All posts tagged: annual dinner

Annual Dinner Raises Critical Funds for Scholarships - Your Support of JRF says, “YES YOU CAN!”

Annual Dinner Raises Critical Funds for Scholarships - Your Support of JRF says, “YES YOU CAN!”

JRF | Oct 11 2016 |  · · · 

Annual Dinner raises critical funds for scholarships - Your Support of JRF says, “Yes You Can!”

Daily at JRF, we have the privilege of connecting with inspiring women from across the US who refuse to give up and remain dedicated to pursuing higher education. Sometimes on the calls, there are laughs and sometimes there are tears of pain and joy. All of the time, there is financial, academic, and emotional support— none of which could be made available without you— our donors and volunteers.

Through our social media channels, we show you as much as we can about the journeys of the women served and essentially what the foundation values.

But, as seen at our recent Annual Dinner, there is nothing like meeting the women behind the phone calls, blogs, and social media posts in-person to hear them share their own stories and to connect them with generous people like you who have decided that their education matters.

During the dinner, Scholars from Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Florida and Portland, Oregon were honored for their academic dedication, but more importantly for their willingness to share their journeys with us, inspiring us to be more vigilant, optimistic, and resourceful in all that we do.

One JRF Scholar, Khadijah, joined us in pursuit of her Associate’s Degree after enduring years of abuse and homelessness. She had heard about the scholarship opportunity via word-of-mouth and said she really only applied on a whim because someone said, “Yes you can!” Khadijah shared to some of the attendees at her table that it wasn’t until she could quiet that little voice of doubt that always said, “no”, that she could really hear and listen to the voice that said, “Yes you can!”

It took a village of support and the sisterhood of the Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund to convince her that she and her family truly deserved a higher quality of life through higher education. She just completed her first year of law school and because so many decided to pour into her future, she spends time each week mobilizing women within her own community.

Your attendance at the Annual Dinner, your financial support, and your invested time all breathe life into that little voice (one we all need to hear at some point) that says to women, “Yes you can.”

You have probably heard that when you educate a woman, you educate a village, and if one ever had any doubt that this isn’t in fact true, they haven’t met you or the scholars and families that you support.

Thanks to digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter, our Scholars are building bonds and empowering each other, across state lines and amidst differing time zones, extending the value of their shared Jeannette Rankin Foundation experience.

To know where we are heading, we must remember where we have come from and that’s the beauty of the Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund. We celebrate Jeannette Rankin’s role as a social justice advocate and realize how her legacy lives on through JRF.

We celebrate our Scholars and our incredibly supportive communities because with each scholarship provided, another woman is provided with resources to empower herself, her family, and her community.

The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund’s 40th Anniversary Annual Dinner celebrated these collective investments and accomplishments of women’s education with an eye to providing ever more support for the women who need us.  

As a result of the dinner, $86,680 was raised. Know that your support as donors and volunteers gives so much more than scholarships.

Thank you again to all of our donors, our volunteers, our sponsors, and our board for making this event possible! Special thank you to our proud sponsor, Delta Air Lines! We hope to see your faces again soon at our SMART Party on November 10th at Ponce City Market, General Assembly.

Missed the event? Check out the pictures via our Flickr page.


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Cheryl, Jeannette Rankin Alumna

JRF | Sep 22 2014 |  · · · 

At our Annual Dinner on September 16th, Jeannette Rankin Alumnae shared her story. Here's part of what she had to say:

I was so grateful for the opportunity to be able to share what the Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund has enabled me to accomplish at the annual dinner. You see, my mother was a drug addict. I grew up in a home filled with drugs, violence and abuse. Then, I married an abusive man. I was convinced that I had no way out, not only because I couldn’t make it on my own, but because I believed that marriage was a sacred covenant not to be broken.


It took him threatening to put a bullet in my brain for me to make the decision that I had to leave despite the consequences. It was the most heart wrenching and scariest decision that I ever made. I had no home, no car, and no job.


While I was at the Domestic Violence shelter and trying to figure out how to start a life on my own with five children to take care of, I realized that I had a choice. I could get a minimum wage job, child support and government assistance and make ends meet, but I would always be reliant on the government to survive. Or, I could get extra government assistance, child support and scholarships to go back to school. Then, I would eventually be able to support myself without government assistance.


Everyone told me about all of the scholarships available for older, single moms, but as I tried to find them I found out that it was a myth. They just are not out there to the degree that many think. However, I was blessed to discover Jeannette Rankin Fund.


With Jeannette Rankin Fund's help, not only was I able to complete my degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, but I was able to procure a job that supports my family and enables me to give back. I was even able to buy my very own home! 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 some school project. Our lives have been forever changed and it is a direct result of the Jeannette Rankin Fund.


