Soroptimist International of the East Valley awards scholarships to help women

Soroptimist of the East Valley’s held a recent scholarship awards ceremony. Pictured from left, Rebecca Charlton, Jade Orrantia, Berenice Pelayo and Roddy Charlton. (Submitted photo)

Soroptimist International of the East Valley presented three scholarships to local women to help further their education, with two additional scholarships awarded earlier this year.

According to a press release, the club presented three $1,000 scholarships at a recent awards ceremony where Roddy Charlton presented the Suzanne Charlton Arts & Humanities Scholarship in honor of his sister who he called “the most giving person, wonderful sister and talented artist.”

The scholarship was presented to Berenice Pelayo who’s graduating from Central Arizona College and will begin Arizona State University in the fall. She is in the Barrett Honors program and double majoring in political science and global studies, noted the release.

The Marguerite Charlton Health & Science Scholarship, a scholarship in honor of Mr. Roddy’s mother was presented to Jade Orrantia, an Apache Junction High School senior, who will attend Grand Canyon University for a degree in biology with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy, said the release.

The Soroptimist At-Large Scholarship was presented in memory of Sylvia Stevens an advocate, mentor and friend who was committed to improving lives of women and girls as a member of the club for nearly 40 years, the release noted.

The scholarship was presented to Madison McGraw who is attending Mesa Community College for nursing with the goal of becoming a NICU or pediatric nurse, the release said.

In February, two Live Your Dream Scholarships, which is the organization’s signature award, was presented to the first-place recipient who got $1,500 and the runner-up received $1,000. The scholarship helps women continue their dream by providing resources to further their education, skills and employment prospects, the release added.

Soroptimist International consists of business and professional individuals striving to improve the lives of women and girls, the release said. Members participate in local events and programs help support the community, focusing on providing access to education for women and girls.

Soroptimist International of the East Valley meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month.

For more information, visit or call 480-382-9087.

From left, Dana Osborne, Madison McGraw and Rhonda Rome. (Submitted photo)

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