In 1921, a group of women joined an organization in Oakland, California, called Soroptimist to work toward strengthening their community. At the time, women weren’t permitted to join the all-male community groups. Since then, the organization has grown to about 1,300 clubs in 21 countries and territories throughout the world.
Women and girls face tremendous challenges, solely because of their gender. And they suffer disproportionately from poverty, racism, sexual assault, domestic violence, and sex trafficking. With its long history of working with women and girls, Soroptimist knows that helping them get education, skills and training is a powerful strategy toward achieving economic empowerment. When women and girls are educated, they have opportunity, choice and power to make healthy decisions for themselves and their families.
Soroptimist’s Dream Programs provide the access to that necessary education and training:
- The Live Your Dream Awards® provide cash grants for women who are pursuing a degree or enrolled in a technical training program. The women, who provide the primary financial support for their families, may use the funds in any way that helps them achieve their educational goals—whether it’s to pay for tuition or rent or childcare. Each year approximately 1,800 women receive almost $3 million in cash grants. Since 1972, the program has helped more than 33,000 women and their families gain financial independence.
- Soroptimist’s Dream It, Be It® program prepares girls in secondary school for future career success by providing them with guidance, training and resources. to make good decisions. More than 73,000 girls have gone through the program since it launched in 2015.
This year, the global organization is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Soroptimist will host a dynamic two-day virtual event on Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26, to celebrate its bright past and brilliant future, while uniting Soroptimists and their friends from around the globe. All are welcome to register for the event and join the fun!
While a lot has changed for women and girls in 100 years, the road to equality continues to be difficult. Thousands of women and girls around the world continue to face obstacles to their education. But Soroptimist believes in dreaming big. The organization has set forth an audacious goal to invest in the dreams of half a million women and girls through our Dream Programs over the next 10 years! That’s four times the number of women and girls Soroptimist currently reaches. Realizing half a million big dreams will have an incredible impact on women, their families, their communities, and the world.
There are several ways to join Soroptimist’s global movement to invest in the dreams of women and girls.
- Join a volunteer club. Volunteers are the heartbeat of Soroptimist. Our volunteers serve as global AND community leaders.
- Follow Soroptimist on social media. Find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
- Make a donation. No donation is too small. Your gift reaches women and girls facing extreme obstacles such as violence, poverty, and teen pregnancy, by helping them achieve their educational goals. You can become a Soroptimist Stargazer by making monthly donations. These could mean covering a student loan bill or sponsoring multiple education grants for women in need. Join more than 775 Stargazers investing in dreams today. You can host a birthday fundraiser on Facebook. Instead of gifts, ask for donations, and your birthday becomes a selfless reminder to make the world a little brighter.
- Partner with Soroptimist. When your business partners with Soroptimist, you will join a global movement to empower women and girls through access to education. Your partnership will directly support our advocacy, action, and awareness campaigns by spreading the word or through cause-related marketing. Together we can help every woman and girl reach her full potential.
- Take action with Soroptimist. You don’t have to belong to a Soroptimist club to take action with us. Advocate for women’s rights, become a program ambassador or sponsor a featured campaign via our online action network.
- Shop AmazonSmile. Make Soroptimist your charity of choice when shopping on AmazonSmile. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products.
- Other ways to give include employer matching gifts and memorial and tribute gifts.Soro