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Advancing Equity for Women & Girls of Color Summit

JRF | Nov 11 2015 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news, education, women

The White House is hosting a summit Friday, November 13 on expanding opportunity for women and girls of color. The Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color Summit will focus on a range of issues including economic development, healthcare, criminal justice and vulnerability to violence.

"Some of the statistics about the state of women and girls of color are pretty bleak: according to a 2015 report by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, a black female high school graduate makes about $2,200 less than a white male dropout and black women are near the bottom of earning across all levels of education."

Executive Director Karen Sterk will be at the summit in D.C. as part of Prosperity Together, a partnership of nonpartisan, U.S. women’s foundations. Click here for the live feed. ‪Use #‎propseritytogether‬ to be part of the conversation.

Read more from the Time article.

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Higher education’s multi-generational impact

JRF | Oct 28 2015 |  · · ·  Tags: education, women, poverty

"The sons and daughters of college-educated parents are more than twice as likely to go to college as the children of high school graduates and seven times as likely as those of high school dropouts."

Read more from the NY Times article by clicking here.

It’s been shown time and again that when parents go to college, it greatly impacts the futures of their children. Jeannette Rankin Fund directly supports low-income women 35 and older. But the impact reaches far beyond the individual scholars.

Nearly half are the first in their families to pursue higher education; the typical Rankin scholar has two children and lives on an annual income of approximately $21,000. After receiving the scholarship, 95.2% of Jeannette Rankin scholars earn a degree or certificate. 83.3% say that earning a degree has helped them and their families to become more financially secure.

A college degree makes a difference in a family's day to day lives – securing a career with good pay and benefits so they don’t have to worry about how to pay for food or gas for the car or when an unexpected expense come up, like a child gets sick. It also dramatically changes their long-term prospects – they’re establishing a family tradition of education, and conquering poverty permanently.

Alexandra, a Jeannette Rankin alumna, says: “My degree gave me the flexibility to be really present for my oldest and younger son, and both recognize the value of having a good education. I think what they learned in watching me spend 10 years going from zero education to a doctoral degree was that reaching a dream takes work, not giving up no matter what, and giving it all that you have. I gained a tremendous amount of confidence, and when the job market took a dive and I was laid off, I simply started my own research and program evaluation consulting business. I am making a good income, working from home, and choosing the clients and projects that make me happiest.”

Jeannette Rankin Fund supporters make these changes possible for women across the country. Thank you!

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Welcome new Executive Director, Karen Sterk!

Welcome new Executive Director, Karen Sterk!

JRF | Sep 01 2015 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news, supporting jrf

Greetings Friends – 
 
It is a privilege and honor to take on the leadership of Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund. I am energized and excited to build on the organization’s 39 years of providing scholarships and support to low income women 35 and older across the United States.
 
The groundwork creating a solid infrastructure is Sue Lawrence’s legacy. We thank her for her dedication and service. During her tenure, Jeannette Rankin Fund reached milestones, providing more than $2M in scholarships to nearly 800 women. Sue, April and Bentley helped gain national recognition for our cause and increased impact for hundreds of women. 
 
Education is a core value for us. Board Chair Ruth Bettandorff shares an inspiring story about how her mother went to college later in life. My mother grew up during a time when college education was not a value for many women. Her father had the means to send her to college, but he didn’t think a woman needed a college education. So she paid for it herself. She and my father paid the way for six children, my brothers and sisters and me to go to college. Her spirit and her value of education downloaded to me.  
 
My life’s work has centered around empowering women. In my most recent position, I served the YWCA of Greater Atlanta as both a program and development director, growing programs and raising money for the agency.  
 
I look forward to advancing the mighty mission of Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund. So many more women in our nation need us to assist them with scholarships! A college education is one of the major ways to lift a woman and her family out of generational poverty. A college education gives us a return on our investment in short order. A college education makes our country stronger. 
 
Thank you for your ongoing support and engagement. I look forward to meeting you and working with you to build our cause to serve many, many more women.
 
Sincerely,
Karen Sterk
 
We educate women because it is smart. We educate women because it changes the world.  
–Drew Faust, President of Harvard

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Press Release: Battelle donates $20,000 to help women secure STEM careers

JRF | Jun 05 2015 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news, supporting jrf, press release, grant

Athens, Ga. – Helping to fill the shortage of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), the Atlanta branch of Battelle awarded a $20,000 grant to Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund. It will provide scholarships and support to eight low-income women 35 and older who are currently pursuing their degrees and plan to enter the workforce in a STEM field.

The women will receive $2,000 each toward their technical and undergraduate programs. Battelle has provided a total of 30 Jeannette Rankin Fund scholarships from 2008-2015, helping women enter a variety of STEM careers.

Rhonda Suka, a former a Battelle Award recipient, graduated with her master’s degree in Geography and is now working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Rhonda is part of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division. She participated in several research projects and recently helped map sea floors around Mo’orea and O’ahu.

“I was working at a hotel aquarium at the top limits of position and earning potential. Now I am in a position with unlimited upward movement and earning potential,” Rhonda says.

Cheryl Jackson, another Battelle recipient, is a Process Line Manager at Kellogg where she leads 14 supervisors who each manage six to eight other workers. Cheryl earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Once her children graduate high school, she plans to return to school to earn her doctorate.

“I cannot tell you what it means to not have to fill out the free lunch form for my children or worry about how I am going to pay the electric bill and buy the supplies my children need for a school project,” Cheryl says. “Our lives have been forever changed and it is a direct result of the Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund.”

“Battelle’s generous gift to Jeannette Rankin Fund will have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of the women we serve. The U.S. has an urgent and growing need for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and thanks to Battelle, women will build futures in these fields,” Sue Lawrence, executive director of Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund, said.

Frank Pasztor, Regional Manager for Battelle, met Cheryl at a Jeannette Rankin event. He responded, “Battelle’s mission includes a strong commitment to STEM education programs, and we’re pleased to support the Jeannette Rankin program and highly motivated women like Cheryl.”

Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund was founded in 1976 and provides scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older to build better lives through college completion. Awards may be renewed for up to five years, so a woman can receive up to $10,000. Jeannette Rankin scholars come from diverse backgrounds, yet they are united in their desire to break the cycle of poverty, better provide for their families and give back to their communities. To learn more about Jeannette Rankin Fund, visit www.rankinfoundation.org.

Battelle is the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization, with over 22,000 employees at more than 130 locations globally. A 501(c)(3) charitable trust, Battelle was founded on industrialist Gordon Battelle’s vision that business and scientific interests can go hand-in-hand as forces for positive change. Today, Battelle manages the world’s leading national laboratories and maintains a contract research portfolio spanning consumer and industrial, energy and environment, health and pharmaceutical and national security. To learn more about Battelle, visit www.battelle.org.

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Mundito Foundation funds fifteen scholarships to help women conquer poverty

JRF | Apr 30 2015 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news, supporting jrf, press release

Athens, Ga. – Mundito Foundation, an Atlanta-based private nonprofit foundation, is awarding a $30,000 grant to Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships and support to fifteen women 35 and older who have low incomes. The women will receive $2,000 each in scholarships toward their technical and undergraduate programs.


“Life doesn’t always turn out the way we plan, and Jeannette Rankin scholarships function as a reset button for women who are determined to turn their lives around,” said Margaret Graff and Richard Higgins, Founding Directors of Mundito Foundation. “Lean-and-mean doesn’t begin to describe the efficiency of Jeannette Rankin Foundation:  with only three full-time employees, they recruit and train almost two hundred volunteers to evaluate applications.”


“We’re inspired by the incredible drive and persistence of Jeannette Rankin scholars. They finish their college degrees while balancing school, work and family responsibilities, and then they go on to contribute to society,” said Sue Lawrence, Executive Director.


After graduation, Jeannette Rankin scholars become business owners, social workers, chefs, writers, scientists, teachers, nurses and so much more. They give back to their communities and encourage other women to achieve for themselves and their families. Grants like this one have provided the resources for Jeannette Rankin Fund to award more than $2 million in scholarships since 1976.


Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund was founded in 1976 and provides scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older to build better lives through college completion. Awards may be renewed for up to five years, so a woman can receive up to $10,000. Jeannette Rankin scholars come from diverse backgrounds, yet they are united in their desire to break the cycle of poverty, better provide for their families and give back to their communities. To learn more about Jeannette Rankin Fund, visit www.rankinfoundation.org.


Mundito Foundation seeks to change lives of individuals who live with inadequate resources, public health care, or education. Mundito serves as a “giving group”, undertaking projects with partner nonprofit organizations that meet the objectives:  Specific. Efficient. Changing lives. Since its launch in 2007, $349,000 has been donated to fourteen organizations. For more information about Mundito Foundation, visit www.munditofoundation.org.

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