On April 5, 2019, a PD Day for both school boards, Soroptimist International London hosted a very successful Dream It Be It program for 50 high school girls and boys. Youth from each agency helped to plan the program and also helped in various ways on the day of the conference.
Girls helping with the planning insisted that boys should be included as they felt that the boys also needed and deserved to learn about the topics being presented.
Workshops on Healthy Relationships, Mentorship for College and University and Mental Health including Racism and Bullying were offered in the morning. Over the lunch hour the students had great fun having their picture taken in a photo booth.
After lunch the keynote speaker who came to Canada at age 10 as a refugee from Rwanda, now 28 and a single Mom, and who was elected to City Council in the last municipal election, inspired the students with the story of her journey in acquiring a university degree and the various challenges she has overcome. The day ended with a panel of four young people, a little older than the youth, who had attended a newcomer program and were now at college, university or working. While acknowledging the challenges they had faced, the panelists consistently focused on their victories and encouraged the students to do the same.
Everyone was impressed by the thoughtful and in depth questions the youth asked and the discussion generated throughout the day. The students evaluated the day as a very fun and inspiring experience and a good use of their PD Day.
Last year's Soroptimist International London Club gave two Live Your Dream Awards to young women who had run into challenging situations in their lives but had higher goals in mind. These two women made the changes necessary to fulfill their dreams. They arranged to return to their studies and work towards bettering their lives. They reached out of the known, into the unknown and with the help from women's organizations in the city, and financial support where possible, they continue to support their families and complete their studies.
Last year's Soroptimist International London Club gave two Live Your Dream Awards to young women who had run into challenging situations in their lives but had higher goals in mind. These two women made the changes necessary to fulfill their dreams. They arranged to return to their studies and work towards bettering their lives. They reached out of the known, into the unknown and with the help from women's organizations in the city, and financial support where possible, they continue to support their families and complete their studies too.
Nicole Thompson is one of those successful women. When she won the Live Your Dream Award of $1,000.00, she sat down to determine what the best use of that money would be. She has one small boy and in order to study she needed to be at school. Nicole shared the following with us:
Nicole will now return to classes at Fanshawe and be able to focus totally on what she is asked to do in her classes, labs and her studies without the worries she has had about the safety of her son when she is not able to pick him up and drop him off on time because of class conflicts.
Soroptimist International London honoured our 2018 Live Your Dream Award recipient on May 9, 2018 at Kenny Theatre, University of Western Ontario, King’s University College Campus.
Soroptimist International is a global organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through educational programs leading to social and economic empowerment.
One of these awards is the Live Your Dream Award given, each year, to a woman meeting the following criteria. She must be the primary wage earner of her family who has returned to educational studies in her efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. Upon winning this award, the recipient will receive $1000.00 to be used toward her education and training. At this stage, the winner may have the opportunity to advance to a regional award level. The program culminates with finalists eligible to receive $10 000 awards. Our international body provides more than 1.6 million dollars in cash grants to head-of-household women each year to aid them in their educational objectives.
This year our London S.I.Live Your Dream Award recipient is Nicole Thompson. This deserving woman is a single mother with a busy two year old who has her life “back on track” and has returned to school. She has successfully completed her first year in the Nutrition and Food Services Management Program at London’s Fanshawe College and will be entering the diploma portion of the nutritional and management program in September. Nicole also finds time to volunteer with several community service programs as a means of thanking them for aiding her return to a healthy, productive life.
The London S.I. Club and its total parent body wish to congratulation Nicole Thompson upon winning the 2018 Live Your Dream Award.
What is Lunafest?
Lunafest is a unique traveling film festival that features short films created by, for and about women. It was established in the year 2000 by Luna, Makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women. Their goal was to promote women filmmakers, to raise awareness for women’s issues and to support worthy women’s nonprofit organizations.
The Lunafest films range from animation to fictional drama and cover topics relating to women’s health, motherhood, body image, relationships, cultural diversity, breaking barriers and more. The films are selected by an outside board of advisors made up of notables in the film industry.
Each year, organizations such as Soroptimist International (SI) of London act as hosts to the Lunafest Film Festival at over 180 locations in North America. All proceeds from Lunafest are donated to nonprofit organizations. The screening fee paid to Luna by SI London will be donated to “Chicken & Egg Pictures”, a nonprofit organization that supports women nonprofit filmmakers. The net proceeds from our Lunafest event at King’s College will be used to fund the signature programs of SI London, our Live Your Dream Educational Award and our Dream It Be It Mentoring program and also provide financial aid to organizations within our community.
Lunafest is uniquely designed so that one person can make a significant difference in the lives of women. Whether that person is a filmmaker who tells an untold story, a host organization who raises funds and awareness for a cause or an attendee who leaves with a new perspective - each is a catalyst for change.
Come to Lunafest. Experience the change.
Lunafest Film Festival May 9th, 2018
King’s College - Kenny Theatre 266 Epworth Ave, London.
Tickets available at Grand Theatre Box Office