Soroptimist holding conference on island

Soroptimist is hosting a conference for high school girls to empower them to pursue career goals.

Soroptimist International is hosting an island-wide one-day conference for high school girls to support and empower them to pursue their career goals.

Soroptimist International is a century-old global volunteer organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls. The Oak Harbor and Coupeville Soroptimist clubs are collaborating to put on the Nov. 5 conference, which is part of the “Dream it, Be It” program that was created in 2016 to help girls overcome barriers in pursuing an education.

“Some may have very obvious obstacles of poverty, or (an) unstable home life or foster care, or teen motherhood,” said Sue Riney, event registration chair. “But all girls face some kind of obstacle. Everybody has something going on.”

The conference will include modules that help identify careers out of the things the girls enjoy, along with goal setting, budgeting, moving forward after setbacks and opportunities for mentorship.

There will be career panelists in a variety of fields to talk about the different paths people can take – be that college, tech school or the military.

“(There will be) engagement activities to help them envision what they would want their future to look like and then help them see what it would take to get there,” Riney said.

The event is open to high school girls aged 14-17 years old anywhere on Whidbey Island. There will be door prizes including a Chrome tablet and gift certificates.

“Any girl who is interested, who has a dream for their life after high school and wants to see what would be involved in helping them get to that place,” Riney said of who should sign up, adding that many who have participated in the past said it had a large impact on them.

One of the goals of Soroptimist International is to impact the lives of half a million women and girls by 2031 by providing access to education.

“This is one of our key programs for doing that,” Riney said.

The conference takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 5. Advance registration is required and the deadline is Monday, Oct. 31. Registration can be submitted online at