Women asked to apply for ‘Live Your Dream’ Award

Soroptimist International is currently taking applications for their Live Your Dream Award, a cash reward with a personal mentoring aspect.

The award is given to a woman who is the financial head of her household and who is enrolled in a post-secondary program or training program. This year, the local winner will receive $2,500 and then will go onto a regional awards program where she is eligible to win another $5,000.

Applications for the award are due by Jan. 9th with the award to be given in March. Applications are available through the www.soroptimist.org web site.

“This year, there is a big focus on giving more than cash. We are trying to work in a bit more of a mentorship program so that we are interacting on a more personal level. Our group entails women helping women so we need to find out what that help looks like for this woman,” said Krystal Komm, Red Deer’s chair for the local award program.

“That might mean providing some childcare for an evening so the woman can get more homework done. Maybe they eventually want to start a business after their education, and since we have lots of entrepreneurs in our group, we might be able to offer some business mentoring. The help would really be up to the individual to decide what she needs to reach her goals.”

For this award, women who are eligible must apply themselves rather than be nominated by an outside party. Financial need is a must. The application process entails an outline of why that woman believes she ought to receive the award, as well as specific financial information including monthly living costs and expenses.

Two references are mandatory with the application. Komm said that one of those should be an instructor or professor and then a second reference, either from a peer or employer.

She added that one of the most challenging parts of this program is getting the applications and information into the hands of women who are eligible for the award.

“We don’t really have a specific hope for the money. Soroptimist International outlines some examples of what women could use it for – tuition, books, childcare costs or transportation.

“Really though, at the end of the day, if the parent needs to buy diapers for their child they can use the award for that as well. The money is supposed to be used for anything that betters that woman’s life or the life of their children while she is trying to obtain more education.”

If a woman is chosen at the regional level to receive an award, she will also be eligible to win one of three national awards of $10,000.

“We don’t want to just hand someone money and say here you go, good luck. We want to ask what we can do to help them. We want to share this information and opportunity with anyone who might qualify for this,” said Komm.