Soroptimist International presents education awards to 16 young women

    Soroptimist International of Indian Rock (SIIR) recently presented 16 need-based educational awards to local college-bound women – matching its 2018 record for the most awards presented in 46 years.

    “We continue to be able to support a record number of college-bound young women. And again, we’ve expanded support for women with families seeking an education. This success is only made possible through the generosity of our members, their families and the community,” said SIIR president Patti Cullen.

    This year SIIR was able to increase Dream Awards from one to a total of six.

    Three single mothers – two more than last year – received the Live Your Dream (LYD): Education and Training Award.

    As the signature award of Soroptimist International of the Americas, this award is reserved for a woman who has overcome enormous obstacles and has become her family’s primary source of financial support.

    In receiving the award, Cairn University senior Kristy Burt said, “This award will allow me to continue moving forward in my education while being present with my children. I believe it could have a massive impact on helping me reach my goal to become a clinical psychologist and live my dream to work in suicide research, prevention and treatment.” Kristen Binder will use her award to complete cosmetology school. Ginny Cooper Live Your Dream Award recipient, Bucks County Community College history freshman Shannon Walsh, will use her award for childcare so she can stay on her course to earn a law degree. “I am so grateful that the women of this club believe in me and my goal to help other people once again reclaim their dignity, voice and their place in our society.”

    Three high school seniors – attendees of the SIIR Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls (DIBI) conferences – also received education awards. DIBI scholarships, offered for the first time by SIIR, are reserved for high school seniors who face obstacles to their future success and have attended a DIBI conference.

    Of the 10 students who received other scholarship awards, four were high school graduates receiving the SIIR Scholarship Award for the first year of college.

    Continuing Education Scholarship awards were given to six college students, some of whom will be supported through all four years of their college careers.

    Mentorship and support are offered with SIIR education awards.

    “Young women tell us that ongoing support helps them believe they are successful and will continue to be,” said Kathy Meyer, SIIR Scholarship Committee Co-Chair. Katie Connolly, a continuing education scholarship recipient, agreed, “I have honestly had a better year at Villanova than I could have ever pictured. I am forever grateful to the women of Soroptimist International of Indian Rock for helping me achieve so much, both inside and outside the classroom.”

    One hundred guests attended the awards ceremony held June 6th at the Spring Mill Country Club in Ivyland.

    SIIR also presented Steve Thiers of the Reit Energy Company with the SIIR Community Partner of the Year award for his long-standing support of the club.

    Soroptimist International of Indian Rock is a chapter of the global women’s organization, Soroptimist International of the Americas, whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.


    1. Kristy Burt receives the Live Your Dream: Education and Training for Women Award from Awards Program Chair Eileen Conner in the presence of her daughter.
    2. Mercedes Sanoja-Suarez, Rebeca Brennan, Maria Del Po pose together after each received their 2019 Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls scholarship award.