AAUW Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette (OML) Awards to Ten Outstanding Young Women

AAUW Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette (OML) Awards to Ten Outstanding Young Women


AAUW OML Tech Trek Camp Scholarship Winners and Keynote Speaker:
Helen Kaidantzis, Emilia Gutman, Yuhan Liu, Keynote Speaker Mary Fettig,
Abbie Lee, Shannon Lipp, Reese Whipple.

On Sunday, April 17, The Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette branch of the Association of University Women (AAUW) celebrated with 10 remarkable young women from Lamorinda schools by awarding six Tech Trek camp scholarships and four college scholarships. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls.

Six middle school girls, passionate about science and math, were awarded full scholarships to the week-long science and math Tech Trek Camp that will be held on the Stanford Campus this July. In addition, one $5,000 and two $1,000 community service scholarships were award to three high school young women and a $5,000 graduate studies scholarship was awarded to a Saint Mary’s College student.

Tech Trek Camp Scholarships
A study published recently by AAUW, “Solving the Equation, the Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing,” tells us that in fewer than 10 years the United States will need 1.7 million more engineers. The trouble is that women represent only a small fraction of engineers today. Women are also underrepresented in the computer science, chemistry, physics, and mathematics fields. To encourage young women to pursue these career paths, AAUW sends girls interested in science and math to Tech Trek camp. The six AAUW OML 2016 Tech Trek scholarship winners are Abigail Lee and Yuhan Liu from Joaquin Moraga Intermediate, Reese Whipple and Shannon Lipp from Orinda Intermediate, and Emilia Gutman and Helen Kaidantzis from Stanley Intermediate.

These Tech Trek scholarship winners wowed the April Awards Ceremony attendees with their presentations describing their curiosity and love of science. Their interests and activities include solving the problem of trash in the marine environment, investigating the physics of ice skating, creating engineering games and electronics, building robots, and writing computer code. We believe the girls will have a chance to affect the machines and processes with which we will live and work and play. In the rigorous selection process, thirty-six girls were nominated by Lamorinda middle school teachers, each completed an application with essay, and was interviewed by a team of three AAUW OML members.

Community Service Scholarships for High School and College Seniors
The goals of AAUW’s High School and College Scholarships are to encourage local young women graduates who demonstrate academic excellence and invest in their commitment to community service. The average GPA for 14 applicants was 3.8. The four awardees described their stories of growth and life lessons learned through community service to attendees at this AAUW OML annual celebration.

The three high school awardees enriched their school community by working with special needs children, participating in tech and science clubs, athletic teams, and musical programs. Sister 2 Sister and the Monument Crisis Center are two of the local community projects that benefitted from their service. The 2016 AAUW–OML Scholarships were awarded to Caiseen Kelley, Eleanor Roeder, and Yasmin Shamloo from Lamorinda High Schools. Caiseen is also a former AAUW OML Tech Trek Scholarship recipient.

Carina Novell, a senior at Saint Mary’s College, was awarded the Community Service Scholarship and will use it to study law at UC Davis. Her collegiate contributions were many and included leadership positions in cross-county and in the college advisory board. Recycling on campus rose to a new level with her achievements in that area.

Keynote Speaker
Mary Fettig, classical and jazz musician, shared her music and her perspectives on the many ways that her mathematical mind contributes to her music. Her story of her career path included being the first female musician to be asked to play with Stan Kenton. Her steps were often not pre-determined, but rather the result of doing great work and being brave at taking those steps.

In Conclusion
At the end of the program, one could draw the following conclusions – keep music in your life, keep community involvement in your life, continue to build your skills and satisfy your curiosity, stay open-minded about what goals are reasonable – could be the sky is the limit, show off what you love and can do.

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