WHITTIER – A Rio Hondo College student with six children is being honored by Soroptimist International for overcoming life challenges as part of the organization’s 2016 Live Your Dream Awards.

Oralia Lopez Alcorta, who is seeking her associate’s degree in sociology, will be considered for a regional-level 2016 Live Your Dream on Sunday, May 15 at the group’s annual conference in Santa Ana.

Alcorta, a single mother, plans to transfer to a four-year college in 2017 as she pursues her dream to become a parent advocate and run an organization that supports women faced with domestic abuse and drug use.

She is one of five Rio Hondo College students honored by Soroptimist International of Whittier with club-level 2016 Live Your Dream Awards on Feb. 23.

Like Alcorta, recipients Natasha Rubalcava, Lorraine Montano, Reylene Priego and Ruth Noemi Rodriguez are all single mothers who participate in Rio Hondo College’s EOP&S/CARE program, and all five have big dreams of giving back to the community.

“These young ladies embody a spirit of determination that exemplifies Rio Hondo College’s student population. They are driven by a desire to serve their communities and their families,” said Rio Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss. “We are very proud of them.”

“These awards recognize the strength these young women have shown in the face of their challenges. They are an example to all of us for their perseverance,” said Board of Trustees President Mary Ann Pacheco, a member of Soroptimist International.

This is the second year in which all five Whittier club winners hailed from the College.

2016 Live Your Dream Award Winners

Oralia Lopez Alcorta: The mother of six children ages 6 to 16, she is studying sociology and social work. Her goal is to transfer to a four-year college in 2017. She would like to become a parent advocate and eventually run an organization that supports women faced with domestic violence and drug abuse. Alcorta will be considered for a regional award on May 15.

Natasha Rubalcava: Mother to Alexa, she is studying social work, drug studies and social science. She plans to transfer to USC and pursue a master’s degree in social work. She would like to one day run a non-profit community center helping domestic violence victims or at-risk youths.

Lorraine Montano: A full-time nursing student and mother of a 3-year-old boy, she will graduate with her LVN certificate in May. She plans to work toward her RN, her bachelor’s and possibly a master’s degree.

Reylene Priego: Mother to Matthew, she is pursuing an associate for transfer degree in psychology. Her goal is to obtain a master’s degree in psychology and become a social worker.

Ruth Noemi Rodriguez: Mother to Jazmine and Samuel, she is seeking an associate degree in business administration with plans to seek a bachelor’s degree in human resources and management. She hopes to continue her schooling through a Ph.D.


SOROPTIMIST_1: Five Rio Hondo College students were honored as 2016 Live Your Dream Award Winners by Soroptimist International of Whittier at a Feb. 23 luncheon in Whittier.