Women and girls in every corner of our world continue to face injustices simply because of their gender, including lower wages, poverty, and domestic violence. We strongly believe that through education, women become economically empowered and in a position to change the world around them.
Three remarkable women have overcome enormous life challenges and dream of achieving education to create a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities. We are pleased to introduce our 2021 federation Live Your Dream Awards recipients.
Carolina always knew she wanted to pursue a career in engineering, but a lack of resources prevented her from believing she could ever reach her dream. In junior high, Carolina began working to help support her family. Most recently, Carolina’s mother, who worked part-time cleaning houses, lost her job due to the pandemic. Carolina is now the sole caretaker of her family, relying on neighbors and the church for additional support. Carolina has no access to financial aid and must pay out-of-state tuition. Yet, despite her financial hardships, she has found a way to pay for at least one class each semester.
“My ultimate goal has always been to become an Aerospace Engineer while being a part of an organization that promotes education for women in STEM fields. There have been countless times when it felt impossible to continue with my education. I have had to pay out-of-state tuition, have no access to financial aid, and have been sustaining myself, my mom, and my sister since I was a junior in high school. I refuse to stop studying and fighting for my dream.”
As a member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and descendant of the Yurok and Chimariko Tribes, Lindsay resides on the rural Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. It is there that she founded Native American Pathways (NAP), a non-profit dedicated to providing social and wellness support through relationship building, youth mentorship, and community outreach services to Indigenous communities. Her true dream is to receive her degree in psychology to better assist her community members in achieving wellness.
“I’m a member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and descendant of the Yurok and Chimariko Tribes. I’m a strong independent woman, single mom rooted in my culture and passionate about helping my community. Currently, on my reservation, there is no Psychologist. With the help of the Live Your Dream Awards, I can continue my education so I can make a difference in my community by providing mental health and other services needed within my community and throughout Indian Country.”
In 2015, Brittany’s 11-week-old baby was assaulted by her abusive ex-husband. Her daughter suffered brain damage, a spinal hematoma, broken bones, and internal hemorrhaging. The nurses at the hospital became her lifeline, advocating and caring for Brittany in her greatest time of need. Since that day, Brittany has focused on creating a better life for herself, her children, and her community. She found a job working to help others in need as a 911 dispatch operator. Yet, her true dream lies in getting her degree in pediatric intensive care or forensic nursing. Inspired by the nurses who cared for her daughter, it is here that Brittney feels she will be able to give back to others in their most significant time of need.
“I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. My children and I are survivors of domestic violence. I am done simply surviving, and I am ready to achieve all of the goals I have set for myself. I hope to one day make my children proud when I finally graduate from nursing school. I chose to go into pediatric intensive care or forensic nursing because I would like the chance to help other victims and their loved ones through some of the hardest moments of their lives.”
Help Women Change the World
Each year, we award more than $2.8 million in education grants to over 1,800 women, many of whom have overcome enormous obstacles, including poverty, domestic violence, and substance abuse. By investing in education, we can help them raise healthier families, get higher-paying jobs, and strengthen their communities.
Consider giving a gift today. Every dollar received will improve access to education for women like Carolina, Lindsay, and Brittany, looking to transform their lives and redefine their futures.