For this week’s #MemberMonday I had the pleasure of sitting down with Karen Jameson, the President for #Soroptimists International of Diablo Vista. Karen got involved with her Soroptimist club back in 2000 when a friend introduced her after she had been seeking some #volunteer opportunities. She was new to the area and wanted to get involved and learn more about her #community. Soroptimist was founded nearly 100 years ago in #Oakland. It is now an international organization and this region is considered the #founding region.
The Soroptimists vision is to allow women and girls access to the resources and #opportunities to help them reach their full potential. Their #mission is to be a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to education and training they need to #achieve #economic #empowerment. To find out more and how you can become involved, visit their website at https://www.soroptimist.org/.
Soroptimists partner with many local #nonprofits to assist them in their missions by raising funds and volunteering. Some of the local nonprofits they assist are Shelter, Inc.and the Monument Crisis Center. They also have annual scholarship awards such as Live Your Dream awards, Dream it Big and many other ways to support the women and girls of our community.
One of the things that Karen learned from being involved in this organization is how so many people have had such a tough life. They have been faced with abuse, drugs and unhealthy family environments. She said she felt a bit naive when she started this journey and had no idea what people had faced right here in her own community. It’s why she is still in the club and she knows her efforts are making a difference.
Karen grew up in #Southern California and moved to the #BayArea about 20 years ago. She has one brother that she shares both parents with. She also has four step brothers and three step sisters. She worked for #ATT for over 40 years and loved her job, but she loves #retirement even more. When she started her #career all those years ago she worked for Pacific Bell as a 411 operator. She and I had fun reminiscing about how things have changed since the days of calling directory assistance and finding a live person on the other end of the line to help you get a phone number so you could order a pizza. Things have sure changed since then.
Karen is an #avid reader and loves the Jack Reacher series written by Lee Child. She is getting ready to start a new one and can’t wait. She also loves to do #Yoga. She finds it to be a great exercise to feed the mind, body and soul. If she had to pick her favorite food it was have to be Mexican and narrowing that down it would be chile verde. She enjoys pairing chocolate with wine as well. When I asked her what her first album she ever bought the look on her face was priceless. She had such a joyful look as she was remembering fond times listening to Dee Dee Sharp’s Mashed Potato Time. The last concert she recalls was the Eagles and she had such a great time. When I asked her where she would go if she could go anywhere she paused for a moment and then said, “I would buy a motor-home and travel the United States.” That sounds like it would be a blast.
It was a pleasure to sit down with Karen and get to learn firsthand a little more about the Soroptimists and what they do as well as getting to know Karen on a personal level. Be sure to check out their website and if you’re interested, take the chance to sit in on one of their meetings and see for yourself what a difference they make!