Ivana was selected by volunteer judges to receive a First Level $1,000 and Second Level $5,000 Live Your Dream Award to help her reach her education goals. She is one of hundreds of remarkable women worldwide who receive a money award each year through this renowned Soroptimist program. Ivana has agreed to let us share her extraordinary story.
When her marriage to her high school sweetheart ended in divorce, Ivana was left with two little girls looking to her to provide for their every need. Though young parenthood, military life, and her husband’s affair proved challenging, Ivana was always determined to finish her education.
At a young age, Ivana was in the child welfare system. This personal experience has now given her a passion to help other struggling families grow and conquer, leading her to pursue a Bachelor’s in Human Services. Now, just months away from finishing her degree, the Live Your Dream Awards came at the perfect time…
“No matter what, I want to give my daughters everything I didn’t have. I want them to have the opportunity to try something new and decide if they like it or not, instead of never trying something because of a lack of access to it. I was held back from pursuing things I was interested in and had to conquer a mindset that said, ‘Maybe this isn’t for you, so stop before you even try.’ I never want my children to suffer from the torment of those lies.
That’s why I say that I want my ceiling to be their floor. I want them to go above and beyond me and start the race with the advantage of a limitless mindset and not have to fight through what I had to.
“The same goes for the children, women and families that I desire to impact because I want them to know their past doesn’t define them. We are not meant to be victims of our past, but it should propel us to want more for our future! You cannot become who are you meant to be if you’re attached to who you’ve been.
“In keeping my future in focus, I plan to align myself by obtaining the education I need to succeed. The Live Your Dream Award has been a tremendous blessing for me in helping me to conquer my dreams and it gave me this boost of confidence to keep pressing forward.”