WHITTIER – The Soroptimist International of Whittier recently launched its Dream It, Be It career development and female empowerment program for a group of girls at Frontier High School, providing the Whittier Union teens access to professional role models, career education and the resources needed to reach their full potential.

Over a six-week period, the women’s social and economic empowerment club will work in partnership with 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders in small groups and explore topics such as career opportunities, setting and achieving goals, overcoming obstacles to success and how to move forward after setbacks or failures.

This is the second year Frontier is participating in the program.

“The ladies were very nice and positive and told us about how they overcame so many obstacles in life,” said Leslie Castaneda, a junior who participated in the program last year and is one of about 20 girls who joined the first session on Jan. 26. “I hope to learn how to inspire others and be a positive influence on others like they have been on me.”

The Dream It, Be It global program – which targets girls in secondary schools who face economic, social or personal obstacles to their success – supplements the Soroptimists’ long-running Live Your Dream program, which ensures women and girls have increased access to education and career opportunities.

Acting as mentors, members of the Whittier chapter of Soroptimist International, who have achieved personal and professional success despite harrowing circumstances, will provide students guidance.

“Our biggest goal is to let these girls know that there is no obstacle they can’t overcome, and we hope our personal stories show them that,” said Dr. Wendy Kreider, who is leading the program this year. “I’m really excited we can do this for them when they’re already dealing with so many hardships. Hopefully we can provide them sparks of inspiration and information.”

Members of Frontier’s student chapter of the organization, called S-Club, heavily recruited peers to be part of the program, which will go over a set curriculum of topics and hands-on activities.

“Our students often face barriers in their lives that prevent them from wanting to or believing that they can pursue their personal and professional goals,” Frontier High School Principal Margie Moriarty said. “This program has taught them their demographics do not determine where they end up in life. The Dream It, Be It program and the wonderful ladies who are part of it have been incredible in helping to increase our girls’ self-confidence, self-esteem and motivation to change the course of their lives for the better.”


013117_WUHSD_DREAMIT: A member of Soroptimist International of Whittier leads a group discussion on role models during the Dream It, Be It female empowerment program for girls at Frontier High School on Jan. 26.