During last month's Woman's Club of Artesia-Cerritos (WCAC) meeting at Cerritos Park East, six bright young women were presented with scholarship awards to help further their educational goals and aspirations.
The yearly scholarship program includes three $750 scholarships funded by the WCAC through the club's monthly bunco games as well as member contributions.
"We have some very generous women in our club," said Joan Anderson, a member of the WCAC scholarship committee. "There are some members who can't come to our bunco meetings so they just give us contributions to help with the scholarship fund."
Three other scholarships, awarded by a committee that includes women's club members, are also part of the yearly award presentation. One of those awards -- the "Golden Girls" scholarship -- is funded by a group of six WCAC members who voluntarily put money into a scholarship pot instead of giving each other birthday gifts.
Anderson said the great need for scholarships was abundantly clear this year with the committee receiving 41 scholarship applications. Of that pool, 14 applicants were interviewed.
"This year the need for scholarship funding was really strong," she said. "The women we ultimately chose are really so deserving of the awards."
This year's winners include:
- WCAC Scholarship: Anna Stevens, Samantha Graves and Kelly Walker
- Maude West Scholarship: Regina Jaster
- Ellen Carver Scholarship: Tynesha Daniels
- Golden Girls Scholarship: Darlene Rodriguez
Golden Girls scholar Darlene Rodriguez has won a scholarship two years in a row.
"It's just amazing to receive another one of these scholarships," Rodriguez said. "The first time I thought I was blessed, the second time I knew I was blessed and I feel pretty lucky."
Rodriguez is currently enrolled in the Cerritos College nursing program and plans to work as a Neonatal nurse practitioner -- a dream that was inspired by the birth of her son, who was a born prematurely.
"When my baby was born he had a 20 percent chance of living but he survived," she said. "I was just so grateful for the nurses who took care of him ... he's now 13 and a healthy teenager."
Rodriguez said she is glad to be recognized by a program that focuses on the importance of helping other women with their career goals.
"I absolutely love it, the feeling of women coming together and fundraising for different scholarships to help other young women is wonderful," she said. "They (the WCAC) are a sisterhood that is there for each other and I am just so grateful to be here."
Become a Woman's Club Member
The Woman's Club is an organization that is always open to new members of various ages and walks of life. Its current members range in ages and variety of professions, including but not limited to homemakers, business women, elected officials, seniors, and community leaders.
Outside of the WCAC's philanthropic works, the club also engages in recreational activities such as day trips for educational, historic, and entertainment purposes.