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Soroptimist award facilitates ‘Dream’ work

0n Feb. 25, the Soroptimist International of La Mesa presented $5,500 in Soroptimist Education and Training Awards to four local women to help improve their ability to reach their educational goals. Over half of Live Your Dream Awards recipients are survivors of domestic violence, trafficking or sexual assault. Nearly all the women and families served have over¬come enormous obstacles including poverty, teen pregnancy, and drug or alcohol addiction. The recipients include:

Hazeina Ali – Ali was born and raised in Northern Iraq and lived in a small village with her family and walked to another village in order to attend school. She hoped to pursue higher education after moving to the United States but ultimately moved back to Iraq. Ali eventually returned to the US with her two children. She is attending Cuyamaca College and plans to achieve her A.S. degree in Child development.

Griselda (last name and photo withheld for privacy) – Griselda moved to the U.S. at age 15 and began her education at Hoover High School but was unable to complete her schooling due to childcare needs. She earned her GED and received her A.A. in Spanish from San Diego City College and is pursuing her B.A. in Spanish at SDSU while working full time. Her goal is to become an interpreter for the Superior Court.

Elizabeth Ortega – Elizabeth is a mother of six and the first in her family to attend college. She has persevered through su-stance addiction which has led her to become a Social Worker. She holds an A.A. in Social Work and Human Arts and is completing her B.A. in Social Work at SDSU. She plans to pursue a graduate education and become a Medical Social Worker. Reyes is active in the Mothers and MothersScholars (MAMS and Rising Scholars.

Meschelle Reyes – Reyes is a mother of four and a survivor of domestic abuse who is currently pursuing an AA in Social Work from Cuyamaca College. Her goal is to transfer to SDSU for her bachelor’s degree. She is passionate about working to help children.

The Live Your Dream Award provides women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families with the financial resources to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. The award can be used for tuition, books, childcare, carfare or any other education-related expense.

Soroptimist distributes more than $2.9 million in education awards to over 2,000 women all over the world each year.

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