AAUW SC Scholarship Application Period Opens February 5

The scholarship application process for our branch opens on Monday, February 5 for 2018. For the first time in our branch history, we will be awarding three $4,000 scholarships to qualified candidates due to the outstanding Purses with Purpose auction event this past October. We are hoping for and do anticipate an expanded pool of candidates this year and our scholarship team will be ready. Applications for 2018 are available on our Outreach page HERE and thewashboard.org HERE. What differentiates our branch from other organizations is our focus on students entering at least their junior year of college where the greatest need for financial/support assistance peaks. Please share with your family, friends and colleagues. Public announcements on our AAUW Stanwood-Camano scholarship will be seen in local newspapers and distributions as well as libraries and resource centers. The application deadline is Friday, May 11, 2018…

President’s Message February 2018 – Lobby Day Report

Welcome to February with Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day and our very own Galentine Day gala on February 15. Make sure to make plans to attend this meeting with guest presenters Terri Swarner and Dana Brown at the Camano Country Clubhouse. I know our program chairs, Lynda Buehring and Valerie Spagnolo, will have another great event for us as we celebrate the importance of friendship. Monday, January 29, Leslie Gitomer, Lilija Tushinski and I attended AAUW Lobby Day in Olympia. The morning session was both interesting and well-attended. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson was especially well-received as the first speaker and, although he mentioned other areas of concern to his office, his focus today was on student debt. The amount of student debt in Washington alone is $24 billion! There are currently five bills in the legislature dealing with various aspects of this issue. AAUW is in…

January 11 Meeting: Dementia-Education, Experience & Resources

Dementia is overwhelming, not only for those who suffer from it, but also for their families and caregivers. Join us on January 11 at 1:00 p.m. at the Camano Island Library for this interesting program. Social Half Hour begins at 12:30 p.m.; come early to meet the speakers. Ginny Berube and Naomi Wark will present “Dementia – Education Experience and Resources”. Ginny is an Aging Disability Resource Specialist and Family Caregiver Specialist for Island Senior Resources at the Camano Center with over 20 years of experience supporting families. Naomi is a Camano Island resident and member of our branch who was caregiver for five years to an older relative with a mind deteriorating through the phases of dementia. Naomi recently released a novel, Wildflowers in Winter: Aging with Alzheimer’s, based on her family’s personal experiences, joys and frustrations. After the presentation, there will be…

President’s Message – January 2018

Welcome to 2018! I’m hoping every member enjoyed this holiday season with family and friends. I was sorry to miss the party at Cama Beach but I’ve heard nothing but positive comments: good food, fun activities, great raffle, and many guests. Thanks to all who worked to make this so enjoyable. On the agenda this month is the program on dementia. This important topic addresses a condition affecting many in our community, and I am sure we will all increase our knowledge and awareness. Make your plans to attend the general meeting on January 11. At the December Board meeting we discussed implementation of the strategic plan which we worked on as an organization last year and this past fall. It was interesting to me that the most recent Outlook from national AAUW focused on their strategic planning process. Here are a few takeaways from that article which…

President’s Message, November 2017

As we are all still catching our breath after a truly amazing Purses with Purpose event, November has somehow arrived! I know that the specifics of PWP will be addressed later in this issue, but I just want to thank each one of you who contributed to this two-year project – in ways big and small. It took all of us working together to pull it off. In our efforts to support the AAUW mission of advancing equity through advocacy, education, research and philanthropy, we exceeded our goals, built new relationships with each other and had a terrific time at the event itself. It is exciting to think of the educational support we can provide with these funds, so congrats to us all! At our October meeting we had a chance to hear from three of the middle-schoolers we sent to Tech Trek this past summer, listen to our…

