President’s Message – June 2017

I have to say that writing these messages has been my favorite part of serving as your President. Through these messages I have hoped to encourage and inspire you. I would have hoped to encourage you to be the best you could be. As for inspiring you, my hope for each and every one of you is that your greatest joy would be to serve our community. There are still several areas of service to our branch that need to be filled. One area for service is the position that Helen Smith has filled for several years, STEM Awards Night coordinator. If you would like to coordinate this program with the school district, Helen is looking for someone to shadow her for this coming year and then take over the program the following year. The book club is also looking for a coordinator. India Nishi will be stepping into the…

Newest Research Provides More Purpose to Our Search for Purses

On May 24, AAUW released its newest research report, Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans, revealing that women hold almost two-thirds ($833 billion) of the country’s $1.3-trillion student debt. The research shows that those with the scarcest resources bear the brunt of student debt in the U.S. “Because of factors like the gender pay gap, debt that could be manageable ends up becoming unmanageable, particularly for women,” according to Kevin Miller, Ph.D., the senior researcher for AAUW. More than half of graduating U.S. college students have financed some or all of their education with student loans. Women now earn 57% of bachelor’s degrees in the U.S., and AAUW estimates that they take an average of two years longer to pay off their student debt than men do. Black women take on more student debt than do members of any other…

Tech Trek Campers for 2017

We are very proud to send our four campers, Greta Hendrickson, Grace Henken, Jolene Henrickson, and Carolina Tenorio, to Tech Trek camp this year in July of 2017. Time goes by pretty fast and it won’t be long until this summer camp begins. All four have already submitted their registration paper work and are excited about the prospect of attending camp. They will shortly receive more paper work from the camp, telling them what to bring, what to expect and giving them choices about coursework they want to focus on. The campers were honored and introduced to AAUW membership at the May 14 evening meeting. The science and math summer camp was designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who are entering the eighth grade. The camp is hosted by AAUW-WA and is a program of the national American Association of University Women (AAUW…

President’s Message – May 2017

First I need to mention that Lynda Buehring and her former colleagues did a wonderful job at the AAUW State Convention in North Bend on Saturday, April 22. They presented a program on Human Trafficking similar to the one we had here in March. Many branches approached her after the panel about having a panel present on this topic at their branches. It’s very satisfying to be able to make a worthy contribution to the mission of AAUW and it’s something that every one of our members can be proud of. There were 17 branches represented from throughout the state with about 70-80 people in attendance. Our branch was represented with a group of five: Mary Raymond, Helen Smith, Lynda Buehring, Janie Morgan and me. I truly wish that I could have been with you on Saturday, but circumstances were against me. I have heard that the…

Wrapping Up Programs

May and June traditionally focus on the results of our mission within our Stanwood Camano branch community: our High School STEM Scholar Recognition, the introduction of this year’s Tech Trek campers, and the awarding of our college scholarships. Families join their student and it is gratifying to meet them and offer our personal messages of congratulations and support for their daughters. These are easily two of our most heartfelt celebrations as we enjoy the opportunity to actually engage with those young women whose academic feats are acknowledged through their nominations of school faculty, and/or whose determination to complete their higher education initiates with their application and attention to the requirements we ask them to fulfill. Please join us for our High School STEM Scholar Recognition and Tech Trek camper introductions on Thursday, May 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Stanwood United Methodist Church. Helen Smith will…

Mary Lou Sanelli, “A Woman Writing”

Seattle area author, Mary Lou Sanelli, returns to our branch with a reading of her newest work, “A Woman Writing,” that explores the realities true to anyone thinking of making writing a part of their life. With her first new work in six years, Mary Lou “opens the curtain on the personal writing experience, expertly yet provocatively, asking us to see more, to know her more deeply.” (Aequitas Books, NY). From book clubs to Soroptimist, workshop presentations for other writers, regular contributions to Seattle City Living Magazine, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Art Access, and NPR Radio affiliates, Mary Lou has contributed to both skill enhancement for those who have thought about writing, but also, the teachable moments of verbal presentation skills that apply in both voluntary and professional lives. The April program will share the life lessons that Mary Lou learned through writing: determination, persistence and the rollercoaster ride of choosing…

President’s Message, April 2017

Even with the rain coming through the ceiling of the Camano Library at our March general meeting, it did not put a damper on the record attendance for our panel on Human Trafficking. Huge thanks to Lynda Buehring for having secured the participation of all the panelists. These are people with whom Lynda had worked before retiring from government service. If you were able to join us, you might remember that I introduced Judy Prince, our AAUW Washington state President before the panel began. I am pleased to inform you that Judy was so impressed by what she heard that she has asked Lynda to coordinate a similar presentation at the upcoming state convention on April 22 in North Bend. I hope that some of you will be willing to support Lynda’s efforts as a member of our branch and attend the state convention if only on that Saturday…

March Program: Human Trafficking

Please join us March 9, at 2:00 p.m., Camano Island Library, for a distinctive program by Lynda Buehring and an agent and task force officer/detective from Homeland Security and the Seattle Police Department. Their topic is “Forging Community Relationships to Combat Human Trafficking,” bringing awareness to this huge and complex topic, from defining human trafficking indicators to demonstrating how local and global agencies intersect to combat these acts. Lynda retired after 32 years with the federal government and ended her career as a Supervisory Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security assigned to oversee the Human Trafficking Unit in Seattle. She also served on the first Washington State Human Trafficking Task Force organized to assist in writing legislation on human trafficking. In 2003, Washington became the first state to pass a law criminalizing human trafficking. Lynda is a member of the Stanwood/Camano Island AAUW…

President’s Message for March 2017

Those of you who were able to attend the February general meeting were treated to a very complete discussion on pay and gender equity. Coming up at the Thursday, March 9 meeting the topic is Human Trafficking. The meeting starts at 2:00 p.m. at the Camano Island Library. When most of us think of Human Trafficking, we usually see it as limited to sex trafficking. At our next general meeting we will learn that Human Trafficking encompasses much more than merely sex trafficking. This problem is often seen as something that occurs in distant places to people we don’t know. This presentation will bring the problem home. Human Trafficking can occur in our own backyard. I sincerely hope that you all will be able to join us. As the final days of winter hail the approach of Spring, most of us are ready to see the temperatures…