Loretta Webb will never forget how an award of cash and other assistance from the Soroptimist International of Ceres impacted her life in a big way. Years ago she was picked as recipient of the Women's Opportunity Award with $1,000, which helped her earn her degree which gave her full-time employment with the city of Ceres.
Now a Water Resource Analyst, Webb is encouraging other women to apply for the program which is now called the "Live Your Dream" Award. The local Soroptimists will be awarding two cash prizes of $1,000 each to two women to help provide support as they seek to improve their lives through education. The due date for applications is Nov. 15.
"I was able to use that money to finish up my education toward tuition," said Webb, who at the time was studying at California State University, Stanislaus. "I think it made a major impact in my life because it enabled me to finish all my education without taking out loans my last year. It was so encouraging to get the feedback that I got from all the women in Soroptimists. They're so energetic and full of life and encouraging. To have all these women tell me how amazing I was and to keep it up and what a role model I was being for my children, it really just gave me that extra boost to finish off my education and to have that confidence that I was doing a good job and what I was doing was worthwhile."
As a bonus the women's group gave Webb a laptop computer so she could do homework.
"I didn't have a laptop and was a part-time employee with the city of Ceres, head of household, single income so at the ceremony with a laptop so I didn't have to go to the library to do my homework."
Webb needed to earn her bachelor's degree to be able to qualify for her current city job, which she has had since July 2014. The job meant higher pay and more stability for her and four children who range in age from 10 to 17.
Besides promoting women to apply for the award, Webb often boasts about what a great group of women are in the club.
"It's just a great program," said Webb.
To be eligible for the award, female applicants must:
• Provide the primary financial support for their self and dependents, including children, a spouse, a partner, siblings and/or parents;
• Have financial need;
• Be enrolled in or have been accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program;
• Be motivated to achieve education and career goals;
• Be without a graduate degree.
Applications may be found at website http://www.soroptimist.org/awards/live-your-dream-awards.htmlmand may be submitted electronically. Interested applicants may also email Amy Peterman at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an application and reference form.