Soroptimists present awards to local women

WATSONVILLE — The Soroptimist International of Watsonville presented four local women with the Live Your Dream award, at the annual awards dinner on April 2 at the California Grill.

Xochitl Ybarra received $3,500 as the first place winner.

“My husband was in jail,” Ybarra said, “and I had to work hard to keep my family together. Because of the Watsonville Soroptimists, I can go to school and work to break the cycle of poverty in my family. I want to better the world through the knowledge I gain.”

Ybarra is one of the final four awardees at the regional level, and has an opportunity to win an additional award at the Soroptimist International of the Americas Regional Conference in May.

Ybarra’s husband celebrated her award at the dinner, and will be joining her at the Regional Conference.

Angelica Martinez, a $3,000 award winner, is a young mother, working hard to raise her children, and now has the opportunity to continue school.

Nichol Veles, a $2,500 award winner, told the dinner guests, “You don’t even know the walls you’ve broken down for me.”

Veles’ teenage son accompanied her to the dinner. She told her son, “It was because of you that I was able to persevere.”

Also honored with a $1,500 award was last year’s first place award winner Lindsay Peterson. Peterson is currently in her last year at CSU Monterey Bay, working on a dual major in social work and community health.

“The Live Your Dream award helped me to grow as a mom, a student and as a woman,” she said.

“We are so honored to support these amazing women,” Watsonville Soroptimist Vice President and Live Your Dream committee chair Fiaau Ohmann said. “They are now on a path to living their dreams.”

Soroptimist International of Watsonville, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, aims to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. For information, contact President Katherine Foxworthy at [email protected], President-elect Mary Kashmar at [email protected], or visit www.


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