The 2018 Live Your Dream Award Dinner was held on May 3rd, 2018. 

About the Live Your Dream Award:

The Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards assists
women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families
by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and
employment prospects.

Each year, more than $2.1 million in education grants are awarded to more
than 1,500 women, many of whom have overcome enormous obstacles
including poverty, domestic violence and/or drug and alcohol abuse. Live Your
Dream Awards recipients may use the cash award to offset any costs
associated with their efforts to attain higher education, such as books,
childcare, tuition, and transportation.

In addition to providing the primary financial support for their families, eligible
applicants must be enrolled in, or have been accepted to, a vocational/skills
training program or an undergraduate degree program and must demonstrate
financial need. The Live Your Dream Awards involves three levels
Since the Live Your Dream Awards program began in 1972, more than $30
million in education grants have been disbursed to assist almost 30,000
women to achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their

Click here to learn more about the award and application process.

About the Honorees:

Blanca Gonzalez
First Place
A single mother of 2 children, ages 12 & 15. After 15 years she decided to retake the
path of education in Sociology providing will provide her with the necessary training and
tools to guide her as a Social Worker according to the laws of assistance to families,
especially those who have children who are suffering from the ravages and difficulties that
come with not having a family, economic and emotional stability. She volunteers at a
Home Care for the elderly; which helps her implement and improve her empathy and
communication skills by providing assistance to a group of people with different
backgrounds. She is currently attending Oxnard College and hopes to receive her AAT
degree in Sociology by August. She plans on pursuing her Master’s in counseling and
would like to get involved in an educational environment to guide and encourage students
to pursue their dreams through continued education.

Andrea Sophia Erwin
A single mother of a 2-year-old son. She is currently attending Oxnard College working
towards an Associate degree in Addictive Disorder Studies. As a recovering addict, she
chose a career that she would be passionate about, and beyond an AA degree, plans
on working towards her bachelors and master’s degrees.

Anahi M Munson
A single mother of 2-year-old, Sofia. In December 2017 she received her AAT degree
in Sociology at Oxnard College. She is now a full-time student at Cal State Channel
Islands working towards her Bachelor’s in Sociology. She works 20 hours a week at
Oxnard College as a Student Services Assistant. She aspires to a career in counseling.
Her passion is assisting other students and providing guidance for their educational
goals. Her goal is to help improve school conditions in the community and to learn about
the educational needs of its students. She wishes to specialize in students with learning
disabilities. Her experience as a volunteer in the Sociology Club has helped her to
develop skills of understanding and compassion towards other students and to be a
better advocate. As a student worker in the Admissions and Records office, she learned
to assist students’ needs by listening and was able to assist with admissions.

Shadi Heydari Bateni
Runner Up
A single mother of 4 year-old Chloe. She is currently studying at Oxnard College
working towards an AA degree in Addictive Disorder Studies (ADS) which she will
complete in December 2018. Her plan is to become a Certified Drug and Alcohol
Counselor. Her hope is to give back to society and help those suffering from
addictions/compulsions. She knows from personal experience that good counselors are
an integral part of the treatment process. Without their crucial effort and expertise, many
of those with the potential to change could fall through the cracks. Beyond Oxnard

College she plans on pursuing a Bachelor’s in Sociology/Social Work at a 4-year
university. She wants to provide a fruitful life for herself and her daughter. She wants
Chloe to see and know she has potential. She wants a different scenario for her
daughter than her own life story.