Soroptimist International Oxnard  held its first ever Dream It Be It conference for 7th and  8th grade girls at Blackstock Jr. High School on April 29, 2017.

18 participants were selected by the Blackstock Jr. High School assistant principle, Ms. Rosanna Padilla.  Ms. Padilla’s criteria for selecting these young girls was based on who she knew that would benefit the most from this conference , who had no support system to help them think about future plans beyond high school, and/or who were unaware of the many opportunities available to students who want to further their education beyond high school but don’t know where to start.

The day’s activities provided the participants with tools, information, and working sessions that encouraged and informed these 18 young girls to think beyond “today” and to start thinking about putting their dreams and goals into action.

SIO Volunteers  spent the morning conducting a morning workshop on how to identify  goals, how to put your goals and dreams into action, and how to overcome obstacles. .  After lunch two guest speakers conducted the afternoon workshops.  Dr. Pricilla Partridge deGarcia conducted a workshop on Turning Failure into Success,  while Ms. Angela Mohan conducted a workshop on how to Balancing Stress.

Beyond the workshop, the students had the opportunity to talk with both the SIO volunteers and the guest speakers during lunch where they shared goals, achievements, dreams, and heard stories from Daisy and Jasmine Melendez who themselves came from immigrant parents and were the first to graduate from college in their family.

Comments from the girls were: “I learned I could be anything I want to be”;  “ I learned how to have confidence and believe in myself”; “ I learned there are way to help with stress in my life”; “I learned never to give up going for what I want to be and there are ways to make my dreams happen”.

To sum up, it was truly uplifting and heartwarming as well as educational, not only for the girls who attended, but for the volunteers who had the pleasure of interacting with these amazing young women.