Soroptimists help eight determined women achieve lifelong dreams
LAS CRUCES — Eight determined women from New Mexico and Far West Texas have come one step closer to achieving lifelong dreams with the Soroptimist International Las Cruces Live Your Dream Awards.
Cash grant recipients ranging from $500 to $2,000 include a nursing student whose long-term goal is to pursue medical school and then use her skills to improve healthcare for the nation Navajo; an Afghan immigrant who, in five years, learned English, completed nursing school requirements and enrolled in a nursing program; a dental assistant pursuing her ambition to become a dental hygienist; and an artist pursuing her dream of becoming a designer.
All women provide primary financial support for dependents, parents and/or children. All have overcome significant personal obstacles, including civil unrest, domestic violence, illness or poverty.
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“While the primary focus of our program has been Las Cruces and Doña Ana County, we are thrilled this year to be able to support such deserving women from a wider geographic area,” said Esther Devall, President of SI -Las Cruces, in a statement. leaving the organization. “Soroptimist’s mission is to provide women and girls with access to the education they need to achieve economic empowerment. Helping a woman anywhere succeed is helping women everywhere. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the LYDA program, so we are thrilled to be able to celebrate this milestone by adding three grants and doubling the amount of funding.
In addition to a cash grant, each winner received a laptop computer from Doña Ana County Commissioner Shannon Reynolds and his wife, Maggie Reynolds.
“I feel blessed to be in a position where we can show these women that they matter and can achieve their dreams,” said Maggie Reynolds. “Acknowledging their struggles and helping them in some way through those same tough decisions I had to make when I was in school is such a blessing and reward for me.”
Bursaries provide women who are the main earners of their families with funds to offset the costs of obtaining a post-secondary education or training, including expenses that most bursaries do not cover. The program’s goal is to help women who have faced economic and personal hardship to live their dreams and build a better life for themselves and their dependents, the statement said. The winners were chosen by four community judges, based on their determination, resilience and ability to work towards goals. Soroptimist International of Las Cruces is the only Soroptimist chapter in New Mexico and also serves the El Paso area as no clubs exist there.
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This year’s cash prizes were made possible by generous grants from the Southern New Mexico Community Foundation Wellness Fund, the Nusena Community Awards Program, and the John and Eunice Davidson Fund.
Founded in 1970, Soroptimist International of Las Cruces is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, a global voluntary organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls through community programs leading to economic empowerment. Soroptimist is a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs. To learn more about the Soroptimist or to donate, go to www.silcnm.org.