OAKHURST — Thanks to the efforts of local volunteers, more than 50 area students gathered at the Oakhurst Community Center recently for the 4th annual Soroptimist Dream It — Be It Career Conference for Girls.
“The positive response to this year’s program far surpassed our expectations,” says Soroptimist president and event chair Michele Shockley.
“We had both an increase in community support and a record number of girls registering to attend, right up to the day of the event.”
For some of the students, this year was their second or third time attending the free, all-day conference.
“Every year the event gets bigger and we are already making plans to make next year’s event even better!”
Each one in attendance was gifted with a framed group photo and a goody bag, and had a chance to win prizes. Activities for the day included the creation of dream boards and a yoga session, along with fun games and inspirational speakers sharing life stories and the paths they took to reach their chosen careers.
“I feel privileged to be a part of this program which impacts the lives of so many young women in our community,” says Michele Dodd, MSW, a featured speaker at Dream It — Be it.
“This event gave them opportunities to ask questions, build confidence, and make new friends and mentors for a lifetime.”
Dodd is a past recipient of the Soroptimist Live Your Dream college grant who continued her education and is a now a social worker. She remembers the faith the organization placed in her ability, and appreciates being able to come full circle and, now, help others.
Speakers and topics included:
- Discovering Your Dreams by Club President and Event Chair, Michele Shockley
- Exploring Careers – Foster Farms Manager, Melissa “Mo” Grimes
- Creating Achievable Goals – Manager, Heather Aleshire and Cal Fire, Jaime WilliamsRising Above Obstacles – Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Nicole Hill
- Turning Failure into Success – Clinical Social Worker, Michele Dodd MSW
- Taking Care of Yourself- Esthetician, Rachel Miller
- Financial Responsibility – Central Valley Community Bank Manager, Shelle Abbott
- Yoga Activity with Lisa Wobler-Hering
Also in attendance were representatives from Soroptimist clubs in Clovis, Mariposa and Merced, observing the event in order to plan one in their neck of the woods in the future.
Sponsors include Oakhurst Pizza Factory, Ameriprise Financial/Nemeth & Petrushkin, and Greenwood Heating and Air. Event prizes and gift bag items were donated by Kaiser Permanente, Oakhurst Giftworks, Foster Farms, Joelle Leder Photography, Ameriprise Finanical, Oakhurst Grocery Outlet, Central Valley Community Bank and Soroptimist members.
Special thanks to Joelle Leder Photography and Emotion Video.