SI-MSC is involved with several Soroptimist award programs.  Learn something about them on this page, then contact us for more information.  This page describes several specific awards.  Look them over to see whether you qualify.  

If you are doing work that benefits women and girls and keeps with our values, please complete the general request form.  This gives us the information we must have before we evaluate your request! 

The Live Your Dream Award

Since 1972, the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Award education & training awards program has given more than $25 million to tens of thousands of women who have overcome poverty, domestic and sexual violence, divorce, the death of a spouse, or other life challenges.  These women have the courage and determination to turn their lives around.

Recipients may use the cash award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, including books, childcare and transportation.  

The winner of the local grant receives $1,000.  The local winner is then evaluated by a panel at the Region level.  The winner at that level usually receives $5,000, and may qualify for an award at a higher level.  

Eligibility Information

Eligible candidates…

  • Provide the primary financial support for yourself and your dependents. Dependents can include children, spouse, partner, siblings and/or parents.
  • Have financial need.
  • Are enrolled in or have been accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program.
  • Are motivated to achieve your education and career goals.
  • Reside in one of Soroptimist International of the Americas’ member countries/territories.
  • Have not previously been the recipient of a Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity or Live Your Dream Award.
  • Do not have a graduate degree.
  • Are not a Soroptimist member, an employee of Soroptimist International of the Americas, or immediate family of someone who is.


For applications, click the link here to the Soroptimist International of the Americas website.  From here, you can…

  • choose your preferred language from several options, including Spanish, French, and Mandarin.  
  • complete the application online if you prefer.

To determine your eligibility in English, click here:

To download the application click this link to the application in English.  This document includes specific directions and the application.  

To link to the form your references must use, click this link.  Each person giving you a reference must complete this form.  It includes detailed instructions.  

The Violet Richardson Award

We are lucky to have in our community many young women between the ages of 14 and 18 who volunteer in the community.  They are eligible to apply for the Violet Richardson Award.  Watch this space for the deadline for applying for the 2019-2020 award. 

This award recognizes young women who make the community and world a better place through volunteer efforts such as: fighting drugs, crime and violence; cleaning up the environment; and working to end discrimination and poverty.  Volunteer actions that benefit women or girls are of particular interest.

Soroptimist is an organization of women whose members volunteer in their communities, alongside many of these young women.  Although we believe that volunteering is its own reward, we also want to honor young women who value community service.

Contact us at P.O. Box 1064  Gualala, CA 95445, or email us at


Founder Region Fellowship offers grants to women in doctoral programs who:

  • enrolled in graduate schools within the boundary of Founder Region
  • have advanced to candidacy
  • are entering into the last year of their doctoral programs

Read these requirements carefully:

  • Competition is open to any outstanding graduate woman who is working toward a doctoral degree, preferably in the last year of study.  If she is in the last two years of study, she may be considered if she has advanced to candidacy. 
  • International students are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate school within Founder Region, see specifics below. 
  • Candidates must submit to the Fellowship President a completed application with all supporting materials (as described in the application). 
  • Applications must be emailed no later than January 15. The forms are available on this website and/or may be obtained through the dean of the applicant's graduate school or by emailing the Fellowship President.
  • Candidates considered for final selection must appear for a personal interview.

Watch this space for deadline information for the 2018-2019 awards.

The instructions and links to the forms are below.  

Candidates must be enrolled in an accredited graduate school within Founder Region, which includes

  •  the following Northern California counties:  

         Alameda        Contra Costa         Del Norte          Humboldt         Lake     

         Marin             Mendocino            Napa                 Solano             Sonoma

  •  the State of Hawai’i
  •  the US Territories of Guam and The Marianas 

You can find the current information on the Fellowship website.  Please follow this link to make sure you get the latest information.  

PO Box 1064  Gualala, CA  95445                                                                        © 2022 Soroptimist International Mendocino Sonoma Coast