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Awards & Grants...

The goal of the new global Soroptimist Program, Dream It, Be It Career Support for Girls is that through education and access to role models, girls will be empowered to pursue their career goals and reach their full potential.

Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls will help girls grow up to be strong, successful, happy adults. Dream It, Be It targets girls in secondary school who face obstacles to their future success. It provides girls with access to professional role models, career education and the resources to live their dreams. Soroptimist clubs will work in partnership with girls in small groups or a conference setting to provide them with the information and resources they want and need to be successful. The topics covered include career opportunities, setting and achieving goals, overcoming obstacles to success and how to move forward after setbacks or failures.

The Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards (formerly the Women’s Opportunity Awards) assists women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families, the opportunity to achieve their career goals by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.
In addition to providing the primary financial support for their families, eligible applicants must be enrolled in, or have been accepted to, a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program and must demonstrate financial need.

Each year, more than $1.6 million in education grants are awarded by SIA to more than 1,200 women, many of whom have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, domestic violence and/or drug and alcohol abuse. 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.

In addition to providing the primary financial support for their families, eligible applicants must be enrolled in, or have been accepted to, a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program and must demonstrate financial need. Also, please note only residents of Soroptimist International of the Americas member countries and territories are eligible to apply for the educational grants.

Since the Live Your Dream Awards program began in 1972, about $30 million in education grants have been disbursed to assist tens of thousands of women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. In 2007, the program received the Associations Advance America Summit AwardASAE & The Center for Association Leadership's highest level of recognition.

The Live Your Dream Awards involves three levels of cash awards. The program begins at the local Soroptimist club-level, where award amounts vary. Our Willimantic club awards a first place winner a cash award of $1,000. Local-level award recipients become eligible for region-level awards of either $3,000 or $5,000. Region-level award recipients then become eligible to receive one of three international-level awards of $10,000.

Please participate (yourself or by recruiting a woman who is eligible) in this year's program. Completed applications (including eligibility form and two letters of recommendation) are due by January 30, 2017. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

To receive an application by mail, please email us. To download an application, please click here. You will also need to download the reference form that needs to be completed. Both forms are in PDF format.

The Soroptimist Volunteer for Girls Award recognizes young women who make the community and world a better place through volunteer efforts such as: fighting drugs, crime and violence; cleaning up the environment; and working to end discrimination and poverty. Volunteer actions that benefit women or girls are of particular interest. The program honors young women between the ages of 14 and 17 whose volunteer efforts make their community and world a better place. Soroptimist International of Willimantic awards a $250 cash award to one young woman and another $250 award going to the charity of her choice.

Completed applications and any supporting materials must be received by our club by February 15, 2017. Applications received after the deadline of February 15th will not be considered. Applications submitted directly to Soroptimist Headquarters will also not be considered. To obtain an application via mail, please contact us. To download an application, please click here. The application is in PDF format.


Soroptimist Women Helping Women
The Soroptimist Women Helping Women Award honors women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional and/or volunteer work. The work of these women helps to promote the issues that are important to the Soroptimist organization. Honorees are ordinary women who have worked in extraordinary ways to benefit women and girls. Examples of the type of work honored include: spearheading an effort to open a domestic violence shelter, starting a mentoring program for at-risk girls, or lobbying companies to provide on-site child care. The program enables our local Soroptimist club to thank these women and encourage others to explore ways to assist women and girls. The award winner from our club receives a $250.00 donation to the charity of her choice.

To download the nomination form, please click here. As with all the other forms on our website, this form is in PDF format.

The Marion Schultheiss Advancing Women Grant...No longer available
In 2000, the grant was initially named "Advancing Women Into The New Millenium" and was designed to provide a $2,000 grant to an organization to start or continue a project in our local community that benefits women. In honor of one of our members, Marion Schultheiss, who passed away, the grant was renamed The Marion Schultheiss Advancing Women Grant in 2002. The picture at right is Marion Schultheiss (center) with her daughters, Lynn (left) and Brook (right).

From 2000 to 2012 a $2,000 grant was awarded to a community project that helped to improved the lives of women and children by improving their social/economic status and opportunity or quality of life.

Please note that this award ended in 2012 and is no longer available.


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