Four women earn Soroptimist cash awards
May 09, 2023
(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis awarded $12,000 in grants this spring through its signature Live Your Dream program, which offers cash and mentorship to women seeking education and training.
Women are encouraged each year to apply for the awards if they are the primary wage earners for their families, and need financial assistance to further their education or training. Recipients often persevere through hardships or challenging circumstances.
This year, SI Davis gave a boost to four women, with cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. These unrestricted grants may be used to offset costs that a scholarship would not cover, such as child care, transportation or other financial obligations that hinder a woman’s ability to reach her goals. Soroptimist International of Davis members remain in contact with the recipients, offering them mentorship and support.
The club’s top 2023 awardee is Shatovia Ivory, 32, a Davis mom of three studying at Sierra College to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. While pregnant, Ivory lost the father of her twins in a still-unsolved homicide. Postpartum, she battled physical complications and mental health challenges. With remarkable tenacity, she focused on her education and her children, including homeschooling her school-age daughter. Soroptimist International of Davis members offered her support and an award of $5,000, and her application was selected for another $3,000 award at the Sierra Nevada Region level.
Another local Live Your Dream winner is Megan McGinty, 28, of Sacramento, who is studying chemistry at UC Davis. Depression, substance use, financial stresses and addiction nearly ended her life. But when she delivered her first son after a year and a half of sobriety, she began to remake her life. She earned her GED at 21, and was admitted to UCD as a transfer student at 26. To improve the birth experience for other women, she volunteers, assisting midwives to “help this community shift from fear-driven mentalities to being more confident and trusting in themselves.” She wants to be “a pillar of trust and light in this world.” Local Soroptimist members see this light shining brightly, and have offered their support and mentorship, along with $3,000, to help her achieve this dream.
SI Davis gave Live Your Dream Awards to two other deserving women, in the amounts of $3,000 and $1,000. Due to privacy concerns, their names are being withheld. The third recipient is a 33-year-old mom of two who is studying to be a registered nurse. The fourth recipient, 32, is a caretaker for her partner and three children, and studying to be a medical assistant.
The Live Your Dream Award provides more than $2.8 million in cash grants to head-of-household women in need each year. Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than $35 million has helped tens of thousands of women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families.
A study conducted by The Fels Institute of Government, a research and consulting organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed the efficacy and impact of this program. It improves the recipients’ quality of life; builds their confidence; strengthens their self-determination and makes them want to, in turn, help others. Helping women in this way has the demonstrated effect of leading to stronger communities, nations, and the world.
Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. It was founded in Oakland in 1921. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in 1954. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.
In addition to the Live Your Dream Award, Soroptimist International of Davis provides local girls with tools to achieve their education and career goals through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program at King High School. It also funds high school scholarships, annual grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission, and anti-trafficking efforts.
Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.