The Northern Marianas Islands chapter of Soroptimist International welcomed three new members to the club last Saturday during the “Live Your Dream” gala at the Azucena Room of the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan in Garapan.
According to the guest speaker, Soroptimist-Guam president Jessica Castro, they welcome women who will be play a significant part of the club. “Soroptimist membership celebrates the power of individuals working together to create an increased collective impact and making a difference. We thank these women for joining and wanting to make a difference,” she said.
“Soroptimist membership is a gift that one gives to herself—the chance to help others in an atmosphere of support, giving, friendship, and fun. These young women have joined an organization that is ‘Best for Women’ and we know our new members are advocates [and] believes in making the world a better place for women and girls,” she added.
The three new members are 2018 Live Your Dream awardee Mercilyn Palec, 2016 Live Your Dream awardee Rachel Ashley Reyes, and Abigail Parker.
“Rachel, Abigail, and I hope to bring a different demographic to the group because we are of the younger generation,” Palec said. “Soroptimist International-NMI provides an outlet for all women of all ages to express themselves, be themselves and work toward women empowerment. I am definitely happy to be a part of this.”
As a “Live Your Dream” awardee herself, Reyes said that being one of the judges in this year’s Live Your Dream award was a challenging experience.
“There were several judges appointed to choose the winner. Picking the awardee was so difficult because all 14 entries had stories that were so relatable and touched my heart…if we had the funds, I wish we could help them all. Palec’s need, situation and her commitment to her family, career and education made me feel she was the best applicant in the bunch.”
“I have a young daughter and I would encourage her to join Soroptimist when she’s of age. The club is not just about women or being a single mothers…It’s also about seeing women succeed and supporting them, no matter what walk of life they are in,” she added.
Parker, a second-generation Soroptimist NMI member, said it was her mother, Merle Costelo-Hudkins, who paved the way for her to have an interest in joining the club. “My mom has been member of Soroptimist NMI for five years. My first event was the ‘Live Your Dream’ gala last year and sometimes my mother would bring me to the meetings and I got to know the members and how much they love the club, so that encouraged me to want to be a part of Soroptimist.”
“I really admire the kind of bond that they have, coming together to do many things unselfishly for families and the community,” she added.
Soroptimist International NMI is a part of the global organization called Soroptimist International of the Americas. To date, there are over 75,000 members in 122 countries.
Three other women—Pina Magofna, Leila Boyer, and Susan Satur—are up for induction at the next Soroptimist International NMI meeting.