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New scholarship at TWU aimed at helping women achieve success
Texas Woman’s University and a new non-profit organization
are giving women a second chance at a college degree and a
Empowering Women as Leaders, a non-profit organization headquartered
in Southlake, was formed in 2004 with the goal of providing
financial support and mentoring for women over age 23 to earn
a degree. EWL partnered with Texas Woman’s University
to establish its scholarship program and identify scholarship
at colleges in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that are supportive
of women,” EWL founder and president Carolyn Pineda
said. “We are extremely fortunate to have TWU as a partner
to help us get started.”
Dr. Richard Nicholas,
TWU’s vice president for student life, said the partnership
with EWL was a natural for the university.“Their goal
to assist women, especially nontraditional-aged women, to
complete their education has been a mission of TWU’s
for a long time,” he said. “The mentoring aspect
of the scholarship may have as much, if not more, value to
the students than the dollars. It’s more than a donation;
it’s a relationship. It’s a measure of the commitment
these women have to helping other women.”
provided to women ages 24 and older who are regarded as having
a high potential for success. In addition to the $1,500 per
year provided by the scholarship, recipients, who are called
“Stars,” will receive mentoring throughout college
and for the first two years of their career.Those
Stars then go on to mentor new Stars in the program.
Ms. Pineda, vice
president of professional services for Sabre Holdings in Southlake,
said that pairing the Stars with women who have achieved success
in the workplace helps them prepare professionally and provides
them with emotional support.
who go to college later are worried about returning to school,”
said Ms. Pineda, adding that she started college at age 26.
“It’s essential to have support at that time in
Though EWL initially
planned to sponsor only one student its first year, two recipients
were selected. Galynn Draper-Lindemann of Denton graduated
in May with a bachelor of social work degree and has entered
TWU’s Executive MBA program. Vanessa Lee White of Dallas
received her bachelor of fine arts degree in photography in
who recently passed her social work licensure exam and, through
TWU, has become a certified mediator, described her coursework
as both “a survival mechanism (and) a sanctuary.”
She was treated for uterine cancer in 1999, but the cancer
returned in 2001. She has been in remission for three years.
She was dealt another blow when her father died in October
survive something, I think it gives you a renewed sense of
purpose,” Ms. Draper-Lindemann said. “When you
have conflicts, you can say to yourself, ‘I am a survivor.
Her doctor suggested
that attending college would help her cope. Though she’d
been out of school for 30 years, Ms. Draper-Lindemann found
the transition eased by the support of her family and the
faculty and staff at TWU.
The EWL scholarship
also provided much-needed support.
“I had insurance,
but I had a really large hospital bill,” Ms. Draper-Lindemann
said. She is thankful not only for the scholarship —
which helped her through her 432-hour, non-paid internship
with the Denton County Probate Court — but also for
the mentoring aspect of the program. Her mentor, Susan Tonjes,
an EWL board member who runs her own consulting company, has
provided feedback as well as insight into the corporate world.
been out of the work force, you need that guidance,”
Ms. Draper-Lindemann said.
The role of mentor
is one she looks forward to taking on one day.
“I see the
benefit in that, profoundly,” she said.
Ms. White also
looks forward to mentoring one day, saying that aspect of
the program has had the greatest impact on her.
Ms. White, who
wants to open an arts studio, said her mentor, Cindy Gilmore
— a human resources consultant for Sabre Holdings in
Southlake and EWL’s vice president of marketing —
has taught her the importance of networking.
been wonderful,” Ms. White said. “I’ve never
had a true mentor before. I can go to her with questions about
business. I’m also learning a lot about leadership skills,
public speaking skills and how to present myself.”
Ms. White initially
planned to combine studies of occupational therapy and art
at TWU, but changed course when Susan kae Grant, professor
of photography, encouraged her to pursue photography. Ms.
White said she has been inspired by the passion TWU’s
visual arts faculty have for helping students and for their
Ms. White also
received strong support from her family, especially in dealing
with her dyslexia.
“When I started
college, I didn’t have college-level reading skills,”
she said. “It just means you have to work another way,
and you have to work harder. You can’t let it hinder
feels these women are exceptional examples of the EWL goal.
“The mission of Empowering Women as Leaders is to give
back to other promising women with financial need. It is our
goal to provide a supportive environment so that these women
can achieve a successful career. I am very grateful that other
women connect with my passion and are excited about helping
women discover their potential and find bright futures for
For more information
on EWL, go to www.empoweringwomenasleaders.org.
Tel: (940) 898-3456