Photo gallery (above) of Soroptimists Honoring STEPS Participants and Creator During 2015 and 2014 banquets.
Soroptimists' STEPS is Flush With Success
As Soroptimist International of Vacaville launches Year 3 of STEPS – Soroptimist Teaching and Empowering for Personal Success – it is flush with success of its own.
The program has been awarded yet another grant, this one for $3,000 from Soroptimist International of the Americas, bringing to $11,000 the total of grants the program has received since its creation in 2012.
The program, which serves at-risk teen girls at Country High School in Vacaville involves members of the local organization participating in workshops twice a month with the girls. Lunch is provided at every meeting, and some field trips are planned as well.
STEPS was created by current President Desiree Ramos and is supported by the club at large. Women volunteer their time to present workshops, bring lunch and mentor the girls. Sessions are focused on life skills.
Desiree was just a teenager when her mother, Mary Francis Godchaux, managed the Independent Living Program for Solano County. But the impact of providing life skills to at-risk youth provided by the program made a life-long impression. Thirty years later, she heard the challenge: “How can we continue to Shine the Light on Soroptimism by improving the lives of girls and women in our community?” Tinder dusted off those memories and, working with her Soroptimist sisters, introduced STEPS, modeled after her mother’s Independent Living Program.
STEPS kicked off on Jan. 9, 2013, with 14 girls. An almost equal number of Soroptimists were on hand to welcome the students and help serve the lunch. The program has since grown to nearly 30 girls. Enthusiasm within Soroptimists for STEPS has been high from the start. The enthusiasm quickly spread to the community, through Country High School administration and among the students involved. “STEPS perfectly reflects our parent organization’s “Dream It – Be It” career support program for girls,” says Joy Swank, past president and author of all three grant proposals.
Since the program began, two cash awards and a scholarship have been awarded to STEPS participants, said Swank. The Joanna Hunter Scholarship was created to honor the memory of Soroptimist member Patricia Hunter’s daughter, and this year was $4,000.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6054, Vacaville, CA 95696-6054 Phone: (707) 474-8863 Club Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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