November 9: Reflections of a Veteran Retired Colonel

Colonel Tracey Meck, USAF grew up in Alaska and after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in May 1987, she was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and spent the next 25 1/2 years serving her country retiring in November 2012 as a Colonel. In 2013, she attempted to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, but only made 300 miles. Unwilling to accept this failure, she was compelled to return in 2015 to complete the entire 500 mile trail! Tracey will share her experiences from her military career, her journey in Spain and her passions now as a community volunteer at our meeting November 9 at the Camano Library. Come early and join us at 12:30 p.m. for a social half hour. Enjoy a cup of coffee, a snack and a visit with friends…

President’s Message, October 2017

Since retiring and no longer having my year synced around the start of school, Fall always begins for me when I reignite the pilot light on my gas fireplace and turn it on…this happened a few days ago so I am embracing the new season! It was wonderful to have so many members at our first meeting; I really enjoyed having a full half-hour of social time at 12:30 before the meeting to catch up with friends and get acquainted with new members. Thanks to LaVonna Ihde for organizing the refreshments this year! The presentations by Jackie DeFazio and India Nishi brought us in tune with the happenings of AAUW at the national level and also focused us inward to the workings of our branch. I think having time to work in small groups encourages more voices to be heard. With Purses with Purpose fast approaching…

October: Recognizing Students in Our Community

The Stanwood/Camano AAUW has had a relationship with the community for many years. Each year we sponsor middle school students to attend Tech Trek, a STEM camp, during the summer and we give two scholarships to students who have been in college for three or more years to help them continue their education. This month’s meeting will host the many students that have been recognized by AAUW this year and two students that are members of the Stanwood/Camano School Board. Ashely Peterson and Omar Figuero represent Stanwood High School and Lincoln Hills High School respectively. They have been chosen by their leadership teachers as students that represent a commitment to leadership and will represent their respective schools as members of the School Board. These two students have been in leadership roles throughout their high school careers. They will explain their role on the School Board, how they…

President’s Message, September 2017

Welcome to members tenured and new as we begin another year at AAUW Stanwood-Camano Branch! I’m looking forward to serving as President especially with such a capable and supportive Board and members who are filling our various appointed positions. To invert T.S. Eliot and “The Hollow Men,” this year will begin not with a whimper but with a bang as we gear up for our Purses with Purpose event on October 7. This two-year project is in its final weeks. Members have been consistently involved by contributing purses and working on committees. With so many of us participating in the event itself, I’m confident of a successful outcome; our scholarship program and Tech Trek funding depend on it! On August 19 Leslie Gitomer and I attended the AAUW Summer Leadership Meeting in Ellensburg. We divided the sessions: I attended the president and program workshops and…

2017 Scholarship Winners: Claire & Morgan

We awarded our 2017 scholarships on June 25 at the Scholarship Tea at the home of Joyce Leak. Claire Mason and Morgan Shimkus were each awarded $4,000 to continue their undergraduate studies following a competitive application process where their scholastic achievements, rigorous studies, community involvements and volunteer contributions were highly noted. Claire Mason started her college career at Everett Community College in Running Start and is now at the University of Washington. She is pursuing a degree in international studies with a special emphasis on Middle Eastern Studies. Her goal is to achieve a law degree within this specialization and was recently accepted into the Jackson School of International Studies. At the University of Washington, Claire’s academic courses demonstrate focus, rigor and an above 3.5 grade point average. She continues to volunteer with Stanwood High School’s leadership program and was Head Counselor at the Mt. Olympus…

Tech Trek 2017

Our Tech Trek campers, Greta, Carolina, Grace, and Jolene, attended camp in July. They will be attending our October 12 meeting to tell us all about their camp experience. I attended the camp as a guest on Thursday, July 13, attending the afternoon session where electives were offered and also the evening session of professional night. There were two 1.5 hour elective sessions offered in the afternoon. The classes offered a variety from nursing procedures to shellfish in the Salish Sea, to mapping, optics and more. The classes were about a 45 minute introduction and then 45 minutes hands on. I was very impressed by the variety and the safety of the girls in the campus environment. Our nominee for the Betty McCadden Scholarship, Jolene Henrikson, was in quite a few of the sessions I attended including the evening session and she was a star. She was always engaged…