A report by Sue Riney
“With the theme, Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities, the UN’s Civil Society Conference was held in Salt Lake City, USA, 26 – 28 August 2019, and Soroptimists from Utah, local students and a high school counsellor shared in a breakout session. Looking at the Soroptimist International of Americas (SIA) ‘Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls’ ® the session explored how the program helps girls stay healthy and safe in the short term, and reduces the number of women in crisis in the future.
Soroptimist International Director of Advocacy Bev Bucur, facilitated the workshop that provided the audience with an overview of the ‘Dream It, Be It’ program that helps equip girls to overcome obstacles they may face, set goals, and head towards success. Rocky Mountain Region’s ‘Dream It, Be It’ Committee Chair, Carol Felici from SI Ogden, described how the goals and objectives of the program have been built into the curriculum that can be delivered in either a one-day conference or over a series of sessions. Carol shared how through the program girls feel more confident about their future success, are more prepared to pursue their career goals, creating achievable goals for their future, and are introduced to women from a variety of professions to serve as mentors and role models.
High School Counselor Heidi Nielson, who was the school liaison to Soroptimist for the program, provided her insights on the value of the program for many of the students – especially when women in a variety of careers came in to share how they themselves had overcome obstacles to get where they were today. Ms. Nielson believes that of all the sessions, that one had the greatest impact on the girls who, though they may not remember the specifics of the curriculum, will remember how they felt after being included in ‘Dream It, Be It’, the support they received, and the confidence they gained in themselves. Students Jayda Sapa and Samantha Lemus provided their perspectives as program participants, with Jayda sharing that her most important takeaway was learning not to be afraid to fail, that you just need to pick yourself up and keep on going. Samantha’s primary takeaway was ensuring she took the time to take care of herself. The workshop wrapped up with SIA Past President Dawn Marie Lemonds walking the audience through one of the activities the girls take part in, imagining what their life will look like in 10 years and drawing on paper what they wanted to ensure was included. Many thanks to Rocky Mountain Region Governor, Rita Offrett, for helping assemble the great panel and for all those who brought this impactful workshop to the conference.”
More information on ‘Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls’ can be found HERE
Read an introduction to the Civil Society Conference HERE
Read a report by Dawn Marie Lemonds on the Opening Plenary Session HERE