On May 17th, the Soroptimist International Club of Cape May County announced their 2022 achievement awards of over $11,000 presented to eight outstanding women of Cape May County.
Olivia Heng was awarded the Violet Richardson Award which recognizes girls, ages 14-18 who are making a difference through volunteer service. Olivia is a senior at Ocean City High School and is a volunteer with the OCHS Environmental Association and is a student liaison for the Ocean City Environmental Commission, the Ocean City Tabernacle’s Son Club and serves as the Lieutenant Governor of the New Jersey Key Club of Division 1. Olivia plans to attend Brown University in the fall.
The Live Your Dream Award is given to women who provide primary financial support for herself and dependents and who are enrolled or accepted to a vocational/skills training or undergraduate degree program. Zahia Kaced and Brianna Davis were the 2022 winners of this award. Zahia is currently attending Cape May Tech in the Licensed Practical Nursing Program. She supports herself and four children including a special needs child which has inspired her to further her education to assist him as well as others. Brianna has two daughters, and also attends Cape May Tech in the LPN program. She dreams of pursuing a career as a registered nurse in the maternity field.
Isabella Freund and Leonor Rodriguez each received a Medical Award which recognizes achievement for young women intending to pursue their education in the medical field. Isabella is a graduating senior at OCHS and plans to study Biology at Loyola University with an eye to her future as a medical professional. In addition to being an excellent student, she has volunteered as a fundraiser making over $30,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as making meals for the Atlantic City Rescue Mission and volunteering with the Northern Cape Youth Golf Charity. Leonor is working towards a Health Science degree at ACCC and has plans to become a nurse. She was the Treasurer of the Middle Township National Honor Society and was considered a “vital part of their organization working with the other officers to focus and guide the larger group of students.” She was also involved in Cheer, the Red Cross Club and track and field team.
The Kindle Business Award winner this year is Lisbeth Garcia, a senior and first in her class at Wildwood High School. She is a member of Renaissance and R.O.O.T.S., a community service club as well as being an accomplished musician, performing with the marching band, pit band, concert band and jazz ensemble. During the pandemic she worked full time to help support her family while taking a full course load at school. Lisbeth will be attending Stockton University in the fall where she will major in marketing.
The Kindle Environmental Award goes to Emily Mawhinney, a senior at Middle Township High School. Emily is an honor student and has served as President and Treasurer of the Drama Club, is a member of the Mock Trial Club, and plays clarinet with the school band and the John Walter Cape Community Band. She has a passion for Environmental Science and volunteers at the Cape May Nature Center and the Cape May County Zoo as well as attending New Jersey State meetings.
The Ruby Award honors a woman who is making extraordinary differences in the lives of women and girls. Honorees’ work has had significant impact and inspires and encourages other women. Our 2022 awardee, Carol Matthews, most recent accomplishment was “Driveway Warriors” a group born to combat fear, anxiety and stress during the lockdown period of the pandemic by providing workout sessions in her driveway. She asked for a small donation from each participant which was then donated to a deserving organization each time the donation bucket reached $100. To date, they have donated $8,200 to various local individuals, organizations and charities and helped women deal with the many challenges of the pandemic. Along with her Fitness Instructor role, Carol was also a teacher at Richard M. Teitelman school where she touched the lives of many young girls through her teaching, coaching both cheerleading and the pom-pom squad for the band, directing school plays, developing a theatre program for students who wanted to “test the waters” of theater, and participating in events which provided low cost prom dresses for high school girls.
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