Soroptimist International of Long Beach – Investing in Dreams

by Julie Resner

On Saturday, March 2nd, Soroptimist members collaborated with Long Beach CaLL and LBUSD to host the third annual “Dream It, Be It” Workshop at Jordan High School from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. Thirty-three high school girls, members of the Female Leadership Academy, spent the day exploring their dreams, values, and career goals through engaging curriculum and activities.

Soroptimist of Long Beach members Susan Berkman, Diane DeWalsche, Alison Reid, Julie Resner, Cyndi Snyder, and Gail Wasil presented the curriculum and led the activities with support from Kelly Rash, Female Leadership Academy advisor, Anetta Leone, LBUSD Work-Based Learning program specialist, and Jean Egan, Long Beach Career Linked Learning executive director. The girls enjoyed tasty and healthy morning snacks and a Subway boxed lunch provided by Soroptimist members Lauri Blanchard, Judy Murphy, and Terry Erickson.

Cyndi Snyder started off the day with a fun and inspiring icebreaker activity. Each girl was asked to blow up a balloon, tie it off, and then, on cue, throw it across the room. After catching someone else’s balloon, each girl, in turn, popped her balloon, found a question inside to read and answer. Each question was simple, unique and designed to provide a bit of insight about the person answering such as “If you could have anything you asked for, besides money, what would it be?”

This activity segued into a discussion about Values led by Susan Berkman. The girls considered their personal values and discussed how considering one’s values is an important component of choosing career and life goals.  Following the Values discussion, Gail Wasil introduced 6 Career Types. The girls then took an online career interest test, identified their own career types, and researched specific careers.

The second part of the day covered making SMART Goals and Turning Setbacks Into Success through resilient actions led by Susan Berkman and Julie Resner. Diane DeWalsche and Susan Berkman shared inspiring stories of Failing Forward. Their real-life examples illustrating success through failure and being resilient through adversity were inspiring.  Alison Reid wrapped up this session with a Sweet Smell of Success activity during which each girl created her own sachet with fresh herbs. Alison explained the characteristics of the herbs and the benefits of aromatherapy as one method of self-care. At the end of the day, each girl was presented with a Certificate of Participation and a “Dream It, Be It” bracelet.


SILB is thankful for its partnership with LBUSD Work-Based Learning, LB Career Linked Learning (LB CaLL), and Female Leadership Academy. This partnership offers a realistic opportunity to meet our goal of providing mentoring activities throughout the school year.