Soroptimist International of Clovis holds “Dream it, Be it” Awards Ceremony

Award winners, Rhyan Pope (left) and Paloma Platas (right) with Soroptimist International member Linda Gillis (center). (Contributed by Soroptimist International of Clovis)

On Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., Soroptimist International of Clovis held an awards reception for their scholarship recipients, Rhyan Pope, Paloma Platas, Alondra Kyle, and Genesis Ramirez. The four high school seniors graduated in June and distinguished themselves by each earning a $250 scholarship.

The scholarship reception was held at the Clovis Veteran’s Memorial District. The event was attended by two of the award winners, their family, friends, and Soroptimist members. Along with the scholarship money, each recipient was honored with a framed plaque.

To qualify, candidates needed to participate in the Dream It, Be It Career Support for Girls Conference held in February 2019. Other requirements included high school graduation in June 2019 and to maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0. Candidates were required to plan to attend a two or four-year college, university or a credentialed vocational institution with the intent to major in any field of study.

Applicants were required to submit a short essay that described their academic and career goals and plans to achieve them. A brief description of the impact of the Dream It, Be It Conference had on the candidate’s career goals was also part of the essay.

Vendors at the February conference included the Marjaree Mason Center, Transitions Children’s Services, The National Holistic Institute Massage School,  Barbering and ​Cosmetology Program, a registered nurse, Clovis Adult Education, The United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Fresno County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office, and Noble Credit Union. 

At the reception, scholarship recipient, Paloma Platas, stated that the most influential part of the Dream It, Be It Conference was the message of resilience shared by the keynote speaker, Rachel Baskin.

“Prior to attending this conference, I was anxious of not having a clear vision for my major or my career aspirations,” said Platas. “Being able to talk with other girls and with the vendors helped me get hands-on learning and a quick perspective on myself. This conference came at the right time for me in my life as a high school student one year away from college.”

Also receiving an award was Rhyan Pope, who spent a lot of time in the hospital when she was younger due to a medical condition. She knows first hand how important it is to be able to lift up a child’s spirits, and she especially enjoys working with children.

Pope plans to become a child psychologist. “Working with children always makes me happy,” she says. “When you achieve your goal, it’s the most absolutely amazing feeling.”

“By increasing community awareness and eliminating the obstacles that may prevent girls from attending our Dream It, Be It Conference, the girls will have increased exposure to career opportunities, resources, and mentoring,” says committee chair, Linda Gillis. “At the conclusion of our conference, all of the seniors in attendance were given scholarship applications and encouraged to apply if they intended to go to a two or four-year college, university or a credentialed vocational institution. We are delighted to be offering four $250 scholarships to girls that attended our first Dream It, Be It Conference.”   

The date of the next Dream It, Be It conference will be announced in the future. Primary goals of the conference are: to increase the number of girls that can be reached, amplify the exposure to career and educational opportunities, and increase mentoring and financial support services.

Due to a grant from Soroptimist International of the Americas, Soroptimist Clovis will be able to increase the dollar amount of the scholarships in the future.

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