All posts tagged: education

Two New Nursing Students

Two New Nursing Students

JRF | Jun 18 2014 |  · · · 

The hard work of selecting scholars is over, and the exciting work of preparing to send out scholarship checks is beginning. Two applicants that rose to the top during selection happen to be enrolled at the same school in the same program!

Pamela and Sandroe are studying Nursing at Athens Technical College, and their perseverance and goal-oriented approach to school made them stand out. Athens Tech was excited about this news, as well, and published an article about the two students. Click here to read it in full.

A big thank you to the volunteers and donors who make these scholarships possible. There are 87 incredible women receiving help to go to school and conquer poverty in 2014.

Key excerpts:

“Women selected for Jeannette Rankin scholarships are hard-working individuals who are attending college, keeping up with jobs and volunteer work in their communities, and caring for their families,” said Sue Lawrence, Executive Director for Jeannette Rankin Fund. “Sandroe and Pamela are great examples of women who are juggling a lot of responsibility and succeeding. They are very determined and persistent.”

A single mother with five children, Sandroe spent the last eight years working as a waitress at a Waffle House restaurant. She enrolled at Athens Tech fall semester of 2011 to begin her quest for becoming a nurse.  This past March, she left the Waffle House and has devoted her time to her academics.

Sandroe said: “My ultimate goal is to one day be a nurse specializing in behavioral health, and of course, I would like to volunteer some of my free time at the Mercy Health Center that helps those who don’t have medical insurance with their healthcare needs. I feel extremely blessed to have been chosen to receive the Jeannette Rankin Scholarship.”

In 2010, an oven burner ignited Pamela's husband’s clothing, and the resulting fire severely burned him. His treatment and recuperation through the burn clinic at Doctors Hospital in Augusta took nearly a year, and during that time, Jones got hands-on training from the nurses about how to treat her husband’s wounds and how to change his bandaging. The nurses were so impressed with Jones’ learning skills and abilities that they encouraged her to attend nursing school. She enrolled at Athens Technical College in 2012 to prepare for the Nursing program.


Please do not fill in this field.
Full Story

Goal 2025

JRF | May 01 2014 |  · · · 

Lumina Foundation has been working with people and organizations across the country to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025.

“We must continue to focus on approaches that make higher education more accessible and affordable for all. We also must ensure that all students who come to college graduate with meaningful, high-quality degrees and credentials that enable them to contribute to the workforce, improve society and provide for themselves and their families.”

As an organization that has been increasing access to college for low-income women 35 and older since 1976, we completely agree!

We’re in the middle of selecting 2014 Jeannette Rankin scholars, but here are some facts about the incredible women we’ve been working with during the last year:

     - 73.6% identify as head of household

     - 50.6% are the first in their families to attend college

     - The average household income is $23,185.01 with an average household size of 3

According to the most recent report, issued by Lumina in April 2014 and using 2012 numbers, 39.4% of working age Americans (25-54) have a two or four year college degree. This is up .7% from last year’s report.

The numbers are increasing, but more has to be done to achieve Goal 2025. To build collaboration between organizations working on attaining this goal, Lumina just launched a social network called MoveED.

"MoveED for Goal 2025 brings together, on a single map, organizations that are committed to making attainment America’s cause — especially for low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners."

We're excited about the work being done across the country to increase access to higher education! Thank you to all our supporters who continue to encourage, strengthen and grow Jeannette Rankin Fund's impact!


Please do not fill in this field.
Full Story
Press Release: $10k from Caterpillar Foundation will help low-income women conquer poverty

Press Release: $10k from Caterpillar Foundation will help low-income women conquer poverty

JRF | Dec 04 2013 |  · · · 

Athens, Ga. – Caterpillar, a leading manufacturer of heavy equipment, awarded a $10,000 grant through the Caterpillar Foundation to Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund (JRF) to provide scholarships and support to four low-income women 35 and older.


The women will each receive $2,000 scholarships to support them toward their technical and undergraduate programs. The four JRF scholars were selected from hundreds of applicants for the prestigious JRF awards. They live in communities where Caterpillar plants are located: Athens, Ga.; Cary, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; and Minneapolis, Minn. The scholarships can be used for tuition and/or living expenses to best meet the needs of mature, adult students.


Caterpillar and JRF are joined in their goals to promote economic growth, to provide an educated workforce and to contribute to the quality of life and prosperity of communities.


“We are excited to provide assistance to support education as a long-term strategy against poverty,” said Deb Walock, manufacturing engineering manager at Caterpillar Athens and board member at JRF. “The gift of an education lasts a lifetime and these four women's lives will be forever changed.”


