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Cook Inlet Soroptimist to Honor Women's Oppertunity Award Recipient


February 3, 2010
ANCHORAGE, AK—Soroptimist International of Cook Inlet, a volunteer organization for business and professional women, will present a $1,000 Women’s Opportunity Award to help an Anchorage woman student improve her economic situation through additional education and training. The awards ceremony will be held at 12 noon on March 2 at the Anchorage Westmark Hotel. The Soroptimist of Cook Inlet holds its awards ceremony each year nearest to International Women’s Day—the day that celebrates women’s contributions to society. Anastasia Connolly, 26, will use the cash award to complete her AAS degree in nursing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Once she completes her studies, Connolly, a domestic abuse survivor, plans to bridge her RN to a BSN and then go even further and master in Public Health. The Women’s Opportunity Awards program is Soroptimist International of the Americas’ major service project. Soroptimist International of Cook Inlet is one of 1,500 clubs that make up Soroptimist International of the Americas, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. The Women’s Opportunity Awards program provides women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families with the financial resources to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training and can be used for tuition, books, childcare or any other education-related expense. This program was created in 1972 to help women improve their ability to provide for their families. Each year, more than $1 million is provided in cash grants to women in need. Since the program’s inception in 1972, approximately $15 million in Women’s Opportunity Awards has been disbursed to about 25,000 women throughout the countries served by Soroptimist International of the America’s. Connolly will now advance to the Soroptimist Western Region level, where one recipient will receive $5,000. The program culminates with three finalist $10,000 awards. The Cook Inlet Soroptimists chose Connolly because of her inspiring story, her 3.9 grade-point­-average in college and the excellent recommendations she received. Connolly has been raising her son and helping support her three younger brothers on the money she earns working two jobs as a nursing assistant at the hospital and an internal medical practice. For more information about how Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls, call Holly Zachman-Parsons at (907) 277-1616. ###

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