Soroptimist International of Clovis Holds Awards Ceremony

Award winners celebrate at Bicentennial Park on June 3, 2020. (Contributed by Soroptimist International Clovis and Linda Gillis)

Five young women, all seniors at local high schools, were awarded Soroptimist International (SI) scholarships on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at Sierra Bicentennial Park. The Dream It Be It; Career Support for Girls Program ® (DIBI) event, which operates under SI, followed current protocols, including social distancing, during the ceremony.

“SI Clovis was delighted to award five seniors with $500 grants after submitting essays that included where they were headed to continue their education and how the DIBI conference helped them learn how to put their dreams into action,” said Linda Gillis, committee chair.

Two of the girls, Taylor Inouye and Olivia Miller graduated from Buchanan High School. Nichole Friend and a young mother who is in foster care, graduated from Gateway High School. Ryanna Allenger-Strong graduated from Clovis Online School after previously completing courses at Clovis Community College.

Over 50 high school girls attended the two, one-day DIBI conferences during the past year. Attendees learned about a variety of careers and educational options and how to achieve their goals. Vendors gave presentations that included resources and mentoring. Seniors who attended a DIBI conference were eligible to apply for the educational grant.

Additionally, each of this year’s recipients participated in the student advisory committee that helped plan and set up the conferences.

“Thank you for the opportunity,” writes Nichole Friend. “I will appreciate it forever. Dream It Be It has changed my perspective for life!”

“When walking into the Dream It, Be It Conference my major was undecided,” said Ryanna Allenger-Strong. “But, when I left DIBI not only was I confident with my choice of nursing as my major, but I was confident with myself as an individual. The guest speaker helped me understand that even though I have had obstacles in my past I have can come out stronger and I can continue learning from those experiences to become even stronger.”

“When I planned and attended Dream lt, Be It, I didn’t know what to expect,” said Taylor Inouye. “The conference was actually very fun, and my favorite part was making my Dream Board. When crafting my Dream Board, I was able to creatively see my goals for the future. Seeing my goals for the future made it very real for me. I didn’t realize how fast life had been coming, and with college nearing next year, I plan to use the skills I learned while being a participant in Dream lt, Be lt.”

“Although we are not sure what the 20-21 school year will look like due to the Covid-19, SI Clovis is committed to continuing our Dream It, Be It Program,” said Gillis, “It may need to look different, meeting in small groups or virtually, but the message will be the same.”

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