Soroptimist International of Long Beach – Investing in Dreams

Soroptimist International of Long Beach (SILB) hosted its second annual “Dream It, Be It” seminar at Jordan High School on Saturday, March 3, 2018. Twelve freshman girls attended the program, and three returning sophomore girls from the DIBI Club on campus participated and helped facilitate the activities. Two LBUSD administrators and one teacher (Stephanie Espeleta, Anetta Leone, and Stacey Dahlquist) were also present and supported the program.

Based on feedback from last year’s program, we presented a shortened conference-style program focusing on 4 of the 7 “Dream It, Be It” curriculum sessions. The topics included identifying personality styles, exploring dream careers, setting goals, and turning failure into success. We used group activities to promote team building and highlight lessons such as resilience. The girls completed personality/interest tests and researched related careers on the school’s Chromebooks. At the end of the day, the students took home a dream collage created during one of the sessions, a packet of DIBI materials, a certificate of completion and a DIBI bracelet.

The 10th grade students personally invited each of the participants to join the campus club. Most of the 9th grade participants expressed interest in joining. The faculty invited SILB members to join the DIBI Club meetings and help present the remaining curriculum throughout the year.

The students and facilitators enjoyed the great breakfast foods/snacks and Subway lunches delivered by SILB members Lauri Blanchard, Lori Brault, Diane Dewalsche, and Judy Murphy.

Special thanks to Susan Berkman who coordinated the entire program—collaborating with LBUSD faculty, training SILB volunteers, and ensuring all of the needed materials were gathered. The SILB teaching volunteers included Obioma Osae Brown, Minnie Douglas, Alison Reid, Julie Resner, Nadia Vega-Sharrar, and Gail Wasil. Each SILB teaching volunteer was able to present throughout the day as well as support the entire team.

The girls had a great time. The food was wonderful. And the SILB volunteers were truly inspired by the program and the young ladies. They reminded us “If you can dream it, you can be it.”