Soroptimists present 14 young women with education awards

    Soroptimist International of Indian Rock, Inc. (SIIR) celebrated the presentation of its 52nd annual education awards on June 5, 2024, at the Spring Mill Country Club, in Ivyland.

    The program began with a poem recited by Cecelia Shine, the 2024 Bucks County High School Poet Laureate.

    During the ceremony, the club presented 12 educational awards in addition to their Live Your Dream awards and community partner of the year award. 

    President Kathy Waddington noted that the scholarships are need-based, and the need keeps growing. “It is only through the generosity of our members and community partners that we continue to increase funding for our education programs. Overall, we presented $20,000 in scholarship funding this year.”

    Three awards were granted from SIIR’s mission-centric Soroptimist Dream Programs. 

    The first award was given to Ashlynn Fields-Clarkson, a college-bound, high school graduate who attended the prerequisite 2023 Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls Conference (DIBI).

    Two awards were given to single mothers.

    Ashley Battistini, a single mother of three and a survivor of domestic violence, was presented with two Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards, one from SIIR and the other from the Soroptimist North Atlantic Region.

    Ashley graduated from Roxborough School of Nursing in May 2024.

    Jennifer Hipp, a single mother of two, received the Ginny Cooper Live Your Dream Award. She is currently attending Bucks County Community College to complete a degree in nursing.

    Club scholarship awards were presented to five high school senior girls from five of the 22 Bucks County high schools.  Seven prior scholarship awardees were presented with Continuing Education grants.

    Charlene Curtis, SIIR Co-Chair of the Scholarship Committee, said “One size does not fit all. While some scholarships focus on supporting post-secondary 4-year colleges, we offer scholarships to a two- or four-year college or certificate/licensing program. It’s worth applying for, because it’s one step toward making a young woman’s dream a reality.”

    Kimberly Merchan, a senior from Conwell-Egan High School, will be attending St. Joseph University to obtain her accounting degree.

    Kimberly shared, “With this award, along with my dad’s support, I believe that my journey will not only fulfill my career goals but also create a legacy for my family.” 

    Marin Goldberg from William Tennent High School will be attending Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in the fall.

    She commented “My aspirations to become an art educator and therapist to help children is something I am very passionate about and I am very grateful for the educators who made an impact on my life.” 

    Soroptimist International of Indian Rock, Inc. is a chapter of the women’s organization, Soroptimist International of the Americas, whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.

    Members meet most months at the Spring Mill Country Club in Ivyland.

    For more information about Soroptimist awards, programs and membership, visit


    1. Live Your Dream awards are presented to Jennifer Hipp (left) and Ashley Battistini.
    2. Scholarship, Continuing Education and Dream It, Be It awardees (from left): Cheyenne Torres, Natalie Petersen, Julia Pye, Kimberly Merchan, Alexis Tinelli, Abigail McGrody, Cecelia Shine, Madison Taggart, and Ashlynn Fields-Clarkson gather at award ceremony.
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