The Soroptimist International of Maui club recently granted $10,000 in cash awards to women and youth at their sixth annual awards banquet at Kahili Golf Club in Waikapu. The voluntary service organization’s awards are one aspect of the club, which is dedicated to enriching the community by improving the lives of women and girls.
This year’s Live Your Dream Award winner Anna Keene was awarded $6,000 in recognition of her accomplishments. Live Your Dream Awards are presented to highly ambitious women who are heads of their households and want to improve their lives and employment prospects by gaining additional skills, training and education. Keene recently graduated with honors from University of Hawaii-Maui College where she received an Associate in Science Degree in Human Services and the University of Hawaii Board of Regents Award for Public Service. She also was the winner of the district award and a runner-up for the region award.
April Mae Companero, Elizabeth Cunningham, Gemma Hanson, Aristina Ora-a and Sharmaine Pasalo received the club’s Sharon Okumura Nursing Awards at this year’s event. The club donates $2,500 each year to the University of Hawaii Foundation, in the name of Sharon Okumura, to distribute to students who are looking for financial assistance to complete the Maui nursing program.
The Violet Richardson Award went to Shantel Longboy, who volunteers much of her time with Best Buddies Maui. The Violet Richardson Award, named after the president of the first Soroptimist club, honors girls who are making a difference through volunteer service. The $500 cash award was distributed between Longboy and Best Buddies.
Recent Maui High School graduate Alexandra Pardico was awarded $1000 for the club’s Youth Citizenship Award. Pardico graduated at the top of her class and plans to attend Gonzaga University and major in biology. Youth Citizenship Awards are presented to graduating high school seniors in recognition of their outstanding service and contributions to home, school and community.
Ten intermediate schools also participated in the club’s Junior Youth Citizenship Program. Seventeen students were selected as winners of the award. Junior Youth Citizenship Awards of $50 are presented to eighth-grade students for their outstanding service in both school and community.
Soroptimist International of Maui is the world’s largest classified service organization for executive and professional women. Soroptimist International, with organizations in 119 countries and territories, contributes time and financial support to projects that improve the lives of women and girls in the local community and around the world.
Photo courtesy Maui Soroptimists