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Bob Maxey

Soroptimist's present annual awards


April 10, 2014
Soroptimist Inter-national Grosse Pointe handed out three awards to women, two of which are to be used for continuing education.

Women's

Opportunity Award

Youliana Piscopo began her education after immigrating to the United States. She earned a licensed practical nursing degree and will graduate in April with a bachelor's degree in nursing from Davenport University.


After arriving in the United States, she worked two jobs to pay bills and send money to her mother in Bulgaria.

Piscopo attends school full time and works full time at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit. Last year, she volunteered with AmeriCorps helping veterans further their education. Piscopo said she would like to do research in mental health and substance abuse to help veterans. SIGP awarded $2,000 to help Piscopo with educational expenses.

Women's Opportunity Special Award

Tiesha Adams is enrolled at Davenport University in a four-year Bachelor of Science medical case management program. She plans to graduate in April 2016 and pursue a Master of Social Work degree, with the goal of becoming a licensed social worker. SIGP awarded $1,000 to Adams to help with educational expenses.

Violet Richardson Teen Award

Alexandria Thomas, a Regina High School sophomore, was recognized for her volunteerism at Vista Maria, a program offering healing and hope to children who have suffered from abuse, neglect and trauma. Thomas works with her mother coordinating activities for the girls by providing a teenager's perspective. She has volunteered at Vista Maria since 2012.

She said she "appreciates Vista Maria helping troubled young girls to become healthy, confident young ladies."

SIGP awarded $250 to Thomas and $250 to Vista Maria in her name.

Ruby Award: for Women Helping Women

Under the guidance of Sister Carol Weber, Sister Judith Blake, volunteers and women in the Flint area entered a three-year program to empower women.

"Our mission was to help at-risk women become self-sustainable by helping them find jobs, but then the bottom fell out of the economy," Weber said. "In order to be true to our mission, we felt we needed to start a small business to give them jobs."

Thus was born St. Luke N.E.W. Life Enterprises Inc. The center provides life skills, workplace training and jobs to help women become self sufficient. They are taught to sew patient hospital gowns, mammography gowns, tote bags, cell phone covers and lanyards.

St. Luke's employs more than 60 women and was acknowledged by Gov. Rick Synder in a 2013 business report.

SIGP donated $500 to St. Luke.

Upcoming

event

Break the Chains of Human Trafficking, a panel discussion, will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, in the Lake Shore High School auditorium, 22980 E. 13 Mile Road, St. Clair Shores.

Sen. Judy Emmons, Prof. E. Christopher Johnson Jr. and FBI Agent Nicole McGee will be speaking on legislative actions, the laws and how to help stop human trafficking crimes.

Register for the free event at grossepointeso

ropotimist@gmail.com. Type RSVP in the subject line.


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