Since its establishment in 1881, the American Association of University Women has been advancing equity for women and girls through education, advocacy, philanthropy and research. The Turlock chapter of the AAUW is continuing this tradition through scholarships, leadership training, and recognition programs.
"Promoting education for women and girls, that is a big part of our responsibility and challenge," said AAUW Turlock branch co-president Carol Anderson.
Nationally, the AAUW has provided more than $3 million in grants and fellowships this year.
"There is lots of grant money out there for our young women," said Anderson.
Along with scholarships for high school graduates and university students furthering their education, the AAUW also provides learning opportunities for young women. Each year, the Turlock chapter sends a group of eighth grade girls to Tech Trek, a summer math and science camp held at California State University, Fresno.
"It's an opportunity for girls who are interested in the STEM: science, technology, engineering and math," said Turlock chapter co-president Beverly Schlegel. "What I saw were girls who came back from camp...girls who weren't quite sure given the chance to explore these fields. It energizes them. There are lots and lots of opportunities in these fields and I think it's needed."
Since 1998, more than 9,000 girls have attended one of 10 Tech Trek camps at California universities including Stanford, CSU Fresno, UC San Diego and Whittier.
Two of the organization's newest ventures are a partnership with California State University, Stanislaus and the Outstanding Women in the County recognition dinner.
The partnership with California State University, Stanislaus opens up opportunities for students to apply for grants, said Anderson.
The AAUW is partnering with the League of Women Voters to honoring local women leaders at an event from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 27 at the Mary Stuart Rogers Hall, Room 130 on the CSU Stanislaus campus. Local attorney Solange Altman will be the featured speaker.
"[March] is women's history month and this is a way we felt we could promote this," said Anderson.
While all of the AAUW's programs promote equity for women, this year in particular the organization is focusing on 'Breaking Through Barriers.'
"There's no discrimination against those who want to join. We talk a lot about diversity and acceptance," said Anderson.
For more information on the AAUW and its programs, call Carol Anderson at 529-2428 or visit aauwturlockbranch.org.