AAUW strives to encourage women who wish to improve their lives through higher education.
2021 Scholarship Awards
Samantha Barrera has chosen a major in Forensic Psychology with the goal of pursuing a career in criminal law. As an immigrant, she has had to overcome many obstacles which have fueled her “passion for women’s right and criminal justice.” The hardships she has overcome have made her aware of the representation women need “for legal matters concerning domestic violence, property law, and child custody.”
Blair Gomez is also a nursing student. She “personally understands the struggle of a single mother seeking to make a better life.” She is working to not only to further her education but to provide a better and more stable lifestyle for her sons. She stated it best. “My boys depend on my success, I depend on my success.”
Ashley Keller is a nursing student. She spent thirteen years in humanitarian aid in Zambia, Africa. It was there that she realized “that bringing healing and hope to sick and wounded people can have dynamic world-changing effects.” She is a mother of four. The scholarship will help her attend school and still give her children the time they need. In her words, “Courage carried me to villages in Africa. Passion led to serving others through healthcare. Determination has bolstered me amidst the challenges of being a parent. Most importantly, I have faith in my own ability to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Harley Plasencio was also a recipient last year. She is a first generation college student who is enrolled full-time in the nursing program. She is thankful for the adversity she has had to face in her life. She states it best that she has “learned from other’s mistakes and have vowed to myself not to make those same mistakes.” Katherine Torres, RNC, who submitted a letter of recommendation, wrote that “MS Plasencio’s direction on the road of life has not been optional. It is what she has chosen to do on her path that is remarkable.”
Keli Smith is seeking an Associate of Science with a major in science. She is an artist who became inspired on a trip to Cambodia. There, she realized “that I could use my skills and passion and implement it into making prosthetic devices for those in need.” Her degree from Pima Community College will help her achieve her goal in the Prosthetic Clinician program and residency.
Scholarship application and instructions:
American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a national organization which for more than 130 years has worked to improve the lives of women and their families. The Green Valley Branch has been in existence for over 45 years. Since 2016 it has joined with LUNA as a host of LUNAFEST, a traveling film festival that champions and supports women. LUNAFEST is an event that is held in the spring. It is open to the public and has become so popular that it regularly sells out. The proceeds from LUNAFEST 2020 have provided for five scholarships of $1800 each. The recipients are full or part-time students at Pima Community College.
2020 Scholarship Awards
Five earn American Association of University Women Green Valley Branch Scholarships
Harley Plasencio, 25, is in the Nursing program and plans on becoming a registered nurse. Her work as a home health aide has encouraged her to consider working as a hospice nurse or to specialize in geriatrics. “Words cannot describe how appreciative I am to have been awarded this scholarship. Your scholarship will provide me with a sense of financial security.”
Ana Soto Velazquez, 20, is a full-time student majoring in Environmental Science. Ana has worked as a research intern in the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. Her goal is to be a scientist and contribute to the environmental science field. “I am passionate about the environment and the background science that supports it.”
Gabriella Morales, 25, is a Liberal Arts major who is pursuing a career in the field of psychology. She works as a special needs paraprofessional in a preschool. “Going to school is something that I am passionate about. Because of this I will be able to focus on my studies and my job and I will be forever grateful. Thank you so much for believing in me.”
Ariana Garcia, 25, is a nursing student who is seeking certification as a Registered Nurse Anesthetist or a Nurse Practitioner. She is the first in her family to have the opportunity to pursue higher education and chose nursing as a career because it helps people at their most vulnerable time. “I cannot express my gratitude towards your kindness. I will never hesitate to pass on kindness and help where I am able.”
Halianna Piller, 24, is pursuing a Pre-Engineering Associate of Science. Her educational goal is to transfer to the University of Arizona. Her career goal is to use engineering to create solutions to medical problems. “This award made a difference in my life and I appreciate that you chose me as the recipient. I hope that I will be able to help students just as you have helped me.”
2019 Scholarship Awards
The Philanthropy Committee selected two well qualified candidates to receive scholarships this year: Claudia Coronado and Abigail Kahler. Both are students at Pima Community College. Each recipient will receive $1800.
Claudia Coronado is 33 years old and a single mother of four children. She works 32 hours per week as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Northwest Medical Center, Tucson. Her goal is to become a registered nurse and has been accepted into the PCC nursing program after completing the required two years of general education classes (66 credit hours). She will be taking 12 credits next fall.
Abigail Kahler is also 33 years old. She has completed 35 credits with a 4.0 GPA toward an Associate of Science degree. Her goal is to earn a master’s degree in hydrology with a minor in mathematics at the University of Arizona. She serves as a math and writing skills tutor in Project SOAR which assists college students with disabilities. As a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, she participates in community activities such as working with Habitat for Humanity and walking dogs at a shelter. She will be taking 16 credits next fall.
2018 Scholarship Awards
Thanks to our fantastic Fund Raising Committee, our branch was able to award four one thousand dollar scholarships to Pima Community College students this year. Two of the recipients attended our May meeting, Jodi Miller and Breanne King.
Jodi Miller is in the program at Pima Community College to become a licensed respiratory therapist. She is in a concurrent program with Northern Arizona University where she will also earn a Bachelor’s degree.
Breanne King currently works at a credit union. She plans to complete the Business Administration program of study at Pima and then will transfer to UA to earn a Bachelor’s degree. Her long term goal is a job in banking management. She is the first in her family to attend college.
Two recipients who were unable to attend our meeting:
Cosondra Holmes is a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Patient Care Technician currently working at the Tucson VA Hospital. She is attending Pima to become a Licensed Registered Nurse.
Lauren Chapelle made her way to AZ from NYC after high school to work on a horse ranch. She current works forty hours a week as a Safety Assistant with a Tucson construction company.