All posts tagged: education

Education and Social Mobility

JRF | Oct 02 2013 |  · · · 

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

JRF | Sep 05 2013 |  · · · 


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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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 |  · · · 

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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Can you work your way through college?

Can you work your way through college?

JRF | Mar 19 2013 |  · · · 

In an article by The New York Times, several college students were interviewed about their debt-free education. These students excelled academically and worked nearly full-time jobs to avoid colossal debt when they graduated.

One of the students, Steve Boedefeld, enrolled in the military and did several tours of duty to save money before coming to college. He now goes to Appalachian State University and works 15 to 20 hours a week as an electrician. He forgoes time with friends to be with his family and study when he’s not working to support his education.

Zack Tolmie, a graduate of New York University, saved $8,000 before coming to college. When he arrived, he worked as a waiter and took on extra shifts. Along with the help of a merit scholarship, Tolmie was able to graduate debt free. Since graduating, Tolmie found a full-time job in New York City.

Zack and Steve are not the norm. College debt has risen to $1 trillion over the past few decades and will continue to increase. Most students accumulate some kind of debt before graduation.

Many JRF scholars balance school, work and family responsibilities. Four out of five JRF scholars are the heads of their households, whether they are single parents or caring for disabled partners or simply the only ones earning income. For some, working is not an option, it is a given. A job puts food on the table, keeps the water and power on, and makes sure a family has a place to live.

Despite all of these responsibilities, JRF scholars are succeeding. We often see 4.0 GPAs and more than 80% have graduated or are still enrolled in class.

How do you balance work and school? Post your comments below.


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The move to massive online classes

The move to massive online classes

JRF | Feb 16 2013 |  · · · 

Interested in taking a free course from a nationally-recognized professor? You can through the increasingly popular massive open online courses, or MOOCs for short. MOOCs are online courses that allow a large number of participants to take a course for free. Distance education has grown in popularity over the last few years and from that, MOOCs were born.

However, MOOCs are not quite the same as an online class you’d pay for through a college. MOOCs often do not offer credit; instead the institution might mail you a certificate for completing the course. It can also entitle you to bragging rights. Who wouldn’t want to say they’ve taken a class from an Ivy League school? Although the courses are free, and can be done anywhere with internet, many struggle to complete them.

Right now, I’m pursuing my undergraduate degrees at the University of Georgia. For most of my life I’ve been in school and I enjoy the structure of classes and assignments. However, I won’t take a MOOC until I graduate and finish my current course work. I plan to enter the work force full-time when I leave UGA, but if free MOOCs are still available, I will likely end up taking one to get a certificate.

With MOOCs, there’s really nothing to lose. For no cost, you can take classes from widely acclaimed professors and learn valuable information. The classes are also a nice addition to your resume!

What do you think? Would you take a MOOC for free? Or would the lack of structure and credit keep you from pursuing it? Share your comments below. For more information click here


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