The Live Your Dream Award,Soroptimist's major service project, was established by Soroptimist International of the Americas in 1972 to assist women entering or re-entering the workforce in obtaining the education and skills training they need to improve their employment status. Women's Opportunity Awards are designed to give women heads of household, who provide the primary source of financial support for their families, the opportunity to achieve their career goals—an opportunity they have not previously had, whether because of economic or social barriers, or personal circumstances. These awards are for women who are attending, or have been accepted to, a vocational/skills training program, or an undergraduate degree program.
The program begins on the club level, where award amounts vary. Club-level recipients become eligible for additional awards at other levels of the organization. In addition, Soroptimist grants three $10,000 finalist awards each year. Since the program’s inception, Soroptimist has funded almost $5.5 million in Women’s Opportunity Awards and assisted about 1,640 women. In total (including local club activity), approximately $15 million in Women’s Opportunity Awards has been disbursed to about 22,500 women since the program began in 1972.
Our club’s participation in the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards is a terrific way to make a BIG difference in the lives of women—and their families. Although the awards address economic need and make a difference in a practical way, we know they also affect women in a personal way. Women who have received the award report an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem, and pride for being recognized for having the courage to change their lives.
Each year, more than $1.6 million in education grants are awarded to more than 1,200 women, many of whom have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, domestic violence, and/or drug and alcohol abuse.