Education and Social Mobility

Megan Hicks | Oct 02 2013 |  · · ·  Tags: education, women, poverty, megan hicks

According to the Census Bureau, compared to thirty-five years ago, family incomes have declined for the poorest third of children. In contrast, children living in the highest earning families have experienced a large amount of growth in financial resources since 1975. The Hamilton Project reviews economic facts about our nation’s limited social ladder and how education can help climb it.


One fact in the article is that a college degree can be a ticket out of poverty. “The earnings of college graduates are much higher than for nongraduates, and that is especially true among people born into low-income families.”


The article goes on to say: “A low-income individual without a college degree will very likely remain in the lower part of the earnings distribution, whereas a low-income individual with a college degree could just as easily land in any income quintile—including the highest.” The difference education makes is incredible, and that’s why organizations like JRF are vital.


Lack of funding is one of the top reasons people don’t pursue college degrees. Access to higher education is critical for low-income students, and because of generous donors, 87 women are receiving JRF scholarships this year. These scholarships are helping women break this cycle of poverty. As JRF scholars increase their social mobility, they are better providing for their families and contributing to stronger communities!


To read about JRF scholars, click here.

If you would like to help change the lives, you can click here and show your support!


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First JRF 5k

Megan Hicks | Sep 05 2013 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news, supporting jrf, megan hicks, education


An incredible 326 people registered for the race, and 222 ran the course! Huge thank you to board member Deb Walock and her team at Caterpillar for pulling together such a wonderful event. More than $10,000 was raised to support low-income women conquering poverty through education.

See photos from the race at Online Athens here: race photos

Race Info:

“Caterpillar is very excited to accelerate educational opportunities through the efforts of Jeannette Rankin Fund,” said Deb Walock, Manufacturing Engineering Manager at the Athens Caterpillar.

Please come out and support JRF on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at the Fun Run and 5k sponsored by Caterpillar.

Fun Run at 1:30 pm

Walk/Run 5k at 2pm

Oconee Veteran’s Park in Watkinsville

If you pre-register you'll receive a hat from Caterpillar! There will also be awards for Overall Male/Female, Masters Male/Female, Grandmasters Male/Female, and Top three male/female in age groups 10 and under through 75 and over. Plenty of snacks and drinks for everyone.

Registration is $20 before September 18 and $25 after. There is also a family registration for a group of four for $60. We hope to see you there!

Are you ready to sign up? Click here!

Special thanks to: Power Partners, GreenWood Inc, Industrial Mechanical Inc (IMI), Coldwell Banker Upchurch Realty, Engineered Systems Inc, Pinnacle Bank, Athens Family Dental, SCANA Energy, Publix, Piedmont College, TRC Staffing Services, Oconee State Bank, Anthony Chiropractic, Aesthetic Dental Association of NE GA and Fortson, Bentley and Griffin Attorneys at Law.


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Work Hard, Dream Big

Work Hard, Dream Big

Megan Hicks | Aug 20 2013 |  · · ·  Tags: megan hicks, women

In an online post in The Huffington Post, nine hard-working women are featured for their great accomplishments! The key message to remember here is everyone has to start somewhere.

This post highlights nine women who got their start as assistants and made their way to the top. To name a few, Jenna Lyons, the current executive director at J Crew, had her start in the J Crew men’s section when she was 21. Donna Karan, designer for Donna Karan New York and DKNY, began her career at Anne Klein as an assistant making coffee and sharpening pencils. Lastly, Ursula Burns, Madam Chairman and CEO of Xerox, began as an intern. Burns was the first African American woman to lead a major corporation in the United States and she is the first female CEO to take over after another woman. How awesome is that?!

These women show there are endless possibilities if you find your starting place! Our very own JRF scholar, Lucy (pictured right) agrees in saying, “I now believe in myself and know that anything is possible with hard work, determination, and strong will.” Lucy found her start after devoting her time to her family and helping her husband with his business. She is currently working towards an associate’s degree in Health Information Management. She says since she has begun this journey her confidence has “boosted ten-fold.”

It is such a great feeling to see these women succeed! If you are out there looking for your starting place, I say READY, SET, GO!!


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Welcome new intern, Megan!

Welcome new intern, Megan!

Megan Hicks | Aug 15 2013 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news, megan hicks, supporting jrf

Hello readers! My name is Megan Hicks and I am the new Donor Communications Intern for JRF this fall! I will be assisting JRF’s Marketing and Development Coordinator, Bentley Worthy, with various projects throughout this season. I also have the responsibility to create enticing blog posts for all of you and keep you updated on the excitement here with JRF.

Currently, I am a second year master’s student at the University of Georgia studying human development and family science. My interests are working in non-profits doing work with families and the community. I believe this internship is a great way for me to reach out to the community!

This fall my goal is keep you all informed with all of the amazing activities that JRF has planned for the next few months! I am very excited to start my journey of blogging this information to you! 


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Local author donates toward scholarship in memory of a Georgia Woman of Achievement

Local author donates toward scholarship in memory of a Georgia Woman of Achievement

JRF | Jul 08 2013 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news, supporting jrf, education, press release

Press Release

Athens, Ga. – Athens author Martha Phillips recently donated toward a 2013 Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund (JRF) scholarship in memory of Mary Ann Rutherford Lipscomb, an Athens native who championed education.


The Mary Ann Rutherford Lipscomb Scholarship will help a low-income woman 35 or older have access to higher education that will benefit herself, her family and her community.

Phillips is a member of The Athens Woman’s Club (AWC), which has shown its commitment to education by starting free kindergartens, the Athens Regional Library, the Tallulah Falls School and through sponsoring many other projects.  Phillips invited AWC President Betsy Walker to join her when she presented her donation.


Jeannette Rankin scholars are women who have a plan for how to use their education to better their communities. This coupled with AWC’s dedication to women’s welfare and education, inspired Phillips to make the first donation toward the Mary Ann Rutherford Lipscomb Scholarship.


"I was a single mother raising two boys, and I can relate to the struggles of JRF recipients. It gives me great pleasure to help other women move forward,” Phillips said. (Picture left to right: Pat Reagan, Sue Lawrence, Martha Phillips, Betsy Walker)

Pat Reagan, Sue Lawrence, Martha Phillips, Betsy Walker


Lipscomb was a teacher, principal and one of the founders of AWC. She focused on issues with rural schools in Northeast Georgia and worked through the club to provide textbooks and supplies. As a lobbyist, Lipscomb advocated for compulsory education for Georgia’s youth, free kindergartens and health regulations.


The importance of education to Phillips, Lipscomb and AWC ties directly to JRF’s mission to “provide scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older to build better lives through college completion.”


This year, 87 women were selected from hundreds of applicants for scholarships of $2000 each. Awards are renewable for up to five years, so a recipient could receive up to $10,000 toward her education.  To date, JRF has provided $2 million in financial aid to more than 750 women across the U.S. JRF is one of the few organizations making scholarships to older women students, an often overlooked group. These need-based scholarships give hope to women who are juggling school, work and family responsibilities. On average, 50% of JRF scholars are first in their families to go to college.  In addition, JRF supports success; of alumnae responding to the annual survey, 84% had graduated or were still enrolled in school. JRF scholars are women who are making great changes for themselves, their families and their communities.


To learn more about JRF, visit and to learn more about Martha Phillips, visit


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