AAUW Colorado Springs Awards Local Scholarships
THE AWARD: The Colorado Springs Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the oldest women’s organization in the United States, whose mission is equity for all women and girls, life-long education, and positive societal change, will award three Local Scholarships for $1000.00 each and two scholarships for $500 each for 2013-2014.
RESTRICTIONS: The applicant must be a woman, must have earned at least 36 college credit hours, must be currently attending either PPCC or UCCS, must be planning to attend fall semester classes at PPCC or UCCS, and must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00.
DEADLINE: Applications, including the transcripts of grades and recommendations, have to be RECEIVED by March 31, 2013.
SUBMISSION RULES: Applications should be submitted to the AAUW Local Scholarship Committee, 3905 Hill Circle, Colorado Springs, CO 80904. Letters of recommendation must be sent by the recommender and grade transcripts must be sent by the school to this address.
NOTIFICATION: The scholarship winners will be notified personally by May 1, and the name of the winner will be posted online on this website.
To learn more about AAUW Local Scholarships or to contact the chairperson, send a note to the Local Scholarships Committee.
For many years our Colorado Springs Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has supported the basic mission of AAUW, which is encouraging women to seek higher education, by giving scholarships to women attending local colleges and universities. However, by September 2007 both the money for Local Scholarships and the number of applicants had dwindled; no applications were received that year, and only two had been received the previous year.
The Local Scholarship Chairman and the Board elected to make changes to the application procedures. The length of the application was reduced from five pages to two. The decision was made that our scholarship be offered only at UCCS and PPCC (Pike’s Peak Community College); and the application form was put on-line at both schools. Jennifer Fisher in the Office of Financial Aid at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and Cici Toner in the PPCC Financial Aid Office were instrumental in getting the word of our scholarships out to women at their schools.
The results of our fund-raising and outreach efforts have been very satisfying. Each year since the spring of 2008, we have received a substantial number of applications, and we have awarded Local Scholarships to very worthy women students attending either UCCS or PPCC.
- In 2008 we awarded one $1000 and one $500 scholarship;
- in 2009 we awarded one $1000 and two $500 scholarships;
- in 2010 we awarded one $1000 and one $500 scholarship (one $500 winner accepted a full-tuition scholarship at another university);
- in 2011 after adding the requirements of 36 completed college credit hours and the submission of the FAFSA form with the Estimated Family Contribution to show need, we again awarded one $1000 and two $500 scholarships.
- In 2012 we awarded four $1000 scholarships
On October 27, 2012 we sponsored a very successful Authors’ Day at the Garden of the Gods Club, which raised money for the Local Scholarship Fund. These outstanding authors were featured:
Sandra Dallas, a uniquely American voice whose many novels, including The Persian Pickle Club, Mattie Spenser’s Diary, Tallgrass, and True Sisters (her newest one), privilege themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity in the face of great challenges;
Laura DeSilverio, the fun and funny author of popular, well-plotted mysteries, such as All Sales Fatal, Die Buying, Swift Justice, and Swift Edge
Patty Limerick, the “go-to person” for Southwest studies as author of the classic non-fiction works Desert Passages, The Legacy of Conquest and Trails: Toward a New Western History and as Chair of the Board of the Center of the American West-Boulder
Jacqueline St. Joan, poet, teacher, lawyer, and co-editor of the non-fiction work Beyond Portia: Women, Law, and Literature in the United States and as well as author of her first novel, My Sisters Made of Light, a finalist for the 2011 Colorado Book Award in Literary Fiction and a work on the National AAUW Adelante! book list.
Update on Local Scholarships Winners 2011-2012
On April 15 your Local Scholarships Committee, Nedra Engleson, Char Gagne, Sandy Johannson, Gini Simonson, and I, met to read and evaluate the applications for our four $1000.00 scholarships on the equally weighted areas of academic excellence, financial need, personal presentation, and letter of recommendation. We chose six finalists, five of whom Char, Sandy, and I interviewed at Penrose Library on April 22. We awarded our scholarships to four of the finalists, gave one very fine finalist our $100.00 runner-up award, and returned the second $100.00 award to our treasury because of problems with the sixth finalist. At our May 5 Branch meeting I introduced our four outstanding Local Scholarships finalists, each of whom is succeeding admirably, despite severe life challenges.
Danielle Gaffney is an accounting and finance major at UCCS with 73 credit hours and a 3.98 grade point average (GPA). She arrived at UCCS with 17 credit hours earned by taking College Board Advance Placement tests throughout high school. While holding a job, she plans to finish college in three years by doing 18-hour semesters and taking summer classes. She will graduate next May and immediately pursue her CPA license. So that she won’t lose half of her college credits by transferring them, she is living apart from her husband, who is in North Carolina training for the Special Forces. Her recommender, who was her college professor in three classes, wrote, “Danielle exceeded expectations in each of my courses, which are quite rigorous . . . including an upper level accounting major course that includes many of the strongest students in the College of Business.” She was the top student in two classes and in the top 15% in the third.
Danielle writes, “To the generous women of the Colorado Springs branch of AAUW: Thank you so much for the scholarship. . . .Without your hard work and donations to fund the education of women such as myself, I would be scrambling this summer to save money for my tuition.”
Sarah Lang was our highest Local Scholarships winner last year. Her very tough personal story begins with her life in the Texas foster child care system and continues through an abusive marriage, two children, and a difficult divorce from a man who is now not allowed to see her two young daughters. Her excellent grades in 71 hours at PPCC and 28 hours at U. of Denver slipped a bit to a 3.5 GPA in the very difficult UCCS clinical nursing program, which she loves. However, in addition to her children and her school work, Sarah also works 25-40 hours/week as a grievance and appeals coordinator for ValueOptions, which manages the Medicaid contracts for most counties in Colorado. Her recommender, a ValueOptions vice-president and a medical doctor, wrote, “Sarah has strong customer service skills, patience, empathy, dependability and reliability, accuracy, and superior knowledge of the complex healthcare system. . . .[She] is the essence of resiliency, motivation, intelligence, and confidence.” Sarah hopes to work as a nurse in Third World countries someday.
After she gets her nursing degree, Sarah writes, “I plan to work in underdeveloped countries and help the world where it is needed most [such as] East Africa and other countries that are in desperate need of health care. I want to take my kids to these locations to open their eyes to a world that exists outside the U.S. [so that] they will gain an understanding that we are all connected and that they can make a difference in the world. . . .Without the assistance of the AAUW scholarship I would not be able to continue to pursue my goal of obtaining my degree and providing a better future for my children. The AAUW scholarship is helping me to overcome the many challenges that I face as a nontraditional student. Thank you so much for all your generosity and thank you for believing in me and helping me overcome barriers.”
Nhan Nguyen, who has 30 E (Experience) credit hours and a 4.0 GPA at PPCC, arrived in the U.S. at the age of three, the child of Vietnamese refugees. She worked hard even as a child taking care of her younger brothers, working in her mother’s shop, being a liaison between her parents and other immigrants and various resources like doctors, and still earning As in school. Because of her interest in medicine and the lack of money for college, right after high school she joined the army on the medic track. After six months of medic training and still a private, she ran a clinic for 1,500 soldiers, where she learned that “one person can make a huge difference in another person’s life.” Her recommender, a Student Support Services Project Director at PPCC, wrote that Nhan “puts 100 plus percent into everything she does—her classes, her work here in our office, and her personal relations—with great academic and personal discipline.” Because of a broken hip, Nhan received an honorable medical discharge from the army. Her goal is to get an RN-BSN at UCCS and return to being a compassionate nurse serving the underserved wounded veterans.
Nhan writes: “Thank you to every single AAUW member for selecting me for this scholarship, which will help me toward my nursing career. It was a great honor to be at your meeting and meet you. I am beyond grateful for this scholarship, which means a very great deal to me for my education and career.”
Amy Strickland did not do well when she went away to college at 17. Now in the much more challenging situation of being the single mother of two young children, one with special needs, and working 40 hours per week, she has earned 65 hours at PPCC with a 3.7 GPA and will attend UCCS in the fall. She has loved her tutoring experiences and the leadership opportunities in Phi Theta Kappa, the two year college equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. Her recommender, a Project Director for Student Support Services at PPCC, wrote that she is “an incredibly hard worker” in his office, where she expertly maintains the electronic student database, and that she is “flawlessly dependable, more than capable, and a pleasure to work with” in addition to being “in the top one percent of all students I have worked with throughout my entire 22-year career.” Amy hopes to become a university history professor.
Amy writes: “Thank you for providing me the opportunity to continue my education with your $1000 Local Scholarship. It was a pleasure to attend the luncheon and to be able to meet such an amazing group of ladies who are dedicated to education. I truly appreciate being selected to receive the scholarship and wish I could have thanked each attendee at the luncheon personally. The AAUW Local Scholarship means not only financial assistance but the recognition of my achievements, both of which give it immeasurable meaning to me.”
I stand in awe of what these women are doing! I hope you will agree that our Local Scholarships have gone to four very worthy women. Any money that you can contribute to our Local Scholarships Fund when you send in your dues will be gratefully received and effectively used. A planning meeting for our Oct. 27 Authors’ Day, which is the major fund-raiser for our scholarships, has already been held. Please mark your calendars, get involved on a committee, tell all your friends and fellow book club members about it, and plan to attend!
Joann Oh, Local Scholarship Chair
Here are the comments of three winners that show the impact that our contributions have made on their lives:
- Jennifer Guajardo, winner in 2009, wrote, “My academic life is moving along quite well. I graduated cum laude with my bachelor’s degree from UCCS in December 2011, and I am now in grad school at UCCS [but will change universities for a better fit for my future profession]. I changed my major from History, Secondary Education to Sociology partway through UCCS. I have realized that my true passion lies in helping other single mothers like myself with some kind of not-for-profit program designed to help them gain the assistance they need and ultimately obtain a secondary education. . . .Thank you for choosing me as one of your scholarship recipients. That award truly meant a great deal to me and helped me get through my first semester at UCCS [after graduating with very high grades from PPCC]. You are a wonderful organization full of amazing women. I am honored to have met you.”
- Jennifer Evans, also a winner in 2009, wrote, “I graduated with a degree in Spanish Elementary Education in May 2009. I was married in June and moved to Wheat Ridge, where my husband is going to school at the Colorado School of Mines. I found a preschool teaching job in a low-income area in Lakewood and work with three-, four-, and five-year-old children. I absolutely love the children I work with! It is an honor to help them develop socially as well as academically. Most of our families are Spanish-speaking, and I have been able to use my knowledge to communicate with parents and students. [Wherever my husband and I end up], I hope to continue positively impacting children. I would eventually like to return to school for ESL training or a master’s degree. . . .The scholarship I received from AAUW was immensely helpful. I wanted to be financially stable while completing my student teaching when I couldn’t work, and this scholarship helped me a great deal. I also did not graduate with an unreasonable amount of debt. Thanks to each of you who helped make my goals a reality.”
- Michelle Glowczewski, winner in 2010, wrote, “I am planning to graduate in May! Your scholarship helped me tremendously in allowing me to be where I am today. After my freshman year I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to continue my course of studies here at UCCS because of financial need, but fortunately because of generous people like those in your organization I have received enough scholarship assistance to get me to graduation. . . .Thank you so much again for all that you have done. I am so grateful!”
- Another winner, a brilliant older student and truly outstanding person, has had to quit midway through her master’s degree at UCCS and move to a lower altitude because of her husband’s health problems. Like many women, she has put her family first. She hopes to return to school as she has five years to pick up her studies where she left off. However, I know that she is still currently contributing to society with the knowledge that our scholarship helped her gain.