Live Your Dream Awards |

Live Your Dream Awards

Submitted by Lynn Mehren-Costa

The Soroptimist’s annual “Live Your Dream” awards program is a unique education grant for women who provide the primary financial support for their families. Live Your Dream awards give women the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects. Every year, Soroptimists distribute more than $2.6 million in education grants to about 1,700 women all over the world. Over half of their Live Your Dream Awards recipients are survivors of domestic violence, trafficking or sexual assault. Nearly all of the women and families they serve have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, teen pregnancy, and drug or alcohol addiction. Live Your Dream Awards recipients may use the cash award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, such as books, childcare, tuition and transportation.

Mary Sivila, chair of the Live Your Dream Committee for Soroptimist International of Grass Valley, awarded funds to Kara Brewer and Samantha Alford. The two recipients were presented with cash and a certificate at Soroptimist International Grass Valley’s annual Live Your Dream awards dinner on February 20. Both shared their stories of overcoming childhood adversities, parental neglect and recurring drug abuse an on to their hard work in recovery programs and local education opportunities — all the while raising a family as single mothers. Brewer has just finished her bachelor courses at Sierra College and is applying at several nursing schools. Alford is just starting out, with her sights also on a nursing career. Members said they felt very strongly that these two women epitomized what it means to be a “success story” and were thrilled to present these women with some much needed funding to continue their education. They both are now eligible for further grants, as they move onto the regional and state levels of this Soroptimist program.

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