Women's Opportunity Awards

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This is the first year Soroptimists have awarded two grants. Our first place winner, Renee Hull,  received a $1500 grant.  Renee is enrolled in a cosmetology apprenticeship program while working full time as a nail technician.  She is married to her high school sweetheart who became disabled and had to resign from his job.  Renee is now the family’s sole breadwinner.  Carrie Frank, President noted how “much courage and grace Renee showed in her application and how optimistic she was that with hard work, perserverence and faith her family would get through a very trying time.”

Renee’s grant application was forwarded to Soroptimist’s South Atlantic Region where she came in fourth for an additional grant of $1,000.  Renee and a guest will be honored at the South Atlantic Region’s annual conference in Virginia Beach.

Our second place winner for a $1000 grant was Claire Hallowell, a young single mother of 3 toddler girls.  Claire is enrolled in EPCI College of Technology studying for an associates degree to  become a medical assistant.   The completion of her program will enable her to obtain a better paying full time job with a schedule that will allow her more time with her daughters.

The Women’s Opportunity Award provides cash grants for head-of-household women seeking to improve their lives with the help of additional education and training.  The program provides cash grants to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education and additional skills training.  The ultimate goal of the program is to help women improve their economic status by preparing them to enter or re-enter the workplace.  Unlike other award programs, the Women’s Opportunity Award can be used for books, child care, transportation or any other expense that will help a woman reach her educational goal. 

Soroptimist International is a non-profit organization of business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls.