For me, the high point of our annual showcase meeting is the presentation of scholarships, which are funded by current member donations and legacy gifts from deceased members. This year was no exception. As in past years, we awarded three scholarships to women attending California State University, Sacramento.
Donna Holmes, a third-generation college graduate and 30-year AAUW member, donates one annually in honor of her parents, Mary and Donn Random. Her awardee, Brandi Veal, is in the school of business and plans to get her master’s degree in library science to provide a service to the community.
Kit Mahnke, the branch president from 1973-74, was a life member for whom AAUW meant a great deal. Her family has donated a scholarship each year since she died. Her daughter, Melanie Mahnke Kirrene, presented their award to Christine Ibarra and promised to continue giving scholarships as she enjoys reconnecting with her mother’s friends. Christine is studying speech therapy and is a very active community volunteer.
Maha Haidari was awarded the branch scholarship, which is funded by contributions received with our dues. She is studying civil engineering and is interning with Sacramento County.
Each of the awardees gave an acceptance speech to tell us what the scholarship means to them, and they shared about their educational goals. Each recipient told scholarship co-director Anna Storey how welcome they felt at our meeting. We had three members of our campus affiliate in attendance, and Maha plans to join their group.
I am very proud to be a part of awarding these scholarships as I know how much it means to be a college student with more goals than money. It is a good thing to pay forward and help a woman on her way.