Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Scholarships Help Educate Adult Women




The Marco Island Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is accepting applications from adult women for the Martha Yates $1,000 Scholarship.

To qualify, the applicant must be a woman age 21 or older living or working on Marco Island, Isles of Capri or Goodland, and enrolled in an accredited college or university. Candidates will be judged on past academic performance and ability, on educational goals and interests, and on their level of financial need.

Completed applications must be received by March 31, 2016, and include the scholarship form, a statement of economic need, a course transcript of grades and/or a description of the course the applicant will take, and references and/or a letter of recommendation. The applicant should include a personal note explaining her educational goals, financial need, and any facts relevant to an academic scholarship.

Each year Marco Island’s AAUW awards Martha Yates scholarships to deserving candidates, many of whom AAUW members have themselves discovered in the community.

“Our membership searches the island for deserving young women to apply for these scholarships,” offers Lynn Tuttle, development chair of the AAUW Scholarship Committee. She adds, “Each year we canvas the Island—police and fire departments, hospitals, library, YMCA and Mackle Park, Department of Parks and Recreation—for suitable recommendations. Our ideal candidate is not only interested in an education, but also in working and serving the community.”

Some of the many local women who have benefitted from the Yates Scholarship include:

Caroline Bennett

Caroline was a first-time Martha Yates Scholarship winner last spring. She graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in speech and language pathology and is now working on her master’s degree at NOVA Southeastern University in Ft. Myers. Although her future plans are still uncertain, she says that they probably will involve “the school system and working with special needs children.”

To help finance her education, Bennett works several part time jobs: at the Marco Craft and Shell Shop, at Horizon Rentals, as a Sunday school teacher, and even as a dog sitter. The daughter of Father Kyle Bennett, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church pastor, she also has been involved in Camp Able, the church’s summer program for people with diverse abilities. In fact, it was her work with these special campers that first brought her to the attention of the AAUW scholarship committee. Bennett has had excellent grades this year, and has reapplied for a second scholarship, which is under consideration.

Stephanie Pepper

Scholarship recipient Stephanie Pepper has worked at the Greater Marco Family YMCA since 2000. In her position as youth development manager, Stephanie is responsible for overseeing all youth (including summer camp, pre-school and after school programs), family, aquatics, and sports programming. She is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Florida Southwestern State College (FSW). “I was so excited to win again this year,” said Stephanie. “It’s almost as if AAUW is taking this journey with me.” So far, she has earned straight As in all her classes, explaining, “I don’t want to let them down. I want to prove to them that I am worthy of their investment.”

Heather Lopez

This past December Heather Lopez graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a degree in health science administration. Winner of three AAUW scholarships, she has now completed her degree and is a proud example of what this scholarship can do to help a young woman. For Heather, these funds were essential to getting her “as far as she is today.” Heather says, “There are a lot of scholarships available when you graduate from high school, but the continued support of AAUW made it possible for me to finish college. It’s only up from here.”

Deborah McCabe

Deborah McCabe teaches business administration at Florida Southwestern State College (FSW). She is currently a doctoral candidate at Argosy University in Sarasota, and due to complete her studies within the next year. Her thesis centers on male and female management styles and perceptions, a subject that dovetails with AAUW’s own interests in women’s issues. According to Deborah, “There are still inequities at the management level.” Deborah is passionate about learning and transferring her knowledge onto others. “The AAUW scholarships have made it possible to accomplish that goal.”

AAUW- Marco Island President Linda Kropp says, “We are in awe of each of our scholarship recipients. Their dedication and commitment to the future is what our organization supports. In a few weeks we hope to make even more scholarships and grants available to eligible candidates.”

To support this scholarship AAUW- Marco Island raises funds with a Time, Talent and Treasures Auction and Luncheon, which was held at Hideaway Beach Club last month. Over $10,000 was earned through women donating their “time and talent.” Dinner parties sold at this auction are now being held all over the island, handmade sweaters are being sent to grandchildren, and ladies are driving others to the airport with their winning auction item.

As the March 31 deadline nears, Lynn Tuttle reminds those interested to apply. “I urge women to apply for this money by contacting me. Part of AAUW’s mission is to help women follow their dreams of a better education.” Applications are available by contacting Lynn at tuttlemarco@gmailcom or 603-289-1448.

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