(Joplin, MO) – Soroptimist International of Joplin, a global organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment, awarded a total of $5,000 in Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women to help four local women improve their economic situation. The Joplin Soroptimist make this announcement on International Women’s Day — the day that celebrates women’s contributions to society.
One of the recipients, Chantelle Single, 29, will use the cash award to complete her bachelor’s degree at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) where she is majoring in early childhood education with an emphasis in special education. Single’s interest in special education was sparked by her observation of the difficulties and stigma experienced by an autistic family member. This family member was misdiagnosed, which led to many adversities. Single seeks to spare other families of the same tragedy.
Circumstances in Single’s native homeland of South Africa limited her ability to reach her educational goals due to the country’s history of discrimination, corruption, and violent crime. With her husband, she decided to follow her dream in the United States, resulting in financial constraints that were exacerbated by the pandemic. “Receiving the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Award is life changing and will certainly assist me in completing my studies,” Single said. “I look forward to finishing my degree so I can pay it forward by doing everything I can to be a role model to my students and to my community.”
The Live Your Dream Award provides women who serve as the primary wage earners in 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 expenses.
The Joplin Soroptimists chose Single because of her optimistic attitude; her ability to integrate into a new culture while juggling the demands of school, work, and motherhood; and the excellent recommendations she received. Single has been supporting her husband and two young children on the money she earns as an on-campus student worker at MSSU. Her husband is currently seeking a business to sponsor his visa, so he may also be employed.
Single will now advance to the Soroptimist South Central Region level where recipients can receive up to an additional $5,000 for her education. The program culminates with three final $10,000 awards.
About the Live Your Dream Award:
The Live Your Dream Award provides more than $2.5 million in cash grants to head-of-household women in need each year. Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than $30 million has helped tens of thousands of women achieve their reams of a better life for themselves and their families. A study conducted by The Fels Institute of Government, a research and consulting organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed the efficacy and impact of this program. It improves the the recipients’ quality of life; builds their confidence; strengthens their self-determination and makes them want to, in turn, help others. Helping women in this way has the demonstrated effect of leading to stronger communities, nations, and the world.
About Soroptimist International of Joplin:
Founded in 1937, the Joplin club is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, a global organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Joplin members join with almost 80,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Soroptimist, a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs, also powers LiveYourDream.org—an online community offering offline volunteer opportunities in support of women and girls. For more information about how Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls, visit www.soroptimist.org.