A few words

About Us

Core Values

  • Gender Equality: Women and girls live free from discrimination.
  • Empowerment: Women and girls are free to act in their own best interest.
  • Education: Women and girls deserve to lead full and productive lives through access to education and training.
  • Diversity & Fellowship: Women from varied backgrounds and perspectives work together to improve the lives of women and girls.

Our Mission

Soroptimist is a global women’s organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Approximately 76,000 Soroptimists in 120 countries and territories support community-based and global projects benefiting women and girls. The organization is particularly concerned with providing women and girls access to education, as this is the most effective path to self-determination.

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.

Soroptimist members belong to local clubs that participate in the Dream Programs to help women and girls achieve social and economic empowerment: Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women and Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls. 

Soroptimist International of Centre County meets the first Monday of every month at The Graduate Hotel in State College, PA and welcomes all women to join us – come to a meeting, see what we are all about! Check out our Contact Us and get in touch!


Our History

Soroptimist International of Centre County (SICC), serving the central PA region for over 30 years, was chartered in 1986 and has members from four surrounding counties – Centre, Mifflin, Huntingdon and Clinton. We are part of a large, international service organization, Soroptimist International, which was founded in Oakland, Calif. in 1921 by a group of 80 women who were denied access to a male service club. The founding members coined the organization’s name from two Latin words, meaning “best for women.”

The heart of Soroptimist’s mission is to make a difference for women and children through volunteer service to the community. Projects are carefully chosen to address challenges unique to women and children today, from providing women with routine medical care and funding domestic violence shelters, to sponsoring career development programs for girls and tutoring women in literacy and basic job skills.

Soroptimist clubs receive assistance in their volunteer efforts by fundraising in the community and by participating locally in programs developed and sponsored by the organization. One of Soroptimist’s major service projects, the Live Your Dream Awards program, provides cash grants for head-of-household women seeking to improve their economic situation through additional education and training. Our other major program, Dream It, Be It, supports young women as they begin to make career choices and helps them build self-confidence and good decision making skills.

A recognized authority on matters that women value most, Soroptimist uses its international voice and Category One Consultative NGO Status with the United Nations to advocate on behalf of women’s issues.

Soroptimist membership provides an enriching environment for women to develop friendships and to support each other, while experiencing the satisfaction of their collective efforts to improve their communities.


President, 2023-2024:  Dee Bagshaw

VP/President-Elect: TBD

Secretary:  Carol Pioli

Treasurer:  Marian Fritzsche

1 YR. Directors: Carolyn Follett, Liz Keller

2 YR. Directors: Michele Hamilton, Richel Perretti