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Local Soroptimist chapter gives out awards and scholarships


NORTH VALLEY – The Soroptimist International Saguaro Foothills club recently awarded multiple women with scholarships and other awards in honor of their hard work and community contributions.

The local Soroptimist chapter presented awards at a Feb. 20 ceremony at the Holland Center. Awards included the Live Your Dream Scholarships, Violet Richardson Awards, and Ruby Awards.

The Live Your Dream scholarship was established in 1972 and is available to women who are head of household, demonstrate financial need, and are motivated to achieve their education and career goals.  Livia McEachern from north Phoenix is the 2017 winner and was awarded a $2,500 scholarship. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in nursing at Northern AZ University with a goal of specializing in cancer care. She is the mother of two children and is in her final year of nursing school.

Lydia Negron from west Phoenix is first runner up and was awarded a $1,500 scholarship. She is a full-time student currently enrolled in the Music Therapy program at ASU, in addition to working full time to support her four children.

Joy McDaniel from Avondale has been chosen for second runner up. McDaniel is a single mother of four, pursuing an Associates degree from Phoenix College. Her goal is to transfer to a university program and become a child psychologist. She was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

The Violet Richardson Award recognizes young women who make their community and world a better place through their volunteer efforts. This program honors girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who contribute their time and energy to volunteer projects in their school and community. This award is named after Violet Richardson, the first president of the first Soroptimist club, in 1921. Award recipients this year are Hannah Martin, with her volunteer focus at Martin Miracles, and Mikaela Morris, who volunteers her time with Veterans Heritage Project.

The Soroptimist Ruby Award honors women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their profession and/or volunteer work. The Ruby Award was given to Gail Coronato, AZ Helping Hand;, Robin Ray, Art Ambassador; and Katie Smetana, YMCA Programs.

Soroptimist International is a global women’s organization working together to transform the lives of women and girls. Members work at the local, national, and international level to improve lives through education, leading to social and economic empowerment. Saguaro Foothills club members recently assisted teen girls at local shelter Streetlight USA in constructing "’Dream Boards’ as part of the ‘Dream It Be It’ program which helps mentor young girls to visualize a happy, healthy, and successful future.

Soroptimist ‘Saturday of Service’ will be held March 4 at the Foothills Food Bank.