Susan Stead, Board President
The approach of fall, including shorter days and trees starting to change color, evokes fond memories of going back to classes. It was exciting to think about all the possibilities the year held and it was also a little bittersweet to give up the lazy summer days and get back into the school year routine. In my family there was never any question about going to University; it was assumed and planned from the time we started school. I was very fortunate to have that opportunity and to receive the support of my family while getting my education. Last month as I was signing checks for our Education grantees I was struck by how exciting this time of year must be for all of those women and what it took for them to be able to attend school. Each of our grant recipients has a story, some with happy endings, others a work in progress, and some have a lot of challenges in front of them, but they all are working towards completing their education. All of our most recent grant recipients indicated they hoped to be in a position to give back to their community, in the way WWIN has helped them, once they complete their education. Giving the women hope and education is part of how your generous contribution to WWIN is disbursed.
To qualify for an education grant the student must be currently enrolled in an accredited school within the State of Washington, have an income that is below the national poverty guidelines and carry a fulltime schedule. This year the financial aid information was not released until late August because of the delay in finalizing federal funding for financial aid. This means that many of the grantee students did not know how much they needed to receive from WWIN to make up the difference in tuition. The result is that we sent out a lot of money last month; typically we would be funding those students in June or early July. Each grant recipient meets directly with WWIN’s Program Director; this year all of the recipients mentioned in their interview they felt that achieving their education would also assist them in giving back to the community and society.
During the 2011 fiscal year WWIN gave out 64 educational grants to low income women. During our most recent Education Grant opening we received 157 applications, we funded 21 and allocated over $100,000 to that opening. Because our education grants are generous, up to $5,000 per year with a lifetime maximum of $10,000 for any and all WWIN grants to any individual, our impact is significant for individuals.
WWIN continues to be dedicated to the success of our grant recipients. Helping someone complete their education means that they learn the pride associated with independence and self sufficiency. We find that in addition to the women helped by WWIN, families also benefit as they pass that lesson on to their children. Education is a gift and one that WWIN is happy to have a part in making available to our recipients.
It is with much gratitude that I say ‘Thank You’ to each of you for your continued support of WWIN and the women we help.