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Today’s meeting celebrated our young ladies from our schools and women who are working to enhance their lives and the lives of their family and to those who give to our community. We have three awards that we recognize these individuals through:  Our newly formed G.I.V.E. award. The GIVE award stands for Girls Into Volunteer Experiences.  This award, created by our club, recognizes young women in grades 8 through 12 who volunteer in their school or community. This award is similar to our previously named Violet Richardson Award.  Violet Richardson, the President of the first Soroptimist club in Alameda County in 1921, believed in personal responsibility and the motto, “It’s what you do that counts.” Violet Richardson lived her life accordingly, as an active member in her community who was committed to creating opportunities for girls and young women. And that’s what each of these young ladies are doing.

Our first GIVE award winner was Bianca Blue – A Club Live leader at South Tahoe Middle School, a volunteer at various sporting and charitable events and most notably at Challenge Day. A young lady most worthy of the award.

Our second GIVE award winner was Kyla Schrauben – An 8th grade student and Granddaughter of Sandy Williams one of our members, Kyla has excelled at many events, including Christmas Cheer, St Theresa’s and our very own Elegant Evening, proving her organizational skills and reliability. When asked why she volunteers so much she replies ‘there is magic in helping others’. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves and are honored to present you with this award.

Our third GIVE award winner was Clarice Ferguson – previously a student with Between Horses and Humans but now a volunteer leader with this wonderful organisation. A 12th grade student Clarice believes that it takes a community to raise successful young people and it is important that we give back. Many congratulations to you Clarice!

The Soroptimist ‘Ruby Award’ was created in honor of the first Soroptimist Federation President, Ruby Lee Minar. The gemstone ruby is associated with wisdom, importance, vitality, strength, power, and love; all words that embody our award recipient today who received $150 and an additional $150 to the organization of her choice, as recognition of her commitment to our community.

The Ruby Award recognizes women who are working to improve the lives of women and girls around the world. Some women work to improve conditions for women and girls through their personal or volunteer efforts; others do so through professional avenues. The Soroptimist Ruby Award, formerly the Soroptimist Making a Difference for Women Award, is designed to honor these women. Although not Soroptimists, their work helps promote the issues that are important to Soroptimists, while offering inspirational stories about how to make a difference in the lives of women. Our selection this year is one we are very excited about. Ms. Amy Jackson is someone we have the privilege of working with through our efforts at Mt. Tallac High school.  An educational leader and youth advocate, Amy is truly there for her students 365, 24/7. Beyond academic support Amy is there for her students in every way possible. From interacting with high risk youth drawn to gangs to a group focused on connecting youth with sports, Amy consistently provides hope, training and support to those that need it the most. We honor you Amy Jackson.

The Live Your Dream Award is an award assists women who provide the primary source of financial support to their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills, and employment opportunities. Each year, more than $1.6 million in education grants have been awarded by Soroptimist internationally to more than 1200 women. Many of these womenhave overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, domestic violence and/or drug and alcohol abuse. Live Your Dream 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. In addition to providing the primary financial support for their families, eligible applicants must be enrolled in, or have been accepted to, a vocational or skill training program or an undergraduate degree program and must demonstrate financial need.The Live Your Dream Award involves 3 levels of cash awards. The program begins at the local club level, here today, where SI of Tahoe Sierra is awarding two recipients with an award of $2,000 each.These women then become eligible for a region-level award that ranges from $3000-$5,000. If honored at the region level, then the recipient becomes eligible to receive one of three international level awards of $10,000. We are so honored to award this year’s Live Your Dream recognition to two women:  Adriana Salas-Rodriguez has overcame huge obstacles to become the main financial provider for her family as well as studying for a Bachelor and Masters Degree. Her desire to be a role model as a mother, wife, student and employee for others and to give back to the community along with a strong work ethic was clearly the reasons she was chosen for this award. Congratulations Adriana! Toni Wesley – Suffering abuse and betrayal throughout her whole life, it was truly inspiring to see what an incredible young woman Toni has become. Full of compassion and driven to succeed she now focuses on how she can help others and is determined and succeeding in being a strong role model. With great admiration we are proud to honor you with this Live Your Dream award.

 

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