Soroptimist International of Stuart Awards Change Lives
Each year, one of Soroptimist International of Stuart’s most meaningful events takes place at the non-profit’s Live Your Dream Awards Celebration. Traditionally the ceremony is part of a warm and welcoming dinner, but this year – of course – it looked very different.
Winners of these very welcome monetary awards were notified by phone and received certificates and checks by mail.
Those receiving these awards have already accomplished a great deal and are now poised to initiate or continue life-changing career paths.
Alana Tuttle, a single mom, was the Live Your Dream award recipient. Parameters for the award specify the recipient be a primary breadwinner and overcoming obstacles to reach her goals.
Alana got out of an abusive relationship and had to overcome alcohol dependency to raise her son. She is in the A.D. Program at IRSC and plans to work in environmental science. Her award will buy a laptop to help with her studies and rest of the funds will pay for her education.
Hellonia Kirlew took first place in The Women in Transition Award category. This individual must be 40 or older, overcoming obstacles, to go to school to change her career path.
Says Hellonia, “I was delighted to win this award and this money. I’m a divorced mom of two grown children, now attending IRSC and pursuing my Bachelors in Social and Human Services. I would like to be a probation officer or a Social Worker.” To complete her studies, Hellonia also will buy a laptop to help with her studies and use the remainder of the funds for her education.
The second winner of the Women in Transition Award is Anissa Rich. Anissa dreamt of becoming a medical doctor until she got into a domestically abusive relationship and became pregnant. After struggling financially to support her child, she had a second child in another relationship but the father was killed by a drunk driver. Anissa never gave up and today her children are responsible adults.
She says, “Now it’s time for me to live my dream and become a Licensed Social Worker in Stuart so I can be the one to help women trying to succeed in life.”
There were two Youth Service Awards, as well.
Mackenzie Abbott was awarded first place for creating a non-profit called Stand2Help, whose mission is to provide items to those in need in Martin County. The recent graduate of Clark Advanced Learning Center also formed the Martin County Youth Climate Team to help make awareness for protecting our environment. She plans to attend UF in the fall.
Katelyn Herter volunteered at Humane Society of the Treasure Coast, Hibiscus Children’s Center and the Sailing Center of Martin County. The award will help with the tuition at College of Charleston. She is working towards a B.S. in political science with her end goal being law school.
These awards are financed with proceeds from Soroptimist International of Stuart’s annual Women of Distinction dinner.
To learn more, visit www.soroptimistofstuart.org.
Photos provided by Soroptimist International of Stuart
Alana Tuttle, a single mom, was the Live Your Dream award recipient
Hellonia Kirlew, first place winner of The Women in Transition Award
Anissa Rich, second place winner of the Women in Transition Award
Mackenzie Abbott, first place winner of the Youth Service Award
Katelyn Herter, second place winner of the Youth Service Award