As we reflect on our recent successful biennium, and the many successful previous biennium, we cannot simply duplicate the successes, as that would require us to become stagnant. We can keep moving forward and upward by building on the solid foundation and striving for continuous improvement.
Continuous improvement leads to our chosen theme chosen for the 2018-2020 biennium: “EMPOWERING CHANGE”. The first spark for this theme is that it is empowering change for our future for us to have a Governor from District VI, and it is my honor to serve the entire region membership in this capacity. I would like to share more of the motivation for our theme with you with excerpts from my speech at our installation.
Soroptimists are empowering change in the lives of the women and girls we support. Soroptimists are empowering change in our own lives, in our clubs, in our communities, and in our world.
We can see we are empowering change within our own lives when we work as one toward our common goals. We look inside ourselves, and we acknowledge the good and we seek to continuously improve our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, club members, and our communities. We let go of hatred, self-loathing, and pride as we give of self to others. This emboldens us and empowers us to rise above our circumstances and make the best of what we have with what we've been given.
As an organization, our mission says, we are improving the lives of women and girls with programs leading to social and economic empowerment. We see firsthand, that we are empowering change in the lives of our Live Your Dream Award recipients. Change in their confidence in themselves, change in their ability to further pursue their dreams through their own education and to be able to provide for their children. We empower their children to see the value given to their mother's education, well-being, and sense of self-worth.
Soroptimists are empowering change in girls in secondary school by helping them to acknowledge and pursue their own dreams, believe in themselves and determine the course of their own future through the Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program. This program helps them to look within and see what ignites their passion and empowers them to be themselves. We support them to learn how to set goals, how to strive to achieve their goals and how to refocus when encountering obstacles or setbacks.
Soroptimists are empowering change within our communities when we are recognized for the good things we do in our communities. Lending a helping hand, being advocates for those who are victimized or otherwise supporting women and girls in our communities.
Soroptimists are empowering change within our clubs when we invite new members and listen to their fresh ideas and we are renewed by their enthusiasm for our mission. We empower change when we use new technology and learn new ways of doing things.
We can see we are empowering change with those who follow us - those we mentor and those who look up to us. We empower them by not holding them to the traditions of the past, and we allow them to take our successes to the next level.
As our organization moves forward towards our 100th Anniversary, let's reflect that those women who formed our organization empowered change for the future which is now our present. We want to honor and cherish our past, and we, too, want to embrace the future. They desired to be part of an organization of women to foster the spirit of service. Eight women grew to eighty women by the time the organization chartered. These women - Soroptimists - were empowering change; we have quite a legacy left by those who have gone before us and paved the way for the changes we enjoy today.
A lot has been achieved, but there remains a lot to gain.
As we forge into the next hundred years of Soroptimist, let us be mindful that we are not ready to rest on our laurels. We must continue empowering change in the world in order to make it a better place for our future, our children's future, and their children's future too.
Someone said, “If nothing ever changed there’d be no butterflies.” A butterfly goes through a metamorphosis. A butterfly starts as an egg, then it becomes a larva (caterpillar) then a pupa (chrysalis) and finally emerges as a beautiful adult butterfly. So, as you may have guessed, my token for this biennium is the butterfly.
Like a Butterfly – we must embrace change. As we go through the changes at various stages in our own lives, we may stumble and fall as we emerge from one stage to another, and that is ok. As we learn and grow, we will achieve new goals, gain maturity, and thereby we empower change.
I look working with you in the next biennium as we continue EMPOWERING CHANGE in the lives of women and girls! Thank you for being a Soroptimist.