It was a night of storytelling, inspiration and tears as the Soroptimist International of Lake Havasu City fulfilled its ongoing mission of supporting the education and career advancement of local women by distributing almost $8,000 in cash scholarships.
The award presentations began with Soroptimist President Kathy Molzen giving the Live your Dream Scholarship to Rachel Casey. The Live Your Dream cash award is made annually to a deserving woman within Lake Havasu City who is the primary source of financial support for her family so that she can improve her skills, education and employment prospects.
Molzen said it was “Her story. Her persistence under adverse conditions,” which made the biggest impression on the committee to award the scholarship to Rachel.
Eight Lake Havasu High School S-Club members received awards in three categories: community service, athletics and academic excellence. Community service awards were presented to Destiny Yates (Team Leadership), Catlin Fea (Rising Star) and Alexsis Harper (Achieving your Dream). Athletic Scholarships were given to Autumn Porter and Jenna Diller. The Academic Scholarships were awarded to Alexa Alba, Lauren Garitee and Brianna Stuart.
Brianna Stuart, outgoing president of the S-Club and a four-year member, thanked President Kathy and the club for the opportunities for growth and service provided to her.
The S-Club’s advisor, Cami Castanon, explained that there’s pressure for young ladies in our society to be pretty and popular, and to get the attention from all the boys, they fall victim to exploiting their bodies.
“Girls need to know that true beauty comes from within. It comes from what you do for others and how you make others feel,” she said. “Young ladies need to learn to celebrate their intelligence and uniqueness and to be comfortable with who they are.”
The 74 guests were inspired by Guest Speaker Jenny D’Uva who shared her journey as a single mother tackling her family’s financial and health challenges while managing to pursue multiple degrees and launch a professional career that includes counseling, education and community service. D’Uva shared her belief that “the key to personal success is inner strength and a great support system.”