Maui Soroptimists award over $10,000 to women and youth

Soroptimist International of Maui recently gave out over $10,000 in cash awards to women and youth in the community at its sixth annual awards banquet at Kahili Golf Club in Waikapu.

Anna Keene was selected as the winner of the club’s Live Your Dream Award. She was also the winner of the district award and a runner-up for the region award. Keene was awarded $6,000 in recognition of her accomplishments. She recently graduated with honors from University of Hawaii Maui College, where she received an Associate in Science Degree in human services and the University of Hawaii Board of Regents Award for Public Service.

Live Your Dream Awards are presented to highly ambitious women who are heads of their households and want to improve their lives and employment prospects by gaining additional skills, training and education.

April Mae Companero, Elizabeth Cunningham, Gemma Hanson, Aristina Ora-a and Sharmaine Pasalo were selected as recipients of the club’s Sharon Okumura nursing awards.

The club donates $2,500 each year to the UH foundation, in Okumura’s name, to distribute to students who are looking for financial assistance to complete the Maui nursing program.

Shantel Longboy was selected as the winner of the club’s $500 Violet Richardson Award. Named after the president of the first Soroptimist club, the award honors girls who are making a difference through volunteer service. Longboy volunteers much of her time with Best Buddies Maui, so the cash award was distributed between Longboy and Best Buddies.

Alexandra Pardico, who just graduated from Maui High School, was selected as the winner of the club’s Youth Citizenship Award and presented with a check for $1,000. Pardico graduated at the top of her class and plans to attend Gonzaga University and major in biology.

Youth Citizenship Awards are presented to graduating high school seniors in recognition of their outstanding service and contributions to home, school and community.

Ten intermediate schools also participated in the club’s Junior Youth Citizenship Program. Seventeen students were selected as winners of the award. Junior Youth Citizenship Awards of $50 are presented to 8th-grade students for their outstanding service in both school and community.