Jeritha: A mother, A mentor, A survivor and an inspiration to all.

Where to begin? My email says all I am the mother of five children, a kidney transplant survivor who is a fighter and mentor. I volunteer and speak publicly to discuss kidney disease and to encourage donors.

I graduated from the Dorsey School with a Med-Tech Professional Certification Training with honors as a Certified Medical Assistant. My dream is to continue my education and work side by side with the people who saved my life. Read my story:

I am extremely appreciative to SIGP for my LYD Award.

Live Your Dream Awards program is a unique education award for women who provide the primary financial support for their families. The Live Your Dream Awards give women the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.

You must be working towards a college / technical degree and have a financial need to be eligible for the Live Your Dream award.

This is the signature award of Soroptimist International of the Americas. It is awarded to women around the world. Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe is proud to make a difference in the lives of women and girls and to help them Live Their Dream.

Applications may be submitted online through the Soroptimist website between 

July 1- November 15

Please forward your questions to our

Live Your Dream Chair

Bette Lepouttre 

for more information about this award click here

The Soroptimist Ruby Award honors women who, through their professional or personal efforts, are making extraordinary differences in the lives of women or girls.  Honorees are women who have worked to improve the lives of other women or girls.  Their work has had a significant impact and also inspires and encourages other women.


February 15th.


Virginia Wagner Educational award

Continuing Education Award for
live your dream

Lavina has had a very difficult life, being primary support at an early age for her two younger half-sisters when their mother remarried and moved out of state. She continues to be the primary financial support for her 18 year old sister. Over the years and mentoring from her Matriarch Grandmother, Lavina took on the “mother role” and tries hard to provide for her sisters so they do not have to struggle as she did.

Lavina has an Associate Degree in general studies from Wayne State University. With determination and after applying three times,she is currently in the Macomb Community College nursing program working on her Associate Degree in Nursing. She expects to graduate at the end of this academic year and will immediately begin a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) at Oakland University.

The Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe (SIGP) Continuing Education Award was established in 2018 to provide additional financial support to our LYD recipients as they work toward completing their education programs.  This award provides LYD recipients with $500 a year, for up to 4 years after receiving a Live Your Dream Award or until the recipient completes her GED, skills training or undergraduate education program, whichever occurs first.  To be eligible to receive this additional funding, a LYD recipient must be able to document that she has: (1) continued her enrollment in a GED program, skills training or undergraduate education program on at least a half-time basis; (2) continued to experience significant financial challenges that impact her ability to complete her education program; and (3) maintained no less than a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).  

Briana is currently enrolled at the University of Michigan-Dearborn where she is earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences.  Upon graduation she intends to pursue her interest in public health and ultimately obtain a medical degree.  Her goal as a physician it to use integrative and preventative medicine techniques to help mobilize communities and resources to deliver healthcare to vulnerable populations.  As a “STEMinist”, she is an ardent proponent of women having careers in STEM or traditionally male-dominated fields.

What is so amazing about Briana is her drive to gain experience to be the best physician she can be.  She helps to pay for her tuition and contribute to her family’s expenses by working as a medical technician/phlebotomist and as a supplemental instructor providing interactive and collaborative review sessions for fellow students.  Her volunteer activities have included:  1) student researcher in faculty-sponsored biochemistry and psychology labs; 2) Detroit Regional Dollars for Students alumnus; 3) President of the One University organization in Dearborn; 4) coordinator for Biology Club and Mindful Medicine events on campus and 5) teaching bible lessons for young children in her church.

Due to privacy, the name and photo will not be provided

Please forward your questions to our 

Ruby Award Chair

Maureen Anthony

2021  award winners 

Please forward your questions to our
Continuing Education Award Chair

Maddy Colavito

educational award applications


Women leaders of the world!

live your dream
Continuing Education Award recipient




I am an individual who is passionate about God, children, helping others, and making a difference. I am a single mother myself, whose child was born with multiple, special needs. Nevertheless, it is miracle and a testimony that my child is here today. The doctors did not believe my child would make it to see another day, but did. Having my child opened my eyes to a lot of things, and taught the true meaning of faith, sacrifice, unconditional love, and the will to fight and push for a better life. A better life for myself and above all, my family.

