LIVE YOUR DREAM
Live Your Dream: Education & Training Awards for Women
Presented annually, the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Award award is granted to two local women who provide the primary financial support for their families. The award supports their efforts to improve their education, skills, and employment prospects.
2020 AWARD WINNERS
Natalie Rodriguez is the single mother of three children and the child of Mexican immigrants. Her children are her motivators so that they can have a better life. She decided to return to school for a career in social work as she enjoys helping others. Her major career and personal goal right now is to complete college. She has faced multiple obstacles throughout her life including her father abandoning their family of five, struggling to survive, and trying to make ends meet. Natalie has worked since middle school to help support her family. She attended continuation high school so that she could work.
In 2015, she decided to start college and has made good use of the tutoring services at LACC to keep her grades up. She also is a part of the CalWORKS program which enables her to combine school and employment. She is described as persistent and driven to complete her education despite limited resources and is on the path to graduation. Her next step is to transfer to a university to obtain her bachelor’s degree in social work.
Natalie is a dedicated person who keeps getting up when she gets knocked down. She will not stop until she has accomplished all of her goals. Being a single mother isn’t easy, but her daughters have always come first. There have been times when financial needs made it necessary to drop a class so that she could work, but she got right back on course and continued her schooling. She knows that her education is what will help her and her family have a better life.
Lisa’s career goal is to finish her program at Cerritos College in order to become a Speech Pathologist Assistant. She then plans to transfer to CSU Long Beach and obtain her B.A. in Communication Disorders with the goal of earning a master’s degree and becoming a speech pathologist. Along with being a student at Cerritos College, she is in an unpaid internship in the Cerritos College SLPA program to complete the 100 hours of required clinical hours for her major. She is a single mother with a six-year-old daughter.
Lisa is a former foster youth, having been placed in the system at the age of two and has been on her own since the age of 18. She has faced emotional trauma, homelessness, and physical abuse, which she says has helped her to build inner strength. Lisa faces the challenges of trying to provide food, clothing, transportation, and shelter for her child and herself on a daily basis.
The major reason she chose her career path of speech pathologist is so she can help those who cannot help themselves. Lisa is described by one of her references as a smart, brave, and persistent young woman who knows what she wants from life and is not afraid to advocate for herself and her daughter to fulfill her goals. Her greatest strength is persistence.