Who We Are

Soroptimist is an international organization for women who work to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community–based and international projects that benefit women and girls. The name, Soroptimist, means "best for women," and that's what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.

What we do

Marin Soroptimist

Soroptimist's mission is to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. In order to accomplish this goal, the organization administers several international programs. The organization's major project is the Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women (formally the Soroptimist Women's Opportunity Awards), which assists women by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and job prospects. As a volunteer organization of business and professional women we feel uniquely qualified to help women and girls live their dreams. It's true that both men and women live in poverty, face discrimination and must overcome obstacles. But throughout history - in every country in the world - women and girls face additional obstacles and discrimination solely because of their gender.


Soroptimist International
of Marin County
P.O. Box 150704
San Rafael, CA 94915-0704
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Marin Soroptimist Awards

Live Your Dream: Education & Training Awards for Women

Live Your Dream: Education & Training Awards for Women

The Live Your Dream: Education & Training Awards for Women (formally the Women's Opportunity Award) assists women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.

Each year, more than $1.5 million in education grants are awarded to more than 1,000 women, many of whom have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, domestic violence and/or drug and alcohol abuse. The Live Your Dream: Education & Training Award recipients may use the cash award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, such as books, childcare, tuition and transportation.

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Hazel Barbano Music Award

Hazel Barbano Music Award

The Hazel Barbano Music Award is named after Soroptimist International of Marin County's long-time member who, for over 50 years has upheld the ideals of Soroptimism and has been a role model to all in this region of Soroptimist International of the Americas. This award program is designed to benefit talented girls and young women who seek an instrumental musical education.

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Soroptimist Ruby Award

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The Soroptimist Ruby Award honors women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional and/or volunteer work.

Each year SIMC honors a woman with our Ruby Award: For Women Helping Women. This award, previously called the Women of Distinction Award, honors women who, through their professional or personal efforts, are making a difference in the lives of other women or girls. Their work has had a significant impact, and also inspires and encourages other women.

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Who We Support

The Jeannette Prandi Children’s Center

The Jeannette Prandi Children’s Center is a child-friendly, state of the art forensic interview center for children suspected of being abused. Soroptimist International of Marin County was a founding contributor to the Center, and it is one of our club’s identifying projects. We collaborate with the Center in providing educational programs on a variety of issues.

Recent topics include human trafficking, missing children and on-line predators, and challenges to family relationships in the digital age. Jeannette Prandi was the first female Sergeant in the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, and served for many years as the investigator for juvenile cases.

For more information about the Center, go to www.prandicenter.org.

SOS Program of the First Responder Support Network

SOS Program of the First Responder Support Network is a six day residential critical incident debriefing program for the Significant Others and Spouses of emergency responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress. In treating the first responders, retreat practitioners discovered early on that the families of these brave individuals suffer vicarious traumatization. Thus, SOS was born and flourishes today.

Public agencies often pay for first responders to receive assistance, but not for their family members. SIMC provides scholarships to SOS to cover the cost of the program for partners of first responders so they have access to healing, education, and support.

Find additional information about First Responder Support Network and SOS at www.frsn.org.

Soroptimists Stop Traffic

Anti-Human Trafficking efforts are supported in many ways:

  • We are dedicated to educating the public about the realities of human trafficking. We do this by participating in local, national, and international events, and particularly by showings of our film “What is Human Trafficking?” based on our 2014 educational forum. The film has been widely shown, including to the Soroptimist Founder Region Conference, the Bay Area Association of Grand Jurors and the California Association of Grand Jurors, local police agencies in Prague, and at the United Nations in New York. Go here to see the film.
  • Our club was instrumental in the formation of the Marin County Coalition to End Human Trafficking (MCCEHT), and continues as Coalition member. We are regularly represented by several club members at Coalition meetings and events. Learn more about the Coalition at www.mcceht.org.
  • We awarded a cash grant to Community Violence Solutions to cover the costs of emergency shelter and other essential expenses for victims of human trafficking in Marin County. Go to www.cvsolutions.org for more information about CVS Solutions.

Breast Cancer patients

Breast Cancer patients are supported via an annual Style-a-Thon. Each October, hair stylists from a San Rafael salon owned by one of our members donate their time, and all proceeds are donated to the Marin Cancer Institute for patients’ wigs, cosmetics, and other expenses not covered by insurance.

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