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Live Your Dream Education & Training Award: Assists women heads of household entering or re-entering the workforce obtain education and skills training needed to improve their employment and economic status.

Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award: Named after the organization’s founder, this program recognizes and honors girls aged 14-17 for their extraordinary volunteer efforts.

Soroptimist Ruby Award (Formerly Women Making a Difference Award): Recognition for women who help other women and girls. The name was changed in 2009 to honor the first President of Soroptimist International of the Americas.

Do you know someone who qualifies for one of these awards? Please contact us !!!


Live Your Dream - Education & Training Award

Jasmin A. Graham

Jasmin’s career goals include becoming a self-employed entrepreneur and starting a women’s clothing boutique, specializing in clothing for the full-figured woman. She is enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science degree program in Business Management at Northern Virginia Community College, with an anticipated graduation date of May 2016.

The Violent Richardson Award (VRA)

Kalle L. Wardlow Senior – Battlefield High School

For several summers, Kalle has spent a week in the Shenandoah Valley with hundreds of other Catholic teens, building and repairing houses in impoverished communities.

Kalle maintains that in addition to serving the needs of others through working in the camp, she has gained many personal benefits – among them, growing in her faith, and finding an environment where she feels safe and secure, while working in unity with like-minded peers. After she graduates and meets the age requirement, Kalle plans to return to the Work Camp to help other teens maximize their experience there.

Ammara Khursheed Senior – Forest Park High School

Ammara is the president of her club at Forest Park High School and she has spent many hours volunteering at local non-profit organizations. Her activities have been as varied as collecting canned goods for Operation Turkey, to collecting donations for UNICEF to deliver tetanus shots to mothers in impoverished countries, to working with Habitat for Humanity. Ammara defines service as a sincere gift of yourself to others.

Stephanie O. Hickman Senior – Battlefield High School

Stephanie says that seeing a need, and being moved to meet it, is at the heart of volunteering. Though she volunteers regularly at various venues in her school and community, Stephanie has been particularly moved by one of her volunteer experiences. In 2013, while in the Dominican Republic on her second mission trip with her church, she was introduced to a group called Empowering Action. Her team got the opportunity to visit the Leprosy Center on the island. Stephanie says,

“My heart broke as I began to build relationships with and show love to those who were treated as outcasts, bound both by the poverty of their country and the shame of their illness.”

Keondra Jones Senior – Osbourn High School

Keondra has volunteered at several places, but of her volunteer service at Birmingham Green Nursing Home, she comments,

“It is not to just give back to my community, but to also have a connection with some of the residents at the nursing home. Knowing that some of them do not have families, or even people to come by and visit or check on them, and have relationships with them is what draws me closer to wanting to spend my day with them. You gain knowledge, friendship, and a memorable experience that will reside with you for the rest of your life.”

Check out our 2015 Award Program Click Here


Women's Opportunity Award

Melanie D. Baker

Melainie says she has wanted to become a nurse since she was six years old. Currently, she is a Licensed Practical Nurse, with the immediate goal of attaining her Associated Degree in Nurse from Germanna Community College. After graduating in 2015, Melanie plans to transfer into a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program at a university. Her long-term goal is to become a nurse mid-wife.

Crystal L. King

Crystal's dream is to eventually own a local insurance company. Crystal says,

"I truly want to give back to my community, and what better way than to help them insure their biggest assets, make sure they understand what I am providing, and make sure they are not taken advantage of?"

Deborah D. Vernon

"Deborah is a motivated, inspired and innovative self-sterter," says the dentist for whom she worked three years.

Dedorah, who has been in dentistry for most of her adult life, is excited to be an 'inaugural student in a first-of-its-kind,' Virginia Dental Assistant II Program. Completion of this and extensive training will equip Deborah to provide more advanced and specialized dental patient care.

The Violent Richardson Award (VRA)

Margaret A. Gough

Margaret noted that volunteering is such an important part of her life that she plans to continue it throughout the rest of her life. Margaret volunteers with National Charity League (NCL), a mother/Daughter service, leadership development, and cultural experiences.

Brittany Bolick Senior - Chancellor High School

Brittany stated that her parents have raised her and her siblings to appreciate the blessings they each have and to use them to bless those less fortunate than they are. To this end, she has spent numerous hours in the volunteer service, including organizing a Lock for Love drive, leading a dance program for underprivileged children, working at FredCamp, and serving at the local food bank and cold night shelter.

Elizabeth Fauth Senior - Brooke Point High School

The many hours she has spent volunteering have helped her to become less selfish and more compassionate towards others, noted Elizabeth. In her church, she has worked with third to sixth graders in the AWANA ministry. She has served as helper, bookkeeper, and mentor in the program.

Jordan Gilliard Senior - Hylton High School

Jordan is a founder and president of an environmental club at her high school.

"Going Green Made Normal" is the goal of the club. "Environmentally-friendly practices must become naturally habitual" stated Jordan.

