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Davis Soroptimists give moms a boost

On June 5, Soroptimists Meredith Sweet, left, and Eda Chen present Terecita Lopez with a $2,500 grant to help her finish her training to become a licensed vocational nurse. Three other women received grants as well.
Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo

Soroptimist International of Davis gave a boost to four local moms on June 5, when it presented $5,000 in Live Your Dream Awards.

(From Press Release)

At a luncheon at Odd Fellows Hall, the service organization presented a $2,500 grant to Terecita Lopez, a $1,000 grant to Brenee Spears, and $500 grants to Samantha Morales and Ngozi Nwoko.

The Live Your Dream Award is a cash grant given to women who are financial heads of their household and pursuing an undergraduate degree or vocational training. The award is a resource for motivated women to improve their education, skills and employment prospects, leading to better lives for themselves and their family.

Lopez, a certified nursing assistant, is attending professional school to become a licensed vocational nurse, while raising her 6-year-old daughter by herself. After the LVN program, she plans to pursue a license to become a registered nurse. Spears attends Woodland Community College and aspires to become a stationary engineer. Previously homeless, she wants a better life for herself and her 3-year-old son.

Morales is attending UC Davis and has a 1-year-old daughter. She is studying animal science and working toward professional certification training. Nwoko also attends UC Davis, studying engineering, and supports an 8-year-old son. She wants to become a civil engineer and bring clean drinking water to poor villages around the world.

In her application, Lopez wrote, “My goal has always been to become a nurse but due to being the head of the household, it was difficult to pursue it full-time until now. I decided to just go for it and, even though I have encountered struggles, I know it will all be worth it at the end. I want my daughter to have an example to follow and know that you can continue your education at any age.”

Since 1972, the Live Your Dream Award has distributed more than $30 million to 30,000 women worldwide. The program begins at the local club level, where award amounts vary. Local recipients are eligible for regional cash awards, and those winners compete for international awards of up to $25,000.

Soroptimist International is a global service organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls, through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. SI Davis raises money to support its core values of gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship. Projects include mentoring girls at King High, helping single moms gain professional training, and working to end sex trafficking.

SI Davis formed on May 1, 1954. For more than 20 years, its major fundraiser has been selling beer and wine on Wednesday evenings at the Davis Farmers Market. It has more than 50 members who meet downtown at lunchtime on most Wednesdays, and one Tuesday evening a month for a social. For more information on the club, visit or like its Facebook or Instagram pages: @SoroptimistDavis.



Kudos to Soroptimist International of Davis for the dream awards to motivate women in improving their education. Women are the backbone of success and development in the society and they need support in order to fulfill their dreams.

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