The Blythe chapter of Soroptimist International has announced the return of the service organization’s “Live Your Dream” award, with the program’s application period open the month of October to eligible residents.
Notably, the worldwide organization of Soroptimist International is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year; the Blythe chapter is celebrating its 72nd.
“We have our Dream programs, so the centennial is focusing on those programs. We have our ‘Live Your Dream’ program, which is a grant program that goes to women who are trying to access education. And we do participate in that, locally – we actually participate in all of the Dream programs locally; but the ‘Live Your Dream’ is actually going on right now. And we are encouraging people to apply for the grant monies that we have locally,” shared Blythe chapter Soroptimist International Treasurer Amy Daniel. “And then we also have the ‘Dream It, Be It’ program; we sponsor and mentor young women – and that’s usually around the middle school and high school age. It’s like a mentorship program.”
For the organization’s centennial, the campaign’s call is to “Dream Big” with a goal of raising approximately $15 million to help 500,000 women worldwide.
“We’re canvassing for applications for (the ‘Live Your Dream’) program throughout the month of October. And then we select; what we usually do is – depending on how many applications we get – they go through like an interview process. And then we award the monies based on the interview process.”
To apply for the “Live Your Dream” award, and for more information, visit the Soroptimist’s online at: soroptimist.org/our-work/live-your-dream-awards
Blythe’s Soroptimist underline locals should make sure to specify the Blythe club in the application process.
“Over half of our Live Your Dream Awards recipients are survivors of domestic violence, trafficking or sexual assault. Nearly all of the women and families we 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,” states Soroptimist International. “Since 1972, we’ve distributed more than $30 million in education awards to 30,000 women making a better life for themselves and their families.”
Further, Soroptimist International notes 86% of “Live Your Dream” award recipients have completed their education and improved their standard of living and 93% improved their self-esteem.
“What we’re specifically looking for is somebody who’s going back to school, and there would have to be some dependents. So, anybody that’s returning to school and then they have to have dependents,” noted Daniel in regards to the candidates the local chapter is looking for.
In addition to the Dream programs, the local Soroptimist have long championed area academics and students through scholarships and access to education causes.
“We’ve been doing it locally for quite some time. Our local club is almost as old as the organization itself, you know. So it’s pretty amazing. We’ve been participating in the scholarship program probably a good 50 years,” said Daniel.
Currently, the Blythe Soroptimist are also looking for new membership – specifically folks who want to invest in the local community, want to volunteer, mentor the youth, support area education, and want to give back.
“We’re definitely wanting anybody that’s looking to volunteer in the community – we’re looking for you, also,” noted Daniel. “Anybody that is potentially interested in volunteering, we’d love to have them join us at one of our meetings; we meet the first three Tuesdays of the month at Steaks’ N Cakes (1871 E. Hobsonway) at 5:30 (p.m.)”
As part of the Soroptimist centennial, the local club will be working with an area service organization nonprofit to put bags together for domestic violence victims.
“We’re also going to be showcasing and highlighting 100 women who have helped our community locally. That’ll be a kind of social media campaign that we’ll be working on,” noted Daniel.