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June 1, 2010

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June 1, 2010

AAUW changed my life in more ways than one. I first got involved when a women's studies professor asked me if I wanted to attend a dinner for a women's advocacy organization, and being a poor college student at the time, I jumped at the chance for a free meal. Little did I know that it was the beginning of a beautiful and long relationship with one of the best and most progressive women's organizations in the United States. I was so impressed at the warm welcome I received during that first meeting that I started coming back for more. I joined as a student affiliate, and I considered the other AAUW members as my wise mentors, women who had been there and done that. Not long after, the Huntsville branch took me under their wing and apparently saw potential in me because they sent me to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL). This was my first time to be surrounded by strong women MY OWN AGE, and it was a very empowering experience. I was then chosen to be on the National Student Advisory Council (SAC), a time which was instrumental in developing me as a future leader. After participating in NCCWSL a second time through my role on the SAC, I returned to my home state of Alabama, and partnered with an AAUW visionary, Audrey L. Salgado, to develop the first-ever state SAC of its kind. We recruited SAC members from across the state and began developing these young women in the ideals of advocacy, education, and equity. It was amazing. As I grew in my education and professional career, my volunteerism with AAUW also blossomed, and I served two years as AAUW of Alabama Communications Director. This was also an empowering opportunity because I was 23 at the time and was doing some amazing work, thanks to the trust and faith of other AAUW members. I gained so much valuable experience that I probably would not have pursued otherwise. I also was surrounded by smart, driven, pioneering mentors, and this made all the difference. I now live in rural Alaska and manage statewide programs for a government agency that is often considered male-driven. What got me the job: my experience with AAUW, and my understanding and firm belief that women CAN do anything.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

AAUW is a life-changing organization, and the results of my involvement are evident in many facets of my life. I am who I am today because of AAUW.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I cannot stress it enough: it is very important to recruit young members while they are still in college. Grooming the next generation of members is a vital action that must be undertaken to ensure continued growth of the organization.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

feeling empowered during every single interaction with the organization.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Passionate, energetic, intelligent, encouraging.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

buy a Super Bowl Half Time advertisement.

Ways to make it better...

It could not have been better; I made the most of my opportunity, and it paid off.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Recruitment and retention.

One thing I'd also say is that...

AAUW = PROGRESSION = EMPOWERMENT = FUN!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 28, 2010

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May 28, 2010

I'm a relatively new member to AAUW, and I wish I'd found it decades ago. There's so much to be proud of: AAUW has had the greatest impact of any non-profit on women's rights and equality. With our Legal Action Fund, we've supported many things that impacted women in a historical way, such as Title IX. AAUW provided Marie Curie with over $100,000 id research funds when no one else would find her because she was a woman. at 130 years old, the accomplishments and reach of AAUW are great, and I wish more people knew of and participated in this great organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...seeing the results produced in the students who attend the National Collegiate Leadership Conference; hearing of the historical and current results of the Legal actions we're involved with; and my own feeling committed to equity and education for women

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 27, 2010

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May 27, 2010

Taking part in leadership training provided by AAUW and AAUW of Oregon, over the past 20 years, has given me the confidence to reach out to realize the following. Present proposals, which were approved, for state-wide and community-wide partnerships (Oregon Woman Suffrage Celebration, Support for NEW Leadership Oregon, Gresham Historical Society, Columbia Symphony Orchestra); Recruit elected officials as members (one state senator and one school board member--so far); Gain facilitator training to implement the WAGE Project's Salary Negotiation Workshops; and Meet women leaders all over the state to support them in their respective leadership journeys. This last action is as a result of being appointed as an AAUW Leadership Corps Grassroots Liaison. Prior to AAUW experience, I would have never had the confidence to apply for this position. The position has opened up even more training, but more importantly, it allows me to support and identify support for other women, and to support and find resources for local branches in the vital work they do in their communities--on behalf of girls and women.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

meeting talented individuals who work tirelessly to share and make a difference for women and girls, and who give me ideas and energy to continue to strive for equity in all arenas.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The connections with smart and talented people, being part of an organization with admirable collective clout, and opportunities to grow as an individual.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Incredibly knowledgeable, resourceful, and positive

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 27, 2010

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May 27, 2010

Just over 30 years ago, I was fortunate enough to receive from AAUW an American Fellowship for my doctoral dissertation. This grant allowed me to focus on my research without having to have a fulltime job and, thus, shortened the time it took to complete my degree by one year. AAUW grants have impact. As the only woman in my graduate school class in marine sciences, I was impressed by the positive responses of professors and others when they learned of my having the AAUW grant. AAUW elevated my stature professionally. I am not the only one to have this happen. According to the history of Colby College, the first woman, a mathematician, invited to join the Colby College faculty (over 80 years ago) was asked to do so because AAUW had invited her to start a chapter at the College. AAUW has a long history of impacting the lives of women. That chapter, the Waterville (Maine) Area Branch, is still in existence today and thriving. My fellowship led to many leadership opportunities. I learned to give back and to work for improvements in the lives of women and girls. Even in retirement, my work as an AAUW volunteer continues. Now I have the opportunity to lobby for legislation that will impact women and girls, that will affect education, and that will lead to a fairer, safer world. AAUW is a leader in these matters and improves lives.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own professional career, public policy decisions of national leaders, the lives of young women, to name a few. AAUW was instrumental in the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and is helping increase the number of female scientists in the USA.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have more people involved in and supporting the work of AAUW. It's a terrific, effective, meaningful, and worthy organization.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working for education and equity for women and girls.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

smart and hardworking.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

support many more national and international graduate fellowships, many more community projects, and advocate more broadly for women and girls.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time and resources to share.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

keeping up with the way technology shapes our lives.

