Soroptimist Brings Women’s Empowerment To The Shoreline

By Amanda Hutchinson The Day, New London, Conn.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Soroptimist International has more than 75,000 members in 133 countries. In addition to education and training programs that help women and girls become economically independent, clubs focus on issues such as women's rights, human trafficking, self-esteem and healthy relationships.

The Day, New London, Conn.

An international group dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls through social and economic empowerment has come to southeastern Connecticut.

The Connecticut Shoreline chapter of Soroptimist International was chartered in December. President Beth Peterson, a Gales Ferry resident and nuclear engineer at Millstone, said she found out about the organization through friends in the Willimantic area.

She said she loved the mission and joined the Willimantic group, but shortly thereafter the chapter recognized there were enough people interested along the shoreline that a new club could be founded there.

Soroptimist International has more than 75,000 members in 133 countries. In addition to education and training programs that help women and girls become economically independent, clubs focus on issues such as women's rights, human trafficking, self-esteem and healthy relationships, and sustainable development. The Connecticut Shoreline chapter has members from Westbrook to Pawcatuck and up to Norwich, and while the majority are women, men can join as well.

In addition to supporting the International Mission selected every two years -- the current mission supports projects in Nepal -- Peterson said the chapter is working on two signature awards given to community members by each Soroptimist chapter.

The Women Helping Women Award honors women who make significant impacts in the lives of women and girls. The Live Your Dream Award, with $1,000, will be presented at the charter celebration on Sunday, Feb. 26. The award supports women who provide primary financial support to their families with financial help to pursue their career goals through education or training.

Peterson said the chapter is working on a "Dream It, Be It" program, in which women in business, medicine and other professions partner with local schools to give career advice to girls.

"We really want to make it as useful and impactful to as many girls in the community as we can to help them with career support," she said.

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