AAUW offers tech scholarship

Posted 1/1/19

The American Association of University Women Port Townsend is seeking applicants for its university scholarships and for its new technical career scholarship.

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AAUW offers tech scholarship

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The American Association of University Women Port Townsend is seeking applicants for its university scholarships and for its new technical career scholarship.

The technical career scholarship is a $5,000 award for a woman from Jefferson County to pursue education at an accredited technical school or community college.

“This is something new that we’ve never done before,” said Gail Rodgers, an AAUW member who headed the creation of the new scholarship.

The scholarship can be used for tuition, fees and equipment at any institution accredited by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, or a Washington state college accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. This includes all community colleges in Washington, as well as several private technical schools such as the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding, the Northwest College of Art and Design and the Seattle Film Institute.

“I did not realize the depth and breadth of our community college programs,” Rodgers said. “We’ve got 34 community colleges with 14 areas of study. These result in 96 different career and job certificates or degrees.”

After speaking with local business owners and professionals, Rodgers saw that there was a need for women who want to get a certificate or degree in a technical field, such as an X-ray technician, welder or boat builder.

“Not every kid that graduates from high school around here is going to go to a four-year college,” Rodgers said. “We do support a lot of girls going to four-year colleges, we give out a lot of money in local scholarships. But we just felt that we needed to open up the opportunity to more kids that maybe weren’t on that track. These are good jobs that can help a woman support her family and support herself and have a good career.”

The technical career scholarship is one of many scholarships the AAUW offers through the University Women’s Foundation of Jefferson County.  

For example, the $11,000 Elmira K. Beyer Endowed Scholarship is awarded annually to a woman from East Jefferson County who has completed at least one year of university study and wishes to continue her education.
An additional $8,500 scholarship based on the same criteria will also be awarded.

Other university scholarships include the Constance Anna Pash award for women already in college pursuing STEM degrees; the Lisa T. Painter Endowed Scholarship for college or high-school senior women who plan to study law, fine arts, or health care; and the Environmental Scholarship for college or high-school senior women who wish to study environmental science.

High school seniors graduating in 2019 can apply for a High School Scholarship Award. Three awards in the amount of $3,000 each will be given to a student from Port Townsend, Chimacum and Quilcene.

“Last year we gave over $80,000 in scholarships through our organization,” said Celia Fry, the AAUW vice president of scholarships. “We have a lot of deserving women out there who need a chance. We’re women supporting women in their educational careers.”

Applications are due by March 8. The awards will be presented on May 11 at the Elks Lodge in Port Townsend.
To learn more, go to the AAUW Port Townsend website.

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