Soroptimist International of the Sierra Foothills offers award for female breadwinner seeking higher education or training
Ladies, are you ready to Live Your Dream? Soroptimist International of the Sierra Foothills (SISF) is currently accepting applications for the international Live Your Dream Award, a scholarship of up to $4,000 for women seeking to further their education. The funds can be used to help pay for tuition, books, transportation, and childcare, and is awarded to women who are the primary financial support for their family while working towards a college degree or gaining skills through a specialized training program.
Most of the women have overcome many obstacles in their lives such as domestic violence, substance abuse, poverty, death of a spouse or other seemingly insurmountable odds. Last year, two deserving winners received $2,000 each, and this year it could be you!
Each year since 1972, Soroptimist International gives $1.7 million to more than 1,300 women throughout the world through the Live Your Dream program, and each chapter has the opportunity to be engaged if they so choose. Our local SISF chapter offers the Live Your Dream scholarship each year, and raises money for it through their two annual fundraisers: the spring Garden Tour, which takes place the weekend before Memorial Day each May, and their annual Vintage and Yard Sale, taking place this year from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 6, in the TriCounties Bank parking lot on Sutton Way in Grass Valley.
SISF chooses to participate in this powerful program because the effects on the lives of the recipients are long lasting. 90% of Live Your Dream award recipients secure higher paying employment, 85% enjoy an increased standard of living, over 95% report and increase in self-esteem, and 90% now serve as a positive role model for their children and other struggling women. Many of the women who receive the award
also go on to pay it forward by entering helping professions and serving as mentors to others.
Margie Carr, the media chair for SISF, stresses that, “While college is an important path for many people, vocational skills training is just as crucial for a functioning society.” This can include mechanical, welding, dental assistant, firefighting, medical assistant, x-ray tech, beauty school, and other types of trainings for specific professions that pay well and contribute necessary skills in our communities. Women can have versatile roles in our society and are now more than ever exploring career options that have traditionally been considered “male” occupations. Soroptimists know that women can be ANYTHING that they want to be, and are not limited to traditional roles in the workplace. The group encourages all women to take their own path, no matter where their educational goals take them.
If you are the lucky winner of the SISF award, you have the opportunity to have that increased through Soroptimist International. The Live Your Dream awardee at the local level moves on to the regional level, for which the award is an additional $3,000-5,000 and those recipients then move to the international level with an award of an additional $10,000.
“There are so many deserving women in our community who can benefit from this award,” said Carr, who hopes to receive several applications this year. “Our organization would like to help them all. If you need assistance filling out the application, we will be happy to help you with that.”
To apply for the Live Your Dream award, a woman must be enrolled or have been accepted to a vocational skills training or undergrad study program in any university or junior college, and also has to demonstrate financial need. An application can be found on the SISF website at sierrasoroptimist.org, and must be completed by November 1 to be considered. For questions or help with the application please contact Lynn McDaniel at 530-798-9994.
Soroptimist International of the Sierra Foothills is a volunteer service organization for women in business, management and the professions. Their mission is to improve the lives of women and children through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.
SISF is part of Soroptimist International, comprising almost 100,000 members in about 124 countries around the world. The first Soroptimist club was formed in 1921 by a group of 80 women in Oakland, California. They chose their name from two Latin words meaning “best for women.”
Membership provides an enriching environment for women to develop friendships and to support each other, while experiencing the satisfaction of their collective efforts to improve communities. These women, who represent leaders across all professional disciplines, also serve as role models for younger women at the beginning of their careers.
To learn more, or to apply for the Live Your Dream Award, visit sierrasoroptimist.org.
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