When I was 18, 2 months prior to my high school graduation, I lost my Mom in a car accident. Later at the age of 19 I became guardian of my sister with autism and had the responsibility of caring for her and myself. This meant I had to pay bills and lawyer fees by working three part-time jobs. I knew though that to better my life that I would need to obtain a degree, so I enrolled at a local community college full time. During my college career I found out that the local Soroptimist chapter was offering a scholarship to women who were enrolled in a college degree program and whom needed financial assistance. A few months later I found out that I was the recipient of the live your dream award. Winning the scholarship lifted my financial burden by erasing $1000 from my student fees. I quickly found however that I gained much more than the award. The Soroptimist Chapter sent me letters and cards of encouragement, helped me find a tutor for my math class that was difficult, and even provided art lessons for my sister which gave me an hour of respite weekly. Without Soroptimist by my side it is doubtful that I would have obtained my bachelor’s degree and achieve my life dreams. Several years later I wanted to give back to Soroptimist, so I became a member of the local Springfield Soroptimist chapter and have been actively involved. Soroptimist changed my life and I hope that my story inspires you to become involved by being a member or donating to this local chapter so that other women, like myself, can achieve their dreams.
-Autumn Clark, President of Soroptimist International of Springfield, MO. Term 2019-2020.
I have my BS in social work and work for the Children Division with the State of Missouri for 30 years. During that time the Soroptimist help our youth in several ways. They sponsored a camp that the youth could go to and then they would get a mentor. What a great support for our young ladies in foster care! They also would do a care package for youth when they got removed from the home. I just remember the young girls being so happy to have something of their own. So when I retired I knew I wanted to join a Soroptimist and work to be a part of helping young women feel more confident.
-Loretta Rapp-Percy, Treasurer of Soroptimist International of Springfield, MO Term 2017-2019