Joan Johnson Graduate Fellowship Award
Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve personal and economic empowerment. Soroptimist International of Los Angeles has given educational awards to outstanding women since 1947. The award of $3,500 is for the 2023-2024 academic year.
See the story of the 2022 winners below
Caroline Lauren Henry
Caroline is studying for her Master of Physician Assistant Practice at The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. She received her Bachelor of Science at USC in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, a program likened to Public Health. She describes herself as a lover of people who thoroughly enjoys serving in the clinic as well as in the community. Caroline explains “limited resources, access, and provider awareness of social issues have all unintentionally resulted in many women and children not receiving the healthcare services they need. I seek to combat this with a personal demonstration of provider awareness and care for marginalized communities.”
In 5 years, her hope is to be a staple within the South LA community by providing her home as a safe space for women and children. She seeks to create a home where locals come to feel seen, safe, and loved. She wants others to enter her future home and feel relieved that someone cares for them and their children. She has already begun to service this population by creating passion projects which consist of local tutoring, an all-women's book club, and organized day-outings with local South LA children. She aspires to expand upon this as a Practicing Physician Assistant, incorporating health education and awareness of prevalent conditions.
Jessica is pursuing her Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Educational Psychology and Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology at Loyola Marymount University. She received her bachelor’s degree at Brigham Young University with a major in Family Life with an emphasis in Human Development and a minor in Women’s Studies. As a first-generation college graduate, she wishes to support and advocate on behalf of students who are also the first in their families to pursue higher education. Jessica is committed to supporting students and families from underrepresented or marginalized communities and improving access and opportunity for these individuals. Her aim as a school psychologist is to help create the best possible learning environment for students, especially the culturally, ability, and linguistically diverse.
During her undergraduate career, she spent a great deal of time working with various nonprofit organizations, such as Safe Mother’s Safe Babies, the Musana Foundation, Days for Girls, and The Women’s Building. She currently volunteers her time working with a group of teenage girls in her community by facilitating an emotional resiliency group, once a week, to help youth develop healthy routines. She is also in the process of developing a line of toys that foster moments for teaching and connection for parents with their children. Rather than lecturing children about the importance of kindness and courage, parents can use these toys to teach their children through play.