Live Your Dream Award 2017
Valerie Franco - 1st Place
Pictured with President Sheri Hoffman is Valerie Franco, our 'Live Your Dream' winner this year.
Valerie is currently attending Ameritech College pursuing a nursing degree, expecting to graduate in August 2018. Valerie is mom to three great kids, ages 3, 8 and 11. In her application, she states, "Last year, with the help of my victim advocate April, I was able to find the courage and strength to escape an abusive marriage. The children and I had been exposed to so much abuse and violence; I thought we'd never be the same. Yet here we are! Healing and thriving."
Working as a massage therapist, she is able to barely support her family and so the 'Live Your Dream' award was greatly appreciated.
Valerie describes herself as "a very strong, intelligent, determined woman and mother. I work hard every single day of my life, not only to provide, but also to raise my children to be healthy successful adults. I do not waste time on anything, every hour of my day is a productive one. I have overcome many adversities in my life. Thank you for seeing my potential, believing in my dream, and giving me the chance to live it!"
Blythe Stewart - 2nd Place
Blythe Stewart, whose life has been touched by abuse is our second place winner. Her husband was found to be abusing their daughter. She immediately reported it to the police and has left the relationship, starting to rebuild her life. Blythe was presented a check for $1000 which she will use to help her further her education to help others who face challenges, find the light at the end of a dark tunnel. In honor of past Soroptimist, Jeanne Adovnik, the $2000 "Jeanne's Happy Heart" award was given to Naomi Chaplow. This awarded is funded by Jeanne's family. Naomi is grateful to have the assistance to help her achieve her goal of earning a Social Work degree from the University of Utah. She is especially interested in working with children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.