Women’s Opportunity Awards
The Women’s Opportunity Awards program is one of Soroptimist’s major programs. Through this program, Soroptimists assist women who provide the primary source of income for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills, and employment opportunities.
Each year, our club budgets $1,000 or more to distribute to one or more eligible recipients, who may use the funds to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, such as books, childcare and transportation.
Eligible applicants must be women who provide the primary financial support for their families, and who are enrolled in or have been accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, and cannot have already earned an undergraduate degree.
Violet Richardson Award
The Violet Richardson Award is a grant given to a girl 14-17 years of age for her outstanding volunteer services to the community. Soroptimist is concerned with the special challenges facing today’s girls and young women. The organization launched the Violet Richardson Award program in 2000 as a way to recognize girls for their volunteer service to their communities. The program honors young women whose volunteer efforts include: helping other disadvantaged girls, fighting drugs, crime, and violence; cleaning up the environment; and working to end discrimination and poverty.
The program is named after Violet Richardson Ward, the first president of the first Soroptimist club. Richardson Ward was committed to creating opportunities for girls and young women through her affiliations with Soroptimist, the Girl Scout Council and the American Association of University Women. Her passion for volunteer service, particularly as it affected women and girls, has been as inspiration to Soroptimists throughout the years.
Participating Soroptimist clubs implement the program at the local level, where awards vary in amount. Club-level recipients then become eligible for a $1,000 cash award at the district level, with a matching $1,000 cash award for the charitable organization of the recipient’s choosing. The Soroptimist organization at the national level, grants one finalist a $2,500 award to the recipients’ volunteer organization.
Soroptimists Ruby Award
Formerly the Soroptimist Making a Difference for Women Award, the Soroptimist Ruby Award: For Women Helping Women recognizes and honors the first federation president, Ruby Lee Minar. A ruby is also a deep red gemstone associated with wisdom, importance, vitality, strength, vivacity, power and love: all words embodying the strong and compassionate women who are our award recipients. The Soroptimist Ruby Award honors women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional and/or volunteer work.
Soroptimist International of Sacramento South awards 4 – 8 scholarships each year to students who are Sacramento County residents currently enrolled in an accredited college or university. Scholarship awards of $1,000 each are based on academic and personal achievements, strength of character and financial need.