Had it not been for the numerous surgeries, the frequent visits to the doctors, hospital stays, and challenges faced on a regular basis, I would not understand nor have the faith or courage to continue to pursue my dream of becoming a Nurse, author, and motivational speaker. By accomplishing these goals, someday I will be able to help make a greater impact on the lives of other people. That is what receiving for the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Award means to me. It is a step toward all of my future endeavors that I want to share with my child and the children that I care for on a regular basis.


My Sister's Keeper aims to mentor and advocate for young women ages 7-24, nurturing, empowering, equipping, positively impacting and "KEEPING" youth on the path to success.

Tanesha, is no stranger to life’s challenges. She formed My Sister’s Keeper, a youth mentoring organization based in Highland Park, Michigan, in response to her own tumultuous adolescence. She turned her pain to purpose by reaching the growing number of hurting, under-privileged, under-valued, and under-served young ladies who could benefit from her love, experience, guidance, and resources. This human servant, advocate, philanthropist, and pioneer has led My Sister’s Keeper in positively impacting the lives of countless youth ages 7-18. Windom has demonstrated expansive and exceptional organizational leadership, program development, strategic planning, fund development, project management, and client-based youth servicing. Affectionately referred to as Ms. Tanesha, she has worked tirelessly, without a salary, and often using her own finances to safeguard the trajectory of today’s youth and to change their narratives. She is a change agent making a difference through caring and supportive relationship-building, one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, peer mentoring, school-based mentoring, technology-driven mentoring, academic enrichment, life skills training, field trips, community service projects, summer employment, internships, extracurricular activities, out-of-state travel, counseling, and life coaching. Windom is a Professional Counselor and member of the National Counseling Association, who has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Rochester and a Master of Arts Degree in Community Mental Health Counseling from the University of Detroit Mercy. She has conducted extensive research on the efficacy of mentoring and interventions for children and adolescents. Her research and passion for keeping kids on the path to success led to the development of the My Sister’s Keeper mentoring curriculum, Keep Her: The 7 P’s to Healthy Youth Development, including Elementary School, Middle School, High School, and Faith-Based Editions. Tanesha is the mother of two young adult sons and a native of Highland Park who is committed to reinvesting in the City’s youth. She has been featured in publications and received numerous accolades for her work, particularly the UAW-Ford Community Award. Ms. Tanesha S. Windom is well on her way to achieving her life’s goal of mentoring one million youth. TANESHA  IS A KEEPER!

Virginia Wagner Educational Award honors a woman who is enrolled in a university degree program, i.e., Bachelor, Master or Doctorate program and shows effort toward scholarship and has done volunteer work in the community and/or school and has a financial need.


January 15

of each year.

Please download and complete the application.
The complete application and required documents are to be emailed to: 

by January 15
Please forward your questions to our
 Virginia Wagner Chair's

Maddy Colavito


Judi Dara

I am 27 years old. I am an unwed mother of three children 5-year-old Nyla 4-year-old Nikolas and 1-year-old Nayah. I have decided to go back to school to get my Bachelor of Science in Nursing but during this time it has been truly a struggle for my family. Battling with inadequate housing and childcare has cost me my job and even some of my classes. Through this hard time, I have not been able to rely on any of my family members because of them battling with their own personal issues. This has led me to attend different organizations to get assistance including the Department of Human Services, Gianna House, Pregnancy Aid, and more. The different organizations and donors have been able to help me in this hard time as well as pointing me in the right direction for different resources. With Soroptimists blessing me with this win this will put me and my family back on track and get us closer to our accomplishments. I just want to say thank you and how appreciative I am for all that's Soroptimist has done to bless my family. thank you again!!

Virginia Wagner Educational award