The three Coachella Valley Soroptimist International clubs awarded $2,300 each to three local women pursuing higher education to better the lives of themselves and their children.
The Live Your Dream Award (previously Women’s Opportunity Award) is bestowed upon women who are single heads of household attending college or trade school to improve their and their families’ lives. In the Coachella Valley, the three local clubs choose one recipient each and hold a single ceremony to honor the women and present them with their awards.
Melinda Joy Hooper, 38, a single mother of two was the award recipient chosen by Soroptimist International of Palm Springs. After marrying young, and having two children shortly thereafter, Melinda did not think college was in the cards for her. After two divorces, estrangement from her family, and working any jobs available to support her two children, Melinda has finally been able to begin to pursue her dreams of a higher education now that her children are both teenagers.
Melinda hopes to help others by becoming a nurse. She is currently enrolled at College of the Desert to get her prerequisites to qualify for the nursing program. Her plans are to get an Associates Degree in nursing, and to then work towards her Bachelors Degree. Soroptimist International of Palm Springs wishes Melinda the very best in all of her future endeavors.
2017 SIPS Live Your Dream Award winner, Melinda Joy Hooper, and SIPS club President Gloria Hill
2017 Live Your Dream Award winners: (L-R) Lauren Blachley winner for SI Palm Desert, Melinda Joy Hooper winner for SI Palm Springs, and Erica Keb Ramirez winner for SI Desert Cities of the Coachella Valley.