A local group is helping two Carthage women improve their families' lives.

A local group is helping two Carthage women improve their families' lives.

Carthage resident Andrea Teed received $1,000 and Abbie Parnell, also of Carthage, received $500 from the Carthage Soroptimist International's Women's Opportunity Award (WOA).

“When your life and dreams take a different turn than you had expected, we believe this is a way to help women reclaim their dreams for a better life for themselves and their families,” said Tina Hallmark, chairman of the WOA committee. "We are so happy for Andrea and truly believe that her drive, motivation and faith in God will steer her in the direction she needs to go."

When Teed was told she was the recipient of the award, she held her two daughters tight, Abigail, 3, and Kaitlyn, 1. Quoting the girls' favorite movie, Tangled, Teed said Abigail knew it was “the best day ever!”

“They're amazing,” Teed said of the Carthage Soroptimist group. “Just having the opportunity to know them – it's close to home, and to think they thought of me is just very humbling.”

Teed, mother of two, is going to Crowder College to earn her general studies credits. She said next year she hopes to attend Missouri Southern State University to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing. In the long run, her goal is to work in pediatrics.

During these times of being a mother, a student and also a part-time employee of Renovations, Teed said she will use the award money to supplement her income.

The Soroptimist's WOA began in 1972, and approximately $25 million have been granted to more than 30,000 women. This award gives women the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects. The Carthage Soroptimist International will go one step further this year in helping to motivate with cards and support, provide tutoring, and help with necessities to relieve some of the stress in life.

Eligible applicants must be women who provide the primary financial support for their families and who are also enrolled in or have been accepted into a vocational/skills program or an undergraduate degree.