Soroptimist International of Oakdale recently awarded four Live Your Dream Awards totaling $8,500. The first-place award of $2,500 was presented to a single mother who is currently attending California State University, Stanislaus pursuing a degree in early childhood development. In addition to the first-place award at the club level, she will advance to the Soroptimist Sierra Pacific Region level where recipients can receive up to an additional $5,000. In addition to the first-place award, three awards of $2,000 each were presented to single mothers who are attending college to pursue careers in education, accounting, and psychology.
The Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards program is a unique education award for women who provide the primary financial support for their families. These cash grant awards give women the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects. Recipients may use their cash awards to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education such as books, childcare, tuition and transportation.
Over half of Live Your Dream Awards recipients are survivors of domestic violence, trafficking or sexual assault. Nearly all of the women and families served have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, teen pregnancy, and drug or alcohol addiction. Every year, the Live Your Dream Award program provides over $2.8 million in cash grants to about 1,700 head-of-household women in need. Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than $30 million has helped tens of thousands of women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families.
A study conducted by The Fels Institute of Government, a research and consulting organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed the efficacy and impact of this program. It improves the recipients’ quality of life, builds their confidence, strengthens their self-determination and makes them want to, in turn, help others. Helping women in this way has the demonstrated effect of leading to stronger communities, nations and the world.
Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Soroptimist International strives to be a global voice for women through awareness, advocacy, and action with almost 95,000 members in nearly 120 countries. The organization which was founded in 1921 in Oakland, California, is committed to serving local, national and international communities, and participates in decision-making at all levels of society.
The word Soroptimist is coined from the Latin words soror and optima, and loosely translates as “best for women.” For more information about Soroptimist International of Oakdale, visit www.oakdalesoroptimist.org or follow them on Facebook at Oakdale Soroptimist.