Welcome, LaTrena!

Welcome, LaTrena!

JRF | Dec 04 2015 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news

Dear Family,

It is with an overwhelming joy that I now join the staff of Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund. I couldn’t imagine being in any other career, working with individuals more dedicated than all who are involved with JRF. 

Jeannette Rankin Fund was celebrating 35 years of changing women's lives in 2011 when we