News Blog

Our Live Your Dream Award Winner in the News

Here is the copy from the CSULB website newsroom:

By Daniela Alvarez

Jazmin Miramontes has struggled, but not in the way many college students do. Growing up with a hearing impairment, Miramontes has developed thick skin. Now, with less than a month left until her graduation from CSULB, she is putting her future into perspective.
Jazmin Miramontes (Photo by Kevin Tran)

“At the point where I am right now in life, a lot of people would have dropped out,” said Miramontes, a Speech-Language Pathology major. “I felt like giving up, but my mentors always supported me and reminded me to keep going.”

Miramontes has a laundry list of mentors and individuals who have supported her emotionally and financially. This group includes doctors, professors, friends, and family members. They have given her everything from academic and career advice to money for groceries. The one person she is grateful to the most, however, is her mother Lorena.

“My mom reminds me to keep fighting so that someday I can have what I don’t have now,” she said.

Miramontes’ currently works as a college student aid for the Long Beach Unified School District at Polytechnic High School. Although it is not enough to make ends meet, she has found a support system in the staff.

“Dr. Jill Baker and Dr. Tiffany Brown have been constantly supportive and have always believed in me,” said Miramontes.

Miramontes and her mother are currently homeless, but fortunately not out on the street. They are living with a family, the Rolons, in west Long Beach. They first became homeless in October of last year.

“I’m very grateful to everyone who has helped me to get where I am, but I want all of this to be over,” said Miramontes. “I really thank the Rolons for taking us in, but someday I want my own home and to be able to take care of my mom.”

Miramontes’ mother suffers with diabetes. Despite such a setback, she has kept encouraging her daughter to pursue her education and take it to the highest level she can.

“Education is my ticket out,” said Miramontes.

She is waiting to hear back from two graduate programs–one at Idaho State University and another at Utah State University. If accepted to either, Miramontes will have to leave her family behind, but only temporarily.

“Yes, it worries me,” she said, “but I know that I’ll be able to support myself, my mom, and my brother in the end. That’s what my goal is.”

Miramontes and her brother Jose, who attends CSUN, ultimately want to make their mother proud and make a difference in the community they grew up in.

“My mom has done a fabulous job in supporting her kids to get them to college,” she said.

Miramontes’ perseverance and self-confidence has not come easy to her. She has struggled with finding a balance of hope and caution. Nonetheless, her goal to become an audiologist for people with impairments such as hers has remained at the forefront.

“I want to give back to my community and be a role model to kids like me, who also grew up with a single parent, are first generation and have a disability or impairment,” said Miramontes. “A lot of people always told me I wouldn’t make it because I’m Latina, or have a hearing impairment so I want to tell people like me that whatever dream they want to pursue is possible.”

Department Chair of Speech-Pathology Carolyn Madding is one of the many mentors to Miramontes and sees a bright future for her as an audiologist.

“Jazmin’s challenges make her life story to date one that is very compelling,” said Madding. “She has great drive and spirit, and she is a personable, loving and caring individual. You can see it in her eyes and the way she relates to others–she has a captivating personality and she will achieve her goals.”

Miramontes is not planning to put her career goals on hold after her graduation from CSULB. She wants to keep working before getting into graduate school and eventually earn her Doctorate of Audiology.

“This graduation will definitely be a huge accomplishment,” said Miramontes. “But after my doctorate, this battle will finally be over and I can start my life.”

As part of the 2017 commencement at CSULB, Jazmin Miramontes will be walking in the 5 p.m. ceremony for the College of Health and Human Services on Thursday, May 25.

Live Your Dream Winners Get More Recognition at Spring Region Conference

Here are some photos of our Live Your Dream (LYD) winners receiving additional recognition at Camino Real Region Spring Conference.  The photo on the left shows all of the LYD local winners in the region. The photo on the right includes Live Your Dream Winners at with Judy Pedneault, President Susan Berkman, President-Elect Julia McConaghy, Region Delegate Nadia Vega-Sharrar, and member Charlotte Berry.

What is the Annual Spring Conference about?  Spring Conference is our time to share what we, as a Region, have been involved in for the past year. It is our time to recognize our programs, honor our members, conduct the business of the Region, share best practices, and fellowship with each other. It is our time to change the pace, to broaden our knowledge, and understand the direction that our organization, as a whole, is taking. 

Long Beach Soroptimists – Past, Present and Future

39th Annual Camino Real Region Spring Conference

President -Elect Julia McConaghy, President Susan Berkman and Region Delegate Nadia Vega-Sharrar with the display board designed by Julia to demonstrate the club’s past, present and future. Well done, Julia, and congratulations to the Officers and Directors for another great club year.

Live Your Dream and Scholarship Dinner

Our club celebrated with recipients of our grants and scholarships at the 2017 Live Your Dream and Scholarship Dinner on April 19th. Amazing women all around! The club distributed $12,000 in scholarships and Live Your Dream grants and made a $6,100 donation to Meals on Wheels of Long Beach.

Jazmin Miramontes and the other honorees spoke of the support that their mothers had given them throughout their struggles. In the photo here, Jazmin interrupted her acceptance speech to thank her mother in Spanish. A touching moment. 

Long Beach Soroptimist Club Honored with Legacy Award

On April 13, 2017, long-time member and past president, Lynn Hermstad accepted on behalf of Soroptimist International of Long Beach, the 2017 Advancement of Women Legacy Award from California State University, Long Beach President’s Commission on the Status of Women. The club received the award for its long history of being a community partner of the university … from its contribution of Soroptimist House to the Associated Student Body in the 1950s, to its many scholarships benefiting female university students and its participation in Women & Philanthropy on the campus. It was Jackie Wetteland of Women & Philanthropy who nominated the club. It is a proud day for all club members.  

Our Club to Receive the 2017 ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN AWARD

On behalf of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) at California State University, Long Beach, we congratulate Soroptimist International of Long Beach on being selected as a recipient of the 2017 Advancement of Women Award! The President’s Commission on the Status of Women recognizes the importance of acknowledging community partners and their contributions to the advancement of women. Through your organizations hard work and commitment, you have helped create wonderful opportunities for women both on and off campus.


Congratulations on your achievements and thank you for your contributions!


Warm regards,

CSULB President’s Commission on the Status of Women


Gail Wasil – Soroptimist & Marathon Runner

SILB Member Gail Wasil is a marathon runner! We are proud to say that Gail ran in the 2017 LA Marathon on March 19th. She finished in a little over five hours. We are dazzled and impressed and proud of her! Way to go, Gail!

Polaris Project on Human Trafficking January Report

January, 2017

Our new statistics report provides 2016 data from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, Polaris’s BeFree Textline, and communications referencing overseas cases.

Key highlights and trends from the report include:

  • Reports of human trafficking in the U.S. increase every year. In 2016, we learned of 8,042 cases, a 35% jump over 2015. This is mostly due to people spreading awareness and the Hotline.

  • More survivors of human trafficking are reaching out for help than ever before. 2,042 survivors contacted the Hotline directly in 2016, a 24% increase over 2015. This year’s report dives deeper into who the victims are and how they were trafficked. We learned that sex trafficking victims were most often trafficked by their intimate partners, while labor trafficking victims were most often recruited through a job offer.

  • Labor trafficking soared by 47% but is still widely underreported. Labor trafficking often goes unrecognized compared to sex trafficking because of a lack of awareness about the issue and the vulnerable workers it affects. By identifying the specific sectors and venues in which these labor crimes occur, we can reach survivors more effectively.