empowering young women to reach for the stars. Reflecting on their mother’s unwavering commitment to education and community service, the Srebnick children chose to honor her by endowing a full scholarship at Ransom Everglades – the Mariita Srebnick Scholarship – which supports the education of a deserving female upper school student.
“Until we became parents ourselves, we never fully appreciated how difficult it was for our mother, seemingly without effort and always with a positive attitude, to balance work, family and community service,” the children said jointly.
“We can’t think of a better way to honor this remarkable woman than to provide an opportunity for a young promising student to benefit from a Ransom Everglades education.”
– Srebnick siblings
Ransom Everglades provides more than $6 million each year for student financial support, yet less than 10 percent of those funds comes from permanently endowed scholarships. The Mariita Srebnick Scholarship helps build the school’s capacity to ensure that all promising students have access to an RE education regardless of financial circumstances. It is a great honor for RE to carry Mariita Srebnick’s name into the future, thanks to the Srebnick family’s generous support.