Yes We Can!
"Yes We Can" is President Carolyn Bolton's theme for the club's new year July 2021-June 2022. Our annual officer installation event last Saturday was especially joyful as it was our first in-person gathering since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. Past President Portia Stewart (left) and re-installed President Carolyn Bolton, hosted the event.
Contributing to the Community
SI Oakland is proud to participate in Alliance for Girls, a coalition of Bay Area organizations that focus on helping women and girls. Members Portia Stewart and Jan Medina participated in their last conference.
Help in time of need
Our annual "Steps to Success" Shoe Project event was cancelled due to coronavirus, but the Soroptimist Oakland Club members found a way to make a difference in the lives of East Oakland elementary school students. Many of the students at the two schools where we provide the mentoring project can't participate in online learning opportunities because their families don't have computers. Soroptimist of Oakland-The Founder Club is proud to have donated 60 Kindle Fire tablets to help fill that gap. Please consider making a donation to the Shoe Project.
We're excited to announce our new member Jacqueline Cisneros (center)! Here's Carolyn Bolton (left) installing her at our 1/23/20 meeting with her sponsor and sister Khadija Fredericks. Welcome, Jacqueline!
Girls Inc. of Alameda County and Soroptimist International of Oakland - The Founder Club have partnered up to provide mentorship and guidance to high school aged seniors applying for college admissions and scholarships. Through the Girls Inc. National Scholarship Program, best known as GINS to the applicants, Girls Inc. members are able to apply for national scholarships to help defer the rising costs of education. Six SIO-TFC members have taken an active role, each partnering with one girl: Bertha Dorsey, Leanne Davis, Katharine Miller, Portia Stewart, Kay Taylor, and Sheila Wang, Mentorship includes a weekly meeting between Mentor and Mentee at the Girls Inc. of Alameda County headquarters in Oakland. Guidelines for mentorship include reading, revising, brainstorming and advising in the creation of a scholarship application submission. There are four essays, each weighted differently and comprise over six pages of submission. Our young mentees have been busy writing, and our enthusiastic members have been busy reading!
President Portia Stewart remarked, "I found working with the girls at Girls Inc. to be extremely rewarding and a chance to bond with a young woman grateful for our experience and help. I've offered club's assistance for this project again next year. It was rewarding and the best way to lead is by example.
First draft submissions are due by 6pm Friday, November 2nd. We look forward to hearing about the continued successes of our already bright and successful future leaders!
See what great work Girls Inc is doing here: https://girlsinc.org/
On September 5, 2018, our club had a wonderful evening with guests from the Soroptimist Club Milano Fondatore, who were celebrating their 90th Anniversary.. Cheryl Poncini and her committee did a tremendous job organizing the event. Our talented member Patricia Costello and her husband Aurelio Mucci generously served as translators for the evening. Several members of our sister club SI El Cerrito were present as well as District Director Elise Balgely. We enjoyed food, wine, and the exchange of gifts. We are extremely grateful to our Italian Soroptimists for their visit and friendship.
The SI Oakland club has been so very proud to have had Kay Taylor as our president for the 2016-2018 terms. Under her confident and graceful leadership, the Oakland group grew remarkably and took on an impressive range of fundraising and service activities. As she closed out her term, President Kay addressed the new officer installation dinner on June 24 with a presentation on the whirlwind of activities that occurred in the last year under her leadership that you can see here.
Kay is trailblazer extraordinaire. She is a retired Kaiser OBGYN medical doctor. She was among the first waves of women entering medicine in the 1970s, and one of the very few to enter medical school as a mother of two. She extended her medical contributions internationally by founding and leading the non-profit volunteer organization Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer. PINCC was dedicated to stopping cervical cancer in developing countries, where it kills 800 women every day. Her teams of volunteers provided high-quality education and training at sites serving women in need in Latin America, Africa and India by establishing self-sufficient, affordable cervical cancer prevention centers.
President Kay, thank you on behalf of all of our members. Your shoes will be very hard to fill. We look forward to enjoying your continued leadership as a member of our great club!
One way our club works for the betterment of education for girls is by creating menstrual kits as part of the Days for Girls project. The kits are a safe, beautiful, washable, long-lasting alternative for girls in developing countries who often miss school when menstruating due to lack of supplies. Our kits are sent to our sister Soroptimist chapter in Kisumu, Kenya for distribution to students there. They have expressed tremendous gratitude for our support. Here are pictures from our June 2 sewing session. Please consider helping out; see the calendar for our upcoming sewing days!