On Saturday, March 23, 2019, the Soroptimist International of Vista & North County Inland held their Annual Awards Gala at the Optimist Club of Vista, celebrating the Live Your Dream Education & Training Awards for Women. The program started with a Welcome Reception and Silent Auction featuring a No-Host Bar and Appetizers.
The guests then continued into the Dining room for an introduction from SI Vista/NCI President Assly Sayyar. Special Guest Speaker, Vista City Councilmember Joe Green spoke and shared his life being raised by a strong single mother. He knows how important it is to support women who are struggling to raise families alone. Joe is a business owner and long-time Vista resident who was elected to Vista’s City Council in 2016. Joe and his wife Jennifer have been married for over 20 years and are proud parents of four children. He is a project of the Vista Unified School District and has been active in the local PTA for over a decade. Joe is always available and willing to speak to any citizens of Vista He says, “The best way to make progress within our city is to have an open form of communication with all citizens.”
The 2019 Live Your Dream Awards were then presented by Paula Nix and Aleta Dirdo to three women:
Jessica is pursuing a BA in Criminal Justice at Cal State San Marcos, while supporting three children with scant financial help from her ex-husband, whom she divorced after he succumbed to alcohol and substance abuse. After being in “survival mode” following her divorce, Jessica picked herself up and enrolled in classes, and is now pursuing a career in legal work, having already earned her Paralegal Certificate (and made the Dean’s List). Her long-term goal is to become a lawyer. “There is nothing that I want more than to be able to succeed, stabilize a good career with benefits, and provide a better life for my children. I want to be a positive role model and someone that they admire,” she said.
Rosalie escaped from a domestic violence situation and is now working part-time and residing with her four young daughters at Solutions for Change homeless shelter. The Solutions program has given her the opportunity to enter a 2-year nursing program at Palomar College, with the goal of eventually becoming an RN. “I am showing my girls that no matter what happens in life, to never give up on your dream and to keep going,” said Rosalie.
Cinthia is a single mother of two young children who is studying Marketing at Palomar Collage after escaping an abusive husband. “Since I was young, I have loved everything related to business, art, and technology,” said Cinthia. Her plan is to earn a Certificate in Social Media, Entrepreneurship, and E-Marketing at Palomar College and then transfer to Cal State San Marcos for a BA in Graphic Design, then eventually a Masters in Business Marketing. She would like to become an e-commerce entrepreneur. Her natural aptitude for graphic design and computer software has allowed her to earn money as a freelance graphic designer, but the Live Your Dream cash award will help pay her books, tuition, transportation, bills, and most importantly, allow her to focus more on her studies. “I am setting an example for my kids of good values, attitudes, and behaviors, and I see these reflected in the way they behave in school, their relationships, how they make difficult decisions, and when talking in therapy about their dad who abused us,” she said, proudly. “I’m showing my kids how to work wisely, and despite struggles and ups and downs, to just keep on going to achieve their goals.”
A Proclamation by Vista Mayor Judy Ritter was given to each award winner and Certificates by California State Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath were presented also. Jessica, Rosalie and Cinthia all overcame huge obstacles and adversities to survive and to empower themselves into successful futures such as Nursing, a Masters Degree in Business Marketing and a Degree in Criminal Justice, all the while raising their children. Each award winner received a $5,000 Education Grant, a lap top computer with case and a printer to help them with their future studies and achievements.
Thank you to the Award Gala Sponsors, Table Sponsors and Donors. The Soroptimists International of Vista and North County Inland are celebrating 66 Years of Service from 1953 to 2019.
SAVE THE DATES:
Soroptimist Salad Bar Luncheon Fundraiser, Thursday, April 11, 2019 11:30am to 1:30pm
Grace Presbyterian church, 1450 E. Vista Way, $15 in Advance – Tickets on Sale NOW!
Soroptimist Casino Night Fundraiser, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, 6pm to 10pm, vista Optimist Club, 600 Optimist Way, Vista.
Our Mission Statement:
Working in 21 countries and territories, Soroptimist economically empowers women and girls who have been disadvantaged by poverty, violence, homelessness, addiction, teen poverty or other circumstances. Through our Dream Programs, Soroptimist provides these women and girls with access to the education and skills training they need to reach their full potential and live their dreams.
Soroptimist International of Vista and North County Inland was charted on March 23, 1953. Our members make a difference in our community through our annual Live Your Dream Program (educational awards to qualifying women), Our “Dream It Be It” mentoring sessions for teenage girls, and our efforts to raise awareness about issues affecting women and girls, such as domestic violence, homelessness and human trafficking.
Funds are raised through our annual Salad Luncheon for the public, Casino Night, Scrip, and other club and personal fundraising projects.