By Crystal Harrell
On March 14, the College of the Desert Indio Campus hosted the first-ever Soroptimist “Reach for your Dream” Day. This event consisted of a career development workshop for women that provided helpful resources and the opportunity to have Soroptimist members serve as mentors for those in need of career support. The event was sponsored by a grant from Trilogy La Quinta Community Services Foundation, and lasted from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Soroptimist International of Palm Desert identifies itself as “a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.” This message was evident throughout the workshop, as various keynote speakers and experienced Soroptimist members shared their motivational stories with the attendees in hopes of inspiring future success.
“Reach for your Dream” Day was hosted by entrepreneur and Soroptimist member Lori Oliver, who introduced the keynote address speaker, 2014 Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awardee Emerald Sykes. Sykes recounted her past experiences as a single mother, escaping an abusive relationship, and announced how she is now living the life she always wanted while pursuing a degree in psychology.
After Sykes’ speech, Associate Dean of Cal State San Bernardino-Palm Desert Dr. Doris Wilson spoke about having a strategy in order to achieve your goals. “Seek respect, not popularity,” stated Wilson. “Our nature is ‘who we are’ and our reputation is ‘who people think we are.'”
Following Wilson’s strategy sermon, a COD faculty and staff panel discussion was held, consisting of Associate Professor of Early Childhood Development Donna Greene, author and scholarship consultant Eve-Marie Andrews, academic counselor Maria Herrera, and EOPS/CARE coordinator Carol Lasquade. Each faculty member told their personal stories and invited attendees to ask any questions they had about overcoming their struggles.
Lunch was provided soon after, and a “what not to wear to be successful” lesson was held to demonstrate the appropriate attire for women to wear when going to job interviews. After lunch, the “Reach for your Dream” Day attendees were given two lectures: “Tick Tock, Where does your day go?” delivered by social coordinator and legal assistant Linda Hall about how to practice better time management, and “What’s in your way?” by entrepreneur Sherrie Yoshimura detailing how to identify the biggest sources of stress in your life.
“Make some quiet time for yourself each day, even if it is no more than ten minutes,” said Linda Hall. “Your future is in your hands and you can achieve your dreams. All you need to do is manage it.”
The final speakers of the workshop were environmental consultant Susan Browne Rosenberg and administrator Judy Corren, who discussed their careers in the field of science and the opportunity for Soroptimist mentoring, respectively. Raffle prizes were then given out, and “Reach for your Dream” attendees left with a better sense of confidence and hope for a successful career.