The announcement of the winners of the American Association of University Women’s 2023 scholarships was a thrilling affair. Tehachapi Mountain Branch has been awarding $1,000 scholarships for the past 40 years. The total sum distributed this year was $15,700. Since the program’s inception, AAUW has given out over $275,000 in scholarships.
The celebration started with dinner for the honored students and their parents, followed by the ceremony. A giant image of Janice Armstrong, who died roughly two years ago, was displayed on the stage. She had been the backbone of the AAUW scholarship program. She was crucial in establishing the Scholarship Fund for Women as a tax-deductible program for receiving and disbursing funds. She worked extensively to gather funds and provide scholarships to local children.
Her husband, Dan Armstrong, opened the ceremony by welcoming all and expressing how important the scholarship program was to Janice. He praised all the donors who make it possible and thanked the many volunteers who continue the work that meant so much to his wife.
Five graduates received scholarships of three thousand dollars; another received $500; and two middle school students received $100 each. Winners recognized were Kailey Cueva, Ava Hester, Kailey Kolesar, Moria Loyd, Reagan Rodriguez and Dmitri Hubbard. Two outstanding junior high students were recognized with certificates of achievement and $100 each.
AAUW is a diverse organization for women which advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research. Information is available at tehachapimountain-ca.aauw.net/.