Merced County Times Newspaper
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Jonathan Whitaker

Soroptimist members honor local women living their dreams

Soroptimist International of Merced honored three “Live Your Dream” Award recipients.

Soropotimist International of Merced, part of a global organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment, presented a total of $5,225 in education and training awards for women to help local women improve their economic situations.

The Awards ceremonies were held of Feb. 14 and Feb. 21 at the Merced Elks Lodge. The recipients were Valeria Marin, Angelica Werley, and Bernadette Soares.

Valeria Marin in a 22-year-old single mother with a three-year-old son whose goal is to become a college counselor. She is pursuing her AA degree in Psychology at Merced College and will transfer to Stanislaus State to complete a Bachelor’s Degree by December, 2021, the first in her family to do so. She likes to work with people and cares about helping students find the right pathway for them. She feels her career choice suits her well and plans on making it come true.

Angelica Werley is a 26-year-old single mother of a seven-year-old daughter whose goal is to complete her double major at Merced College in diesel equipment technology and mechanized agriculture by June 2019. Her ultimate goal is to own a business for female mechanics or simply a shop that incorporates several types of mechanical work. While struggling in various ways, she is bound and determined to be a better person and mother. She wants to show her daughter that no matter what your goals and / or dreams are, if you stay focused you can persevere through many obstacles.

Bernadette Soares is a 35-year-old single mother of four children age 15, six, five, and two, whose goal is to become a social worker. She is currently working full time for Merced County as a Parent Partner for Child Protective Services. She is attending college part time to finish her degree by June 2020. She wants to assist families going through much of what she did. She will reach her dreams and goals, by the grace of God, and most importantly help others from her experiences.

These women have overcome poverty, teen pregnancy, violence, homelessness, and other life challenges.

They have the courage and determination to turn their lives around to build a better life for themselves and their families.

Soroptimist International of Merced is a 501 C (3) organization and relies on fundraising and donations to support this program. Their annual fundraiser — the Hors D’oeuvres Festival — is set for May 31, 2019.  Tickets are available from any Soroptimist.

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