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Soroptimists recognize women and youth for achievements

By Staff | Jun 19, 2014

Alexandra Pardico, winner of the club’s Youth Citizenship Award, is congratulated by Mayor Alan Arakawa.

WAIKAPU – Soroptimist International of Maui recently gave out more than $10,000 in cash awards to women and youth in the community at their sixth annual awards banquet at Kahili Golf Club in Waikapu.

Anna Keene was selected as the winner of the club’s Live Your Dream Award. She was also the winner of the district award and a runner-up for the region award. Keene was awarded $6,000 in recognition of her accomplishments.

Keene has overcome many obstacles in her life and recently graduated with honors from the University of Hawaii Maui College, where she received an Associate in Science Degree in Human Services and the University of Hawaii Board of Regents Award for Public Service.

Live Your Dream Awards are presented to highly ambitious women who are heads of their households and want to improve their lives and employment prospects by gaining additional skills, training and education.

April Mae Companero, Elizabeth Cunningham, Gemma Hanson, Aristina Ora-a and Sharmaine Pasalo were selected as recipients of the club’s Sharon Okumura Nursing Awards.

The club donates $2,500 each year to the University of Hawaii Foundation, in the name of Sharon Okumura, to distribute to students looking for financial assistance to complete the Maui nursing program.

Shantel Longboy was selected as the winner of the club’s $500 Violet Richardson Award. Named after the president of the first Soroptimist club, the award honors girls who are making a difference through volunteer service.

Longboy volunteers much of her time with Best Buddies Maui, so the cash award was distributed between her and Best Buddies.

Alexandra Pardico, who just graduated from Maui High School, was selected as the winner of the club’s Youth Citizenship Award and presented with a check for $1,000.

Alexandra graduated at the top of her class and plans to attend Gonzaga University and major in biology.

Youth Citizenship Awards are presented to graduating high school seniors in recognition of their outstanding service and contributions to home, school and community. Ten intermediate schools also participated in the club’s Junior Youth Citizenship Program. Seventeen students were selected as winners.

Junior Youth Citizenship Awards of $50 are presented to eighth grade students for their outstanding service in both school and community.

Soroptimist International is the world’s largest classified service organization for executive and professional women.

With organizations in 119 countries and territories, Soroptimist International contributes time and financial support to projects that improve the lives of women and girls in the local community and around the world.

To find out more about the club and Soroptimist International, visit www.simaui.org or www.facebook.com/ soroptimistmaui.