One thing I'd also say is that...

AAUW rocks!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 26, 2010

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May 26, 2010

As a Town Councilwoman, member of AAUW, Scottsdale Branch since 2000 and former Public Policy Chair, I was invited to present to High School and Community College women in the "Running and Winning" Program. We began in 2006, every year with a different group of elected officials from School Board to Legislators and Mayors, and know we touched these students' lives, allowing them to consider public service as a reality for their future. (Typical questions involved balancing family and elected life, fundraising, public speaking fears, press and motivation and interest in politics)

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

public policy, serving less forunate (books and other donations), learning from intelligent, engaged women not only about domestic but foreign issues, education and pay equality, etc.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 26, 2010

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May 26, 2010

The first time I held a meeting it was for AAUW. My career is non-corporate and what learned is by doing. Mentoring: A big part of what I have learned about and participated in due to AAUW. Sisterhood: Meeting amazing women. I close my eyes, they are all ageless and well-rounded and more that what my eyes could tell me they are. A place where, when my children grew up, I found new directions to give back to my community in new ways and if I found one other person who wanted to do it, we could make it happen through AAUW for women and girls. Leadership: I did not know I could be a leader yet each AAUW event, learning more about how to do it happens in a welcoming way. Coalition building: We do not have to invent it to serve our mission and we do that regularly in our communities including getting out the vote and educating our own community.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The way I have learned how to write, communicate, lead and learn from the amazing members and those who their volunteering reaches.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Learn new ways to envolve members in non-face to face events. Encourage creating corporate sponsorships for events.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Knowing we make a difference and meeting like-minded members statewide.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Staff of the national organization, state organization leaders as well as community members and leaders in the part of the state where I live and our coalition partners.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Educate more women and girls, support research on education and equity, lower the cost of the annual dues.

Ways to make it better...

Some members could be persuaded to not feel they are entitled to do things the same way but since leadership changes, this can be solved through time and educating to new ways with positive encouragement.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Attracting diverse membership

One thing I'd also say is that...

AAUW makes a positive difference, nationally and locally for women and girls.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 26, 2010

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May 26, 2010

After only being in AAUW for a few years, I was able to develop my leadership skills enough to gain role of State President for AAUW of Alabama. In this position, I'm leading the fight to promote pay equity for women in our state, to encourage women to enter political office, to "grow" young college leaders, and to encourage girls to consider careers in STEM career fields. AAUW has given me the opportunity to meet many wonderful and inspiring women, and to work to promote many wonderful causes that are important to me and to the needs of women and girls in our state and my community.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being given the opportunity to meet so many political leaders and speakers to try and promote issues that are important to women and girls in our state.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 26, 2010

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May 26, 2010

AAUW resources have touched many areas of my life. As a woman in technology, their research reports like "Tech Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age" and "Why so Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Science" have described current reality with proposals for how to make life better for women and girls in the future. What cemented my relationship with AAUW, though, was their Legal Advocacy Fund, and its work to fight sex discrimination in the workplace (until recently in academia). The LAF resources extend into the community with workshops on campuses and in the community so that future lawsuits just do not happen. I was pleased to be part of one at NC Central University that explained Title IX to law students and others on campus.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've made great friends, had opportunities for personal and professional growth, and had the satisfaction of working to advance education and equity for women and girls in many ways.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 26, 2010

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May 26, 2010

I was a 41-year-old mother of 2 who had recently re-entered the workforce after staying home to raise my children. I was disappointed to find myself making only half of what I'd previously made and had a difficult time proving my value - and yes, I do think my race and gender were a hindering factor. I decided I seriously needed to increase my value and options with a Masters degree - education had always opened doors for me before. But with a family and a mediocre salary, how could I afford it? AAUW came to the rescue. I told them my story and my goals and they gave me a VERY generous grant that enabled me to attend my first-choice school. And you know, it wasn't just their money that made it possible. There is NOTHING that compares to the feeling I had knowing that complete strangers believed in me enough to come out of their pocket with cold hard cash money in a down economy. That feeling alone is motivating, driving, and life-changing. It's what kept me going when after a long day at work and family duties in the evening, I still had hours of homework to do. I just finished my first year (7 classes) with a 4.0 GPA. Already new opportunities have opened up for me at my current job and elsewhere. One more thing...I cannot wait for the opportunity to do for someone else what AAUW has done for me. I've always been on the giving end just because I know it's the "right thing". But now that I've been on the receiving end...it's a whole different perspective of what the "right thing" really means and how deeply it affects others. I've been getting more familiar with AAUW's causes and can say with confidence that this has got to be one of the greatest nonprofits out there. They don't just give money, they educate, empower and they're out there everyday making a difference for all women, even those who don't even know AAUW exists.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

receiving a grant attending their online seminars learning about the Equal Pay legislation learning about their efforts to get more junior high school girls involved in Math/Science

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the hope they've given me through their grant and he support of their staff after receiving the grant.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, supportive and VERY organized!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 26, 2010

more

May 26, 2010

I have been a member of Chicago Branch AAUW for over 25 years! In the '80s I served on Branch committees, in the '90s I served on state committees (Illinois), & in the '00s I served on national committees. In additional to all the things I have learned about women's issues from AAUW, AAUW has also allowed me opportunities for growth as a person AND as a professional. I simply would not be who I am today without AAUW--a force for "positive societal change" since 1883 & still going strong!!!

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I'm now the coordinator of WITASWAN (Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now) which began as an AAUW-IL project & has grown into "International SWAN Day"--celebrated all around the world last year. No AAUW-IL, no SWAN Day. It's that simple!

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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