Soroptimist International of

Grosse Pointe (SIGP)

Read their stories

 janay wheeler

Sara Mai Baker

Laurie Jost produced the movie, Stuck In Traffic: Modern-Day Slavery in Michigan.  This film was created to increase overall awareness of human trafficking, especially in Michigan, as well as help young people protect themselves.  Wayne County Medical Society Foundation (WCMSF) sponsored this film. Laurie has been serving as the Human trafficking Chairperson for WCMSF for he past several years.  She convinced the Foundation to fund this movie, along with helping raise the $60,000 needed to make it a reality.  It is a moving documentary that is available free online, along with a booklet. (  Several individuals, as well as many educators and counselors have viewed this film.  It has also been shown to high school students.  Itexplains how human trafficking occurs, presents the dangers as well as strategies for protection, and the stories of survivors.  It is designed to educate girls about the real risks of violence, especially human trafficking.  By creating this film and ensuring it is easily accessible and free, Laurie Josthas and will continue to make a difference in the lives of anyone, especially girls and women, who view the film.    Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe is proud to support Laurie in her goal to help eradicate human trafficking.

Meet Brittany Zatorski, a senior at University of Detroit Mercy (UDM).  She is an honor student graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. Brittany grew up in Warren, MI., living with her Mom, Grandmother and three siblings.  There was not a father figure in her life. At the age of 11, her Grandmother passed away and shortly thereafter her mother was injured at work resulting in a disability.  This is when Brittany started working at the age of 14 to help out with family expenses and she has continued to work even as a full time student.

A career decision was made at the age of 9 when Brittany had her injured front teeth repaired from an accident in her early years.  She decided that she wanted to become a dentist!  She worked hard in high school and received a partial scholarship to UDM.  Now as she graduates she will begin to study for her Dental Admission Test (DAT) and hopefully a year from now will know where she is going to dental school!

Soroptimist is pleased to present Brittany with a $3000 award to help her with expenses of obtaining materials and taking a class to prepare for the DAT.  Congratulations!

Congratulations to SIGP Live Your Dream (LYD) Award Winner, Sara Mai Baker, who not only won at the Midwestern Regional level, she has now gone on to win the LYD Federation level award. SIA president, Rosemary Reid notified Sara that she won.  Midwestern Region Governor, Vivian Walczesky, notified SIGP the fabulous news that Sara had won the award.  Since there is not a SIA convention this year, Sara will be presented with the LYD award certificate by Midwestern Region’s Governor, Vivian Walczesky at SIGP’s June business meeting.

SigP Live your dream Award winner goes on to win at the international level.

Jami Polk created the Bravo Foundation, a Detroit based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, which serves socially and economically disadvantaged girls and young women.  Their purpose is to prepare girls for a stable and healthy future, which will ensure their personal, career, and economic success.  Jami grew up in a family that was sometimes homeless, so she became committed to help girls, especially in Detroit, who are struggling with the same challenges she faced.  She is providing Girls Empowerment Summer Retreats, Women Empowered to Lead Change programs, and Outreach.  These programs offer women and girls mentoring, coaching, counseling, career preparation, and survival skills in empowering themselves to lead a better life.  Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe is committed to helping Jami help girls and women to reach their dreams.

 Jami polk

 sara mai baker

Jami Polk

Janay Wheeler

Sara Mai Baker is attending University of Michigan-Dearborn pursing a B.A. in Pre-Elementary Special Education.  She is a single parent with three children, two girls and one boy.  She was living in the Middle East when her parents arranged for her to marry an American man, eleven years her senior, as an attempt to give her a better life.  She was abused mentally and physically for ten years. She is now divorced and struggling to make a better life for herself and her three children.  Her son needed and received special education training, which helped him start succeeding in school.  This inspired Sara to pursue becoming a special education teacher.  In the process, her non-supporting spouse became more abusive, impelling Sara to leave him.  She is determined to create a better life for herself and her children.  Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe is proud to award her the Soroptimist International of the Americas signature Live Your Dream Award.  We want to help her live her dream to become a Special Needs Teacher.

brittany zatorski

Laurie Jost

Janay Ashleigh Wheeler is attending Davenport University pursing a Licensure of Practical Nursing (LPN).  Janay is a single parent raising a two-year-old son by herself.  She has been working two jobs while attending school, and is determined to continue in a B.S.N. program, as well as a Master’s in Nursing.  Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe is proud to award her second place winner of the Soroptimist International of the Americas signature Live your Dream Award.  We are confident that she will succeed in living her dream to become a Nurse, LPN and eventually a BSN.

 laurie jost

Brittany Zatorski

Please forward your questions to

Marlane Washington, Ruby Award Chair at


Rosann Morrow, Co-Chair

virginia wagner winner

live your dream winners

ruby award winners

2017 award winners 

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. DEADLINE: January 15, 2018

Please forward your questions, applications and transcripts  to

Diana Langlois, Virginia Wagner Chair at


Elizabeth Lucas, Co-Chair at

Live Your Dream honors a woman who is going to school to improve employment opportunities and is head of household, enrolled in a training or educational program and has financial need.  You cannot have a college degree and be eligible for LYD.  

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 and November 15 of each year

Please forward your questions to

Kathy Kraydich, Award Chair at

or co-chair

Renee' Rodriguez at

for more information about this award click here

Many of our winner's have went on to win at the regional level for an additional $5,000

The Ruby Award ..acknowledges a woman who has made a significant difference improving the lives of women and girls.  DEAD LINE February 28th, 2018


virginia wagner Educational award