Soroptimist Partners with Jackson Hewitt Tax Service to Help Women Achieve Their Educational Goals

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Organizations unite to provide laptops for women working to enhance their educational and economic status

Winning a laptop felt like an acknowledgement of my potential to be a successful, strong woman.

Soroptimist International of the Americas, an international volunteer organization for business and professional women, has announced a partnership with Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® to provide laptops to recipients of the 2010 Women’s Opportunity Awards, an awards program created by Soroptimist in 1972 to help women in the pursuit of advancing their educational and career status.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service®, an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax return preparation, will donate 25 IBM ThinkPad laptops, fully equipped with operating systems and basic software, to Soroptimist for presentation during the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards in Spring 2010.

“We are honored to be able to provide such a valued technology tool to these deserving women,” said Danamichele Brennen, Chief Technology Officer, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. “As the nation’s second largest tax preparation service, we understand the value of technology and how being connected through the use of a laptop can truly make the difference in success or failure.”

The Women’s Opportunity Awards program assists women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills, and employment prospects. Recipients, many of whom have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, domestic violence, and drug and alcohol abuse, may use the cash grants to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, such as books, childcare and transportation.

“Most of our recipients are single moms who are stretched thin and struggling to juggle the demands of everyday life,” said Soroptimist President Catherine Standiford. “Many of these women can’t afford computers and are forced to use the computers at their local libraries. Obviously this is not ideal as it impedes their studies and adds another stress to their list of worries. That’s why providing laptops to these women is such an important part of helping them succeed.”

Soroptimist first started awarding laptops to recipients in 2009 as a way to make it easier for the women to complete their school assignments, but has found it also helps boost winners’ self-esteem.

“Winning a laptop felt like an acknowledgement of my potential to be a successful, strong woman,” stated Carene Verriere McMasters, a 2009 Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award recipient from Napa, California. “This wonderful gift brought a great sense of relief, because I knew that it would be much easier for me to achieve everything I wanted to achieve, and I would be able to compete with some of the other successful students at my chosen institution and career path.”

“Thanks to Jackson Hewitt and this generous donation, Soroptimist will be able to help even more women achieve their educational goals and reclaim their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families,” said Standiford.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., Soroptimist is an international volunteer women’s organization offering programs that improve the lives of women through three distinct platforms: economic empowerment, elimination of violence, and gender equality. Soroptimist, a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs, also sponsors the Live Your Dream campaign in recognition of the power of women and their dreams. Visit the campaign’s online home at: LiveYourDreamCampaign.org. For more information on how Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls, visit Soroptimist.org.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. (NYSE: JTX), with approximately 6,600 franchised and company-owned offices throughout the United States during the 2009 tax season, is an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax return preparation. Most offices are independently owned and operated. Jackson Hewitt is based in Parsippany, New Jersey. More information may be obtained at http://www.jacksonhewitt.com. To locate the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® office nearest to you, call 1-800-234-1040.

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Jessica Levinson
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