AAUW Redding Scholarship
A Brief History of the AAUW Redding Branch’s Scholarship Program
The AAUW Redding Branch has been awarding scholarships since 1948. Our very first scholarship of $100.00 was awarded to a Shasta High School graduate; however, the money was returned because the recipient decided to marry instead of continuing her education! How times have changed….
When Shasta Community College opened its doors in 1951, the branch decided to award our scholarships to Shasta Community College women graduates who had completed their AA Degrees in order to help them continue their education. That year was also the first year that our scholarships were named after Ora Leak, who was a dedicated AAUW member and educator.
In 1967 our scholarships increased to the grand sum of $200.00. Of course, money went a great deal further in those days. By comparison, in 2023, our branch gave four women scholarships that totaled $14,00.00.
How does our branch raise the money for its scholarships? Throughout the years, monies have been raised by sponsoring a biannual Children’s Theatre, holding Art Shows and On-Line Auctions, buying out performances at Redding’s Riverfront Playhouse, and showcasing homes through our always enjoyable annual Home Tour. In fact, our biggest fundraiser has been the Home Tour, which was founded by members Gerrine Peckenpaugh and Cheri Gandy. In 2022, our branch celebrated our 50th Home Tour. In the words of long-time member Tammy Douse, “It was a grand success.” In more recent years, our Starry Nights Wine and Art Show has become a successful fundraiser as well. And sometimes families of members who have passed on have sponsored scholarships in memory of their loved ones, such as The Molly Reeves Bennett Scholarship, The Betty Long Memorial Scholarship, and the Muriel Weissberg Scholarship.
In 2023, our applicant pool was broadened to include part-time students at Shasta Community College and those who were pursuing not only a 4-year degree at an accredited college/university, but also to those completing their AA Degrees, or the equivalent, and continuing on to an accredited, approved certificate program, such as Nursing, Physical Therapist, Ultra-Sound Tech, Dental Hygienist, or Respiratory Therapist. We also added our Scholarship Application and Letter of Recommendation Form to our Website, making it easier for students to complete our application online.
It should be noted that many of our scholarships have gone to high school and college students who were the first in their families to attend college, and our branch is extremely proud of that achievement. We are also proud of the fact that our branch has awarded more than 450 scholarships totaling more than $300,000 to deserving women and girls.
And the adventure continues! Will you be a part of that adventure?
Fellowships and Grants
AAUW has a long and distinguished history of advancing educational and professional opportunities for women in the United States and around the globe. One of the world's largest sources of funding for graduate women, AAUW provides funding for more than 200 fellowships and grants to outstanding women and nonprofit organizations. Due to the long-standing generous contributions of AAUW members across the U.S., a broader community of women continues to gain access to educational and economic opportunities—breaking through educational and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance.
Locally, our Redding Branch contributes each year to #4251 Redding (CA) Branch 60th Anniversary American Fellowship. The fellowship is fully funded and currently stands at $211,727.