Soroptimist International of Humboldt Bay has announced its 2020 “Make a Difference” award winners.
Kylie Van Vleck has received the $1,500 Violet Richardson Award, named for the founder of the Soroptimist organization. Van Vleck balances a solid academic schedule of Advanced Placement classes with cheer, FFA and debate. Her lifetime of 4-H membership was the springboard to launching her toward an attitude of charitable action within the community.
Star Siegfried, an advocate for women and infants, has received the Ruby Award. For over 20 years, Siegfried has changed the lives of mothers in Humboldt County through her Mother2Mother Support Group. She facilitates lactation support, empowering those who thought that breastfeeding might not be possible or sustainable. Siegfried donated her monetary award to the Mother2Mother Support Group, a DreamMaker project of the Ink People.
Sarah Johnson is the recipient of the Live Your Dream Award. Johnson has overcome many challenges and has had great support the past few years to help her improve her life. She is raising her 8-year-old daughter while attending Sierra College online. She hopes to transfer to Humboldt State University to finish her degree in social work or psychology. She was also recently hired by the County of Humboldt as an assistant, working with elders in the community.
Joanne Colegrove has received a Re-Entry Award. Colegrove returned to school after her youngest child became more independent. With determination and commitment, she completed two years at College of the Redwoods and has recently been admitted to Humboldt State University. Her goal is to bring all social services “together” in her community.
“I have been alive long enough to witness how destructive life can be without proper guidance at critical points in one’s life,” she said.
Elizabeth Odell has received the Distinguished Youth Award. Odell has been involved in many programs during her high school years. During her freshman year, she was involved in a program that created a grant application and raised and donated approximately $6,000 to the Backpacks for Kids program. She also founded a club to prepare a team for the Battle of the Books competition. During her junior year, Odell volunteered with the Alice Birney Elementary School after-school bike program to help children become more involved in bicycling. She is currently an exchange student in Spain with Rotary International. She plans to attend Humboldt State University upon her return and study environmental engineering. She is also planning on participating in the HSU cycling team and would like to help more women get involved in this male-dominated sport.
Reagan Lima is the recipient of the club’s first Women in Business Award. This award is open to women to start or grow their own business and was awarded the amount of $1,000. Lima is a graduate of Eureka High School and a liberal arts and science graduate of Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. She has a doctorate in traditional Chinese medicine from Five Branches University in San Jose. After traveling and training in Hangzhou China, Lima returned to Humboldt County and, with the assistance of these grant funds, will soon be opening Lima’s Center for Acupuncture and Holistic Medicine in Eureka.