“We thank Caterpillar for this wonderful grant because education has the power to transform lives. JRF scholars are overcoming challenges and lifting themselves and their families up out of poverty,” said Sue Lawrence, JRF executive director. “Molly is one of the Caterpillar grant recipients. She rode freight trains across the country to escape poverty and violence in her childhood. Today Molly is turning her life around. She says, ‘Education impacts my quality of life, not just financially but spiritually and emotionally. I have it in my power to break a cycle of poverty and to raise children free from violence.’”


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. This year, 87 women are receiving scholarships of $2,000 each, which can be used for books, childcare, transportation, utilities, rent, or where needed most. Awards may be renewed for up to five years, so a woman can receive up to $10,000. JRF 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 JRF, visit


Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines and diesel locomotives. The Caterpillar Foundation, founded in 1952, is helping to make sustainable progress possible around the world through support of environmental sustainability, access to education and fulfillment of basic human needs. For more information about Caterpillar, visit For more information about the Caterpillar Foundation, visit


Please do not fill in this field.
Full Story

Flipping School Inside Out!

JRF | Nov 13 2013 |  · · · 

In a New York Times blog post, a high school near Detroit became a completely “flipped school.” What is a flipped school?  This is a style of teaching where students watch lectures outside of the classroom, at home, on smartphones, or at a public location where computers are available. During class time they receive hands-on experience from what they learned from the videos.

What do you think? Is this a way of teaching that is more relatable to students? Is this something that you would prefer?

The high school in Detroit “flipped” struggling students for 20 weeks. The semester before the flip, 13% were failing. After the flip, no one was failing!

One teacher commented that it is great that he can create interactive lessons in class rather than just talk and pass out handouts. With the students watching videos outside of the classroom, this leaves more time in class to educate and have fun applying the lessons.

I have learned in this type of setting before and I found it beneficial as well. I was able to grasp statistics better (It was hard in both settings!) and learn the background information outside the classroom, so I could apply it in class and really feel comfortable.

One concern for this approach is having technology easily accessible to all students. This method of learning could potentially be out of reach for low-income or nontraditional students. An article in US News addresses these issues and concerns. “One solution to this problem is to provide assistance to students struggling to access the online course content or subsidizing the cost of affordable laptops,” says Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University.

An organization taking a similar approach is Khan Academy. This provides free education for anyone, anywhere.  Students view lessons in class and teachers are there to answer additional questions, review progress and evaluate each student in a much more individualized way. This program has turned struggling students into competitors in the classroom. A lot of schools are intrigued with this type of teaching. Harvard and M.I.T. have taken similar approaches.

I think if this type of learning proves to be successful it can be a great alternative for students who are struggling in the traditional way. What do you think?


Please do not fill in this field.
Full Story
Supporter Story: Theresa Cullen

Supporter Story: Theresa Cullen

JRF | Oct 22 2013 |  · · · 

When I walked into Theresa Cullen’s home, I was immediately overwhelmed by so many outstanding pieces of pottery all over her kitchen. There were beautiful plates, cups, and bowls, and I wanted to take them all home! I asked if she made all of the pieces and she said, “Yes, I have slowly made pieces and then made so many I started to give them away as gifts!”


Theresa has made a great impact as a volunteer for more than 15 years with JRF. She began as a first-round reader, reviewing scholarship applications and helping to select the women who will receive JRF awards. “It made me realize how important these scholarships are; many women desperately need scholarships to enroll in college and find their way,” she says.


Recently, Theresa found a way to combine her love of pottery with her dedication to help low-income women build better lives through college completion – she launched a website to sell handcrafted lamps, with proceeds benefiting JRF scholars. “I have seen what education can do to people’s lives. It can completely change them.”


Each of her lamps is one of a kind, and Theresa said you never know what it is going to look like after firing it in the kiln - it can be exactly what you wanted or not at all what you expected.  The fire affects the colors, and a lot of strategy goes into it through the placement of the lamp inside of the kiln and the temperature. To Theresa, it’s like “opening a present on Christmas morning.” (lamp base right)


Theresa also pointed out how important it is to do something you enjoy that helps other people.  “Selling these lamps not only feels good, its feels right. When people buy these lamps it also makes them feel good while spreading the word about JRF.”


Meeting with Theresa that day made me feel so inspired. She was truly an amazing woman. Her spirit just made you feel good about yourself and her home was so welcoming. She has motived me to try pottery, too!


To purchase and view these one of a kind, handcrafted lamps, visit


Please do not fill in this field.
Full Story