Jordan's group has spent Saturday mornings pulling "car seats and tires out of marshes."

Elise Ketch Senior - Forest Park High School

Elise served as "Head Elf" for the Breakfast with Santa program at her school. The program hosted over two thousand parents and under-privileged children and required hundreds of volunteers to perform task such as, advertising, recruiting, building sets, creating new activities, organizing committees, and collecting donations.

Catherine Kim Senior - Gar-Field High School

Key Clubs are student-led service programs designed skills through service to others. Catherine is the president of the Key Club at her high school. Under her leadership, the club has raised money for the Eliminate Project, which immunizes women in underdeveloped countries against maternal/neonatal tetanus. Other projects have included making and delivering candy bags for dialysis patients, collecting food for the ACTS pantry, and making over three hundred peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for ACTS.

Kirsten Stiller Senior - Forest Park High School

Kirsten's work with St. Kateri's Youth Group led her on a Catholic mission's trip to Jamaica where she took part in building a one-room home and laying the concrete floor for a community center Kirsten took part in raising funds for the cost of the trip and for materials to build the house.

Melanie Veizaga Zurita Senior - Garfield High School

Melanie spent time volunteering at the ACTS Emergency Shelter. The tasks she performed included office work, helping with dinner, and organizing the kitchen and school supplies. What Melanie was most proud of at the shelter was creating a reading recognition program based on a rewards system that encouraged the children to read more.

SIOW Memorial Scholarship Award

Kathy Smothers Nursing Student

SIOW is proud of Kathy Smothers! The liaison between Kathy and SIOW has existed since Kathy was a senior in high school. Club members have seen her grow into a mature young woman, who is in her fourth year of higher education. Kathy, a first-generation college student, has been the recipient of SIOW well wish, prayers, encouragement, and financial assistance through the SIOW Memorial Scholarship fund for the last four years.


Michelle Benton, The Reverend Doctor Donna Jarvis, Monica Early, Marilyn Naa Ayeley Tagoe, Mia Romero, Asia Jackson, Jenesis Harper

Michelle Benton: is a single mother of four boys, one of whom is disabled. Michelle’s dream is to earn an Associate’s degree in Nursing so that she can work while pursuing her Bachelor’s and, eventually, her Master’s degree in Nursing to become a Nurse Practitioner. She is currently a student at Germanna Community College and expects to graduate by spring 2016. Michelle says, “I never have time to do anything, but I keep pushing and telling myself I’m not a quitter. I sacrifice today so our tomorrow is better.”(WOA)

The Reverend Doctor Donna Jarvis: founded “Outside the Walls Christian Ministry” in 2010.This 501(c)(3) faith-based organization offers free pastoral counseling and other services needed by women, children, and families in the Fredericksburg/Stafford area. (RA)

Monica Early: single mother of three, dreams of attaining a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technologyand eventually gain employment in the field of cyber security and digital forensics. “I have the determination to succeed and now I have the path, and I want to stay the course.” SI of Woodbridge is proud to announce that Monica is the recent recipient of a $3,000 award for education at the South Atlantic Regionlevel of Soroptimist International. (WOA)

Marilyn Naa Ayeley Tagoe: is enrolled in a science curriculum at Germanna Community college, Locust Grove, Virginia. Her plan is to become a pharmacist. Marilyn and her family came to the United States from Ghana. In addition to attending school, Marilyn must work to assist her mother with taking care of the family. One of her continuing challenges is finding transportation to and from school. Marilyn’s chemistry professor describes her as a very hard working and dedicated student. (WOA)

Mia Romero: As an American Red Cross volunteer, she has clocked in an impressive 800+ hours of serviceat the Naval Clinic Pharmacy, since she began in the summer of her 8th grade in school. (VR)

Asia Jackson: plans to attain a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and continue to serve in the healthcare field. Asia is more determined than ever to reach her educational goals. (SIOW MS)

Jenesis Harper: For more than four years, Jenesis Harper has been involved in two non-profit organizations-- Young Women’s Empowerment Network, Inc. (YWEN) and Girls Inspired and Ready to Lead,Inc. (GIRL) -- whose leaders believe that, “every girl can achieve greatness if given access to the right tools and resources.” (VR)


More information coming


More information coming


Award Recipients from left: Women’s Opportunity Award – Sabrina Harrell, Violet Richardson Award 1st Place – Rachel Balow, 2nd Place – Jennifer Reid; Ruby Award Woman of Distinction – Sallie Eissler, RN and Abigail Comeau, selected for Women’s Opportunity Award by SI Fairfax.


Women's Opportunity Award Recipient Sandra Diego (right), daughter Rachel Violet Richardson Award Recipient Afia Agyreman-Andoh Steve Argubright, Pres., Potomac Hospital Auxiliary and the Potomac Hospital Auxiliary were honored as the agency where Ms. Agyreman-Andoh volunteers

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