P – AAUW PHILANTHROPY is the engine that drives our programming.
Every year our branch has given a scholarship to a woman returning to formal education after a time away. The applications are distributed to area college financial aid departments, completed by students and submitted to a scholarship selection committee. Depending on available funds, we award always one but sometimes two or three scholarships.
In May 2015, we awarded the scholarship to Liying Lee who came to the United States from China when she was 28 years old. She became a U.S. citizen on August 21, 2012. Her goal is to receive her Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Liying is married and has two sons, age 5 and 2. Our award will help her continue her education at Brookhaven College.
This year, the scholarship will be named the Nancy Watten Scholarship.
We also make an annual donation to the Educational Fund in honor of a member who has taken on unusual tasks. In May 2015, we gave that award to Sara Woods. Sara, a member since 1987, has been active in book group, Reach for the Stars, and all our fundraisers. She also led a community service project called Financial Basics for Women a few years ago. In 2015, she supported our fundraiser to recognize our 40th anniversary as a branch, attended Interbranch Council, and brought food to sell and stayed to work at Brookhaven College, raising awareness of our Equal Pay Day. In many ways, Sara has been a long-standing, consistently supportive member of our branch.
Fund Raising Celebration
In October 2015, on the occasion of the retirement from the local school board of a long time Farmers Branch Carrollton member, our branch began the process of planning a fund raising celebration of Nancy Watten. We have a date, a hotel, electronic reservations on our AAUW web site, and active involvement of 13 of our 23 members. We have over 100 people registered with additional donations that seem promising. By the time of the Texas State Convention on April 30, 2015, the record-keeping should be final. Perhaps we can give an update of the success at the convention.
The proceeds will be used for the afore-mentioned AAUW mission-oriented activities: an annual scholarship for an adult woman returning to college, the Girls Empowered by Mentoring program, and the Educational Foundation.