Soroptimist International of Waikīkī Foundation, Inc.

Rainbow Warriors, Women’s Prison Project, and Rat Lungworm Disease

What started out as a small, one-time member outing grew into a program. We are so proud of our University of Hawaiʻi Wahine Basketball team and it has been an honor to attend their exciting games this past season. I am particularly impressed by how well these young women handle themselves in the heat of the moment, with composure, determination, and heart. It was such a thrill to see our very own Sandra Simms up on the jumbo TV cube in celebration of Black History Month. We are looking forward to next season already and doing our part to bring the crowds to women’s sports just as much as men’s! It has only been 50 years since Title IX passed, requiring equal opportunities for men and women at all academic institutions across the nation. These accomplished collegiate athletes are continuing to blaze a path for generations to come, and we are here to cheer them on.
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Warden Ione "Noni" Guillonta, 2024 Ruby Award
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Dr. Randi Rollins, 2023 Founder Region Fellowship
This year we were able to recognize Ione “Noni” Guillonta as our 2024 Ruby Award recipient for her significant impact on the lives of women and girls. On January 3, 2023, she made history as the first female Warden at the Women’s Community Correctional Center… ever! Based on her vast experience over many years and diverse facilities, she has been quick to identify points of improvement and make great strides in the prison system. Over 95% of inmates will eventually be released. Most come from challenging backgrounds, but the goal of safe and humane rehabilitation is to reduce recidivism and achieve successful re-entry into the community. We have past Live Your Dream Award recipients who have emerged resilient and seized every opportunity to rebuild their lives.

Last month we reconnected with one of our 2023 Founder Region Fellowship recipients. Now DR. Randi Rollins combines ecology with epidemiology to study the transmission of zoonotic disease agents, with an overall goal to contribute to the understanding and protection of the natural world. Parasitic infection disproportionately affects economically disadvantaged humans, especially in tropical/subtropical and developing countries. Our grant enabled Randi to reduce her hours at a part-time job, facilitated her participation in a statistical training in Seattle, and afforded her the precious time needed to focus on completing her dissertation. What a journey from wedding cake decorator to UH Mānoa PhD!
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And of course in the midst of all the joy of achievement and dignity of service, we cannot forget the sincerity of friendship! We made sure to celebrate our hard work with some lively nights out.

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