Local Scholarships

The Nevada County Branch AAUW Charitable Trust administers the Local Scholarship Program.  Five high school graduates have been chosen and one Sierra College graduate; each receive $2,000 in the Fall.   Re-Entry grants totaling $2,000 will be given to four women attending Sierra College in the Fall.  The Nevada Co. Awards Ceremony has been cancelled for this year, but keep your eyes peeled for a Union article announcing all awards being given to Nevada County scholars.  We will monitor when the pandemic is deemed over and it seems safe to have our annual Ice Cream Social where we can meet our new recipients.

Our funding comes from generous members making donations and from the Tapas and Trivia Event being held this year Nov. 9, 2019.   Please support our Tapas and Trivia event as a volunteer and/or an attendee!

Charitable Trust Trustees
Cheryl Morris  l Ann Shulse  l  Joanne  Weatherly
Andrea Beltran (NU) — Harvard — Biomedical Engineering
Mikaela Galbraith (NU) — USF — Pediatric Nursing
Monica Kittle (NU) — CSU Channel Islands — Biology/Pre-Med
Natalie Webster (Ghidotti) — UC Davis — Biopsychology
Layla Stroer (BR) — UC Davis — Pre-Med Oncology
Bethany Ponte (Sierra Coll.) — UC Davis — Biopsychology
RE-ENTRY GRANTS (Sierra College Attendees)
Alejandra Colorado-Pozos — Physician’s Assistant
Katie McCammon  — Communications
Heather Mitchell — Nursing
Kara Reyes — Natural Science/Nursing

2020 College Scholarships for Nevada County Women

Bethany Ponte is our 2019 Sierra College recipient who is currently attending UC Davis and majoring in Biopsychology.  I recently heard from Bethany who has chosen to remain in her Davis apartment during this time of isolation and visit her parents in Grass Valley on weekends.   She spends a lot of time doing homework and online for lectures and exams.  She’s just learned that summer quarter classes will also be online. Bethany says, “I’m really glad to take online classes and continue my education at UC Davis.  I find it vital to not skip the online lectures so I attend them regularly like they were in person.  For a lab class, I will research Imposter Syndrome and its implications for upcoming professionals and colleges students.”   (I wonder what that Syndrome is?!!)   “I miss being on campus for the feel of community that we had here.”  “I have some thoughts about the pandemic.  I want people safe.  If people will stay home as much as possible, we can get through this and return to normal routines earlier.  I do not want to see the elderly and people with medical conditions getting sick just because someone couldn’t stay inside and wanted to go to a bar.  I’m very tired of listening to the news about the pandemic, and have stopped watching it except for news alerts on my phone.  If you watch it too much, it becomes so scary it blocks out all the good things that are happening right now.  If people will just be safe and treat this seriously and not become panicked, we will come out of this fine.   I know that we will all be able to get through this, and I know that the Aggies can still face their college courses head on!” 

Nevada Union High School

2019 NU Local Scholarship recipients: Mikaela Galbraith (l) and Monica Kittle (r)

Mikela will be attending the University of San Francisco ti study Pediatric Nursing.  Monica will attend Cal State Channel Islands to study Biology/Pre-Med/Nursing.

Ghidotti Early College High School

Scholarship recipient Natalie Webster (r) and AAUW member Fran Erickson (l) 

Natalie Webster (r) graduated from Ghidotti Early College High School will be attending UC Davis to study Psychology/Biopsychology; Fran Erickson (l) represented AAUW at the event.

Application Process: High school applications are available from Nevada Union and Bear River high school counsellors. Sierra College applications are available from Sierra College counsellors.</p;

The AAUW-NC re-entry grant is being offered again in 2019. You qualify to apply for it if you:

  • Are a woman residing in western Nevada County,
  • Are interested in working toward a specific post-high school certificate or degree,
  • Can demonstrate a financial need, and
  • Your education was interrupted for at least a year.

You may qualify for a grant of up to $2000. Scroll down for an application. Completed applications must be submitted before April 1 of each year.

Everything You Need to Know About the Charitable Trust

By Cheryl Morris
Charitable Trust Coordinator

What is the connection between Nevada County Branch, Local Scholarship Committee, Tapas and Trivia, and the Nevada County Branch Charitable Trust?  If you’re not quite clear, you’re not alone.  Read on and be enlightened.

Not all AAUW branches give local scholarships, and few have their own trust.  The Nevada County Branch Charitable Trust was established in 1970 with an initial donation of $10.00.  Its purpose is exclusively educational; it holds the funds from which local scholarships are awarded each year.  It is a separate nonprofit organization linked to the Branch by the terms of the trust.

Three Branch members serve as trustees:  Ann Shulse, Joanne Weatherly, and Cheryl Morris.  They work closely with the Trust’s financial adviser, Kim Zwick, a local CPA/financial planner.  She is experienced in working with nonprofits and charitable trusts that are intended to exist in perpetuity.

Tapas and Trivia is the Branch fundraiser for educational purposes.  Proceeds are divided with 75% going to the Charitable Trust and 25% to National’s AAUW  Fund.   The Fund includes the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) and the Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF), both of which our Branch has supported for many years.  Thus, when you participate in this event, besides having fun, you are contributing directly to our scholarship program.

The Local Scholarship Committee is made up of the Charitable Trust trustees and volunteers from the Branch.  The committee decides the number and amount of scholarships awarded each year as well as selecting the recipients.

In recent years, with active financial management and fund-raising, it has been possible to increase the dollar amount and number of scholarships, while still growing the trust.  

In 2019, we set a record for the dollar amount awarded and number of recipients!   We awarded scholarships to three Nevada Union graduates (one was deferred from 2018), plus one each to a graduate of Ghidotti, Bear River, and Sierra College, all in the amount of $2000.  Additionally we awarded four re-entry grants of $500 each. This adds up to a grand total of $14,000 divided among TEN young local women who will, we are sure, go on to make us proud.

A recent activity of the Local Scholarship Committee is to have a liaison assigned to each recipient.  We will stay in touch, cheer them on, and report back to the Branch on their activities and successes.

There are several ways that Branch members can contribute to our long tradition of providing local scholarships; the first was given in 1946!  Volunteer to help with as well as attend Tapas and Trivia, contribute directly to the Charitable Trust, and/or join the Local Scholarship Committee.

Re-Entry Scholarship/Grant Application: (click here for a Re-Entry Application

The Nevada County Branch of the American Association of University Women offers a scholarship/grant to women whose education has been interrupted for a year or more. The applicant must reside in western Nevada County. The grant will be for $500 to $1000 and be awarded for the purpose of obtaining a certificate or degree. Applications are due April 1 of

Want to Join the Local Scholarship Committee?

If you are committed to advancing educational opportunities for women, you may be interested in participating in the Local Scholarship Committee’s work. Email or call Susan Fivelstad using the Branch membership book.