Soroptimist International of La Jolla Women Helping Women


Did you know that, of all the single mothers under 30 in the U.S., only 7% of them graduated from college? To help overcome this, every year Soroptimist International (SI) invests over $2.6 m in education and training for 1,600 women globally. This program is called Live Your Dream. SI is a nonprofit, international volunteer network of 90,000 members and supporters in 120 countries. This is just one example of how one chapter of SI, Soroptimist International of La Jolla (SILJ) helps women and girls succeed.

The mission of SILJ is “to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.” Chartered in 1947, the La Jolla, California Soroptimist Club has worked on many projects that benefit women, such as educational grants for single mothers (Live Your Dream), career counseling to high school girls (Dream It, Be It), funds for research into women’s health, support of women in the military transitioning to civilian life, funds to support girls’ recovery from burns that disfigure their face and helping survivors of sex trafficking.

Over the years, there have been many beneficiaries of SILJ’s work, but three recent honorees of their Live Your Dream program are Denay Gonzales, Raneigh Aguilera, and Rebecca Figueroa. All are single heads of household, struggling with two or more young children, while being enrolled in college and working a job. They have suffered major trauma – physical and emotional abuse. One honoree’s daughter was sexually abused by her ex-husband. They all long for a professional career and financial independence. They have been overcoming self-esteem issues and feelings of worthlessness. And now there is hope for the future. They have a clear path, liberation, and power, and they want to give back.

Denay dreams of become a licensed clinical social worker in private practice. Raneigh dreams of buying a house, growing as a self-sufficient person, and earning her Master’s in counseling. Rebecca dreams of becoming a leader in her community by earning a Master’s in Public Health. All are role models to their children and dream of building a brighter, secure future for their family. SILJ’s educational grants are helping these great women achieve their dreams.
You are Invited!
To meet these ladies and other Honorees, mark your calendar for Saturday, March 20th. Come to SILJ’s Annual Awards Celebration luncheon in La Jolla. We are a 501(c)3 organization. All proceeds go directly to helping women and girls in need.
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Esteban Villanueva