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Oakmont Soroptimists launch award for teen girls


By Christina Chapman

Soroptimist International of Oakmont Wine Country, Inc. is launching the Violet Richardson Award campaign and actively seeking young girls between the ages of 14 and 18 to receive the merit award.

Specifically geared toward young women who volunteer in their communities or schools, this $400 merit award recognizes girls for their efforts to change their communities, perhaps by fighting drugs, crime or violence; cleaning up the environment; or working to end hunger, discrimination, or poverty. Acts that benefit women and girls are particularly encouraged.

The Oakmont Soroptimists are a relatively new nonprofit club, chartered in February 2020 with 12 women. Soroptimist, whose name means “best for women,” is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls access to education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Today, there are over 72,000 Soroptimists in 121 countries and territories supporting community-based and global projects that benefit women and girls. A recent project of the Oakmont group was sewing girls’ dresses and sending them to a targeted group in need of summer clothing.

This year, Soroptimist International will celebrate its 100th birthday. It was in 1921 that Stuart Morrow visited Oakland seeking to establish an Optimist or Rotary club and stopped by the Parker-Goddard Secretarial School, assuming it was owned by men. He found it was owned by women, but at that time women weren’t allowed to have their own service clubs. Through his assistance, Violet Richardson was installed as the first president of Soroptimist in October 1921. It was a time when women across the country were gaining the right to vote and actively engaging with each other in professional and mutual support.

It is quite fitting that the organization is now reaching out to the community in search of young leaders and volunteers to be recognized for the work they are doing to make our neighborhoods a better place to live. If you know a young girl between the ages of 14 to 18, please let her know about this very special campaign.

Contact Christina Chapman, the director of Soroptimist Oakmont, at (707)292 6858 or [email protected] for an application. The application deadline is Nov. 15.