SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL of
Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.
Live Your Dream Award 2016
Jennifer Gardiner - 1st Place
Jennifer Gardiner is our Live Your Dreams Award winner for 2016. Jennifer grew up in a small town in Oregon, she lived with her blind mother and partially blind sister. After her family moved to Utah she moved out of her mothers' house in her senior year and married her first husband.
Soon she was faced with his severe alcohol and drug abuse problems. After seven years and 2 children she left, got a job and met her second husband. After a year of marriage husband number two began physically abusing her. She stayed with him seven years and had her third child, during this time the family moved a dozen times, the children attended 7 elementary schools. Husband 2 developed drug induced schizophrenia, in 2006 he went into a deadly rage and attacked her.
It took several reconstructive surgeries, 6 metal plates and 18 screws to put the left side of her face back together. She lost all natural tearing and had her lower left eye lid replaced. She has chronic nerve damage from being strangled which causes pain through the rest of her body.
She is now part of 'Break the Silence' group to advocate, educate and help victims through the circle of survival.
Kate Anderson - 2nd Place
Kate was twenty when she got married, a year later she had her first child. A few years later her husband became withdrawn, neglectful, verbally and physically abusive.
Terrified and scared she left him but went back several times, each time the situation got worse and the cycle of chaos continued. She has never received child support from her ex-husband, who reminds her she never will receive help due to his 'self employed' situation.
After getting certified as a yoga instructor she got a job teaching yoga for Intermountain Health Care. Her passion for yoga inspired her to start yoga programs for children and adults with disabilities.
Kate has been volunteering at youth correction centers for the past two years. While working a second part time job in an ER setting Kate decided she wanted to get a nursing degree. This scholarship will assist her to continue her education and make her goal of a becoming a nurse a reality.