The Soroptimist International Hamilton recently awarded $20,000 in scholarships to women in the Bitterroot Valley. According to Sue Macmeeken, president of the group, the funds are raised primarily by the sale of See’s Candies during different holidays. They also will host an Evening Wrapped in Chocolate in April to raise funds.
Some of the scholarship funds were also raised by private individuals. One such individual is Sue Major who has experienced several medical issues. These experiences led to many close encounters with phlebotomists.
“In recognizing the kindness, compassion and skill of a couple of phlebotomists at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, Major reached out to family and friends and raised $5,000 to support women enrolled in the Phlebotomy program at the Bitterroot College,” the awards program stated. The person who won a $2,300 scholarship from this fund is Darci Lewis. This is a ProTech scholarship.
A second ProTech scholarship was awarded to Sydni Rose. She is currently enrolled in the 3+2 Program at Colorado Mesa University where she will work towards an MBA and an accounting degree. The final ProTech scholarship was awarded to Brandy Stewart. She has recently completed the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant program at the Bitterroot College. She is now thinking about going into nursing.
The Patti Furniss Scholarship went to Krista Hayward and Laura Newby. Hayward is enrolled in the Bookkeeping Certification program at the Bitterroot College. Newby, who previously won a ProTech award, has changed her career path and is now working towards becoming a teacher with an emphasis on art.
The Violet Richardson Award is named after Violet Richardson, the president of the first Soroptimist club in Alameda County in 1921. She believed in personal responsibility and the motto, “It’s what you do that counts.” The award recognizes young women from 13-18 whose volunteer activities make the world a better place. Five young women were recognized and given $250 in appreciation of their work. They are: Elizabeth Varner of Stevensville, Sydney Powell of Corvallis, Ivy Semple of Corvallis, Alis Auch of Hamilton, and Maizie Mendenall of Hamilton. Auch and Mendenall were awarded an additional $250 each from the Greater Ravalli Foundation and Soroptimist of Hamilton also donated $100 each to their charity of choice.
The Live Your Dream scholarship is the Soroptimist International’s signature grant program for women who are working to better their lives through additional schooling and skills training. In addition to either being enrolled or recently accepted to a vocational or undergraduate program, the woman must be the primary financial support for herself and her dependents. This year’s recipients are Jodi Waliser and Hannah Wilson. Waliser is working towards an associates degree and after completion of that in May, she will continue on and work towards a bachelors degree in social work.
Hannah Wilson received her bachelors degree in social work in 2018 and then decided she wanted to continue her education and get a two-year degree in nursing where she could help individuals, especially children with emotional trauma. In addition to a $3,000 scholarship, Wilson’s name has been submitted for consideration at the regional and national level.
The Options scholarship is for a woman 50 years or older who is working to better her life through additional schooling and skills training. She must also be the primary support for her family. Denise Dandridge is the recipient of this award. She obtained her associates in Early Childhood Education in 2015 and is now working towards a bachelors degree in that field with a pre-kindergarten through third grade teaching license.
The Fellowship scholarship is for a woman who is established in her career, already with a bachelors or masters degree, with a plan to return for an advanced degree or certification. This year, the $3,000 scholarship was awarded to Laura Wathen. Wathen graduated in 2018 with a masters in social work. She is now pursuing advanced training in sensorimotor psychotherapy which will allow her to work with young women and girls with histories of neglect, trauma, and attachment failure.
The final award was the Ruby Award which is a recognition of service that acknowledges women who are working to improve the lives of women and girls through their personal or professional activities. This year’s recipient is Stephanie Beck. Beck has worked diligently to build up the Hamilton Christian Academy, moving it from a small location on the west side of town to its current location at the old Granstdale School. The Hamilton Soroptimist donated $250 for the Hamilton Christian Academy in Beck’s