Soroptimist International of Greater Minneapolis presented recent MCTC graduate Bridgette Bethke with the Women’s Opportunity Award, which is given to a local woman to improve her economic situation through additional education and training.
An awards banquet was held on May 17 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Bloomington to honor Bridgett Bethke with $1,500 to continue her education after graduation this spring from MCTC to attend the University of Minnesota and get her degree in Environmental Science.
“I need this scholarship to help me pursue my educational goals,” said Bethke. “My grants, loans and scholarships make it possible for me to work part time and still attend school. With this scholarship I will be able to have a healthy balance between my studies, work, and family and student life.”
The Women’s Opportunity Awards program is Soroptimist International of the Americas’ major service project. Soroptimist International of Greater Minneapolis 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, in local communities and throughout the world.
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. The award can be used for tuition, books, childcare, carfare or any other education-related expense. This program, which begins on the club level, 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.
The Greater Minneapolis Soroptimists chose Bethke because of her resilience, determination, excellent recommendations and her unswerving commitment to not only improving her own life, but those of others. While raising her son, Bethke has been an active student leader at MCTC, serving as President of Phi Theta Kappa, initiated several philanthropic efforts, such as “Books for Africa” and was recognized as one of eight student leaders at MCTC.
Soroptimist International of Greater Minneapolis is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, an international volunteer organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Greater Minneapolis members join with almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women. The Greater Minneapolis club helps combat domestic violence, raises awareness to human trafficking and participates in various local and international projects which benefit women. In addition, the club participates in Soroptimist International of the Americas’ Violet Richardson Award, which honors young women for volunteer action.
For more information about how Soroptimist International of Greater Minneapolis improves the lives of women and girls, contact club president Becky Collins at 612-272-9626 or visit www.soroptimist.org.