The American Association of University Women Colorado Springs branch has awarded a total of $12,700 in scholarships to eight local college students.
Of the scholarships, 2019-2020 AAUWCSB President Kathryn Olson said, “Approximately $3,700 of the $12,700 reflects the amount donated to the AMMSF. Eight is the largest number of scholarship recipients for our branch and the amounts were the largest ever awarded in one year.”
Anna Duerst and Juliette Hayes each received a $1,850 Addie Mae Memorial Scholarship. A $1,500 AAUWCSB scholarship went to Jessica Bangs, Kandyse Patterson, Victoria Scott, Jodi Vasquez, Ana Ventura and Cynthia Wright. The money will assist with University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and/or Pikes Peak Community College 2020-2021 tuition costs.
The scholarship announcements were made via the Zoom web platform on Sept. 19. Usually there is a luncheon ceremony, but the presentation was virtua this year due to the pandemic.
“Typically, members visit with at least one scholarship recipient during the luncheon. We’re unable to have that interaction with the Zoom format, but asking each one to speak for a minute or two will allow their personalities to show a little,” said Scholarship Chair Maureen Sigler.
Colorado AAUW President Paula Munger and her husband, David, founded the Addie Mae Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor their great niece, who died at age 6 in September 2019. The number of donations enabled the Mungers to present scholarships to two women pursuing counseling or elementary education degrees.
“The response has been overwhelming with family, friends and AAUW members throughout the state supporting this fund,” Paula Munger said.
Duerst is pursuing a counseling career, holds a 4.0 GPA and this fall will graduate from PPCC with an associate’s degree and plans to transfer to UCCS. In a letter to the Mungers, Duerst wrote, “Early in life I realized I enjoyed helping people find their footing as they faced life’s challenges. I look forward to the day I can invest in future generations the way you have invested in me.”
Working with YMCA children’s programs and as a youth ministry intern fueled Hayes’ passion to study elementary education at PPCC. Prior to her selection, Hayes completed three semesters at PPCC, earning a 3.84 GPA. “I’m humbled and honored to receive this scholarship and hope I can be a teacher that all Addie Mae’s look up to someday,” Hayes said.
Bangs holds a 3.88 GPA and this fall will graduate from UCCS with a Bachelor of Innovation with a core in Globalization. “This scholarship means there are people who believe in and have invested in me when I’ve questioned my abilities and reasoning for going back to college. I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent AAUW as a 2020 scholarship recipient,” Bangs said.
Patterson is a full-time student at PPCC and UCCS and has a 4.0 GPA. The military spouse and mother of two plans to enroll in a medicinal chemistry graduate program. “This scholarship is a reminder hard work pays off. It motivates me to push to see what I can achieve and support other women in careers where females are underrepresented,” Patterson said.
After earning her General Education Development certificate, Scott enrolled at PPCC to study business. She maintains a 3.98 GPA while also working full-time. “It’s knowing someone else believes in you. It inspires and provokes our inner emotions to wake up and feel encouraged, loved and hopeful,” Scott said.
Vasquez, who holds at 3.67 GPA at PPCC, is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. “My wife will retire from the military as I graduate with my degree. The scholarship will allow us more financial freedom from student loans as we begin the next stage of our lives and careers,” Vasquez said.
Ventura holds a Certified Nursing Aide license, and has enrolled in the PPCC Pre-Nursing program, where she has a 4.0 GPA. “Without the help of scholarships there would be no way to afford to put myself though school. This scholarship is giving me a chance … so I can support my family,” Ventura said.
Wright is seeking a Bachelor of Applied Science Emergency Management with PPCC where she maintains a 3.64 GPA. She wants to pave the way for women in this chiefly male-dominated field. “When I became a paramedic in the late 1980s very few women were in that field. I faced a lot of adversity. It’s important for women to show we can be greatly used,” Wright said.