There are three things that I want desperately to convey to each of you. One, if he hits you, slaps you, or shoves you, it is abuse. It doesn’t matter whether it is in the face, head, shoulder, back or anywhere else. It is still abuse. It doesn’t matter whether it happens once a week, once a month, once a year or even every couple of years. It is still abuse, and it is ok to leave. You can do it! You can survive! You do not have to believe the lies that you aren’t worth it, or that you are incapable of surviving without him.


That leads to my next point. If you don’t like your life, you can change it! If you are in an abusive relationship, addicted to drugs, living in poverty, or just plain unhappy, you can change it. Make a plan and do it. You will want to give up. It will be hard. The key is to keep going no matter what, even when you feel like you can’t go on. At those times don’t think about tomorrow or even the next hour. All you have to do it determine to make it through the next minute. If you keep doing that, one day you will look around and realize you made it. All you have to do is not give up.


The third is that your gift matters! It can be the difference between success and failure. I know it was for me.


I would not be where I am, today, without the Jeannette Rankin Fund support. It has changed my life. It has changed my children’s lives. It has and will change all the women’s lives that I share my story with. It has and will change the lives of my children’s friends as they share it. I am just one woman, and you have had this much of an impact. Imagine what else can be accomplished!


My story is not over. I feel like I am just now getting to the good part, and I am so excited for the future. After my children are grown I plan on continuing my education to include a graduate degree. I hope to do research in Genetics and Epigenetics. It is a fascinating area of study that I believe can help so many suffering from everything from schizophrenia to PTSD and anxiety disorders. Until then, I will continue to share my story in hopes of encouraging other women to move past their difficult circumstances and making a better life for themselves and their children. 


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Thank you to the 2014 Annual Dinner sponsors!

JRF | Aug 27 2014 |  · · · 

Sponsors as of August 27, 2014.


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Annual Dinner 2014

JRF | Jul 14 2014 |  · · · 

Reservations are now closed. If you'd like to attend the Annual Dinner, please email or call the office at 706-208-1211.


Event Overview:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

5:30pm Social Hour begins -- 6:30 Dinner begins -- 8pm Conclude

Classic Center Atrium, parking in the Classic Center deck included



Margaret Wagner Dahl, Associate Vice President for Health IT at Georgia Institute of Technology

Margaret has worked for nearly 30 years in technology transfer and has extensive expertise in the biomedical industry and healthcare governance. Her position is part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, which helps Georgia enterprises improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation.


Cheryl Jackson, Process Line Manager for Kellogg

Cheryl is a Jeannette Rankin Alumna, who earned her degree in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering in 2013. She said:

"When I started on this path I had almost no work experience and only a GED. Leaving an abusive marriage and going from stay at home mom of five children to single parent left me with very few options for employment, much less any that provided self-sufficiency. As I approach my final year to finishing my degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, I stand in amazement and gratitude that this dream is coming to fruition. I would not be in this position without the support of the Jeannette Rankin Foundation."


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Annual Dinner 2013!

JRF | Jul 05 2013 |  · · · 


More than 300 people gathered in The Classic Center Atrium to celebrate the 87 hard-working women receiving JRF scholarships this year. Scholar speaker Kellirae sang beautifully and was accompanied by local talent Jim McKillip. After Kellirae's speech, Margaret Holt was so inspired, that she took to the stage and challenged guests to donate a scholarship. Attendees rose to the ocassion and donated $3,296 to fund the Friends of Kellirae Award.

Betty Jean Craige received the JRF Founders' Award with a moving speech, and Judith Ortiz Cofer honored us with a speech and reading.

See photos from the 37th Annual Dinner on our facebook page: JRF Dinner photos

It was a lovely nights, and we hope to see you next year!

Save the Date

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


The Classic Center (Need directions? Click here!)

Online reservations are now closed. Seating is limited, please confirm space is available by contacting JRF staff at 706-208-1211.

Betty Jean Craige, JRF Founders' Award Recipient

Judith Ortiz Cofer, Keynote

Kellirae Boann, Scholar Speaker


I just purchased two tickets to the dinner.  Where will I pick up the tickets and my daughter Ashton keegan and I (KIm Keegan) would like to request to be seated with Terri Davis.  Thank you.

By Kim Keegan on 09/05/2013

Is it possible to reserve a place and pay when I arrive at the dinner?

By Nancy Stangle on 09/05/2013

Kim: You don’t need to pick up tickets, your names will be on our guest list. We have a note to seat you with Terri. See you soon!

Nancy: Yes. Please send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to confirm your reservation and you can pay at the door. Thanks!

By JRF on 09/06/2013

Virginia Macagnoni has asked if Virginia and I can sit at the same table.

By Cathy Sielke on 09/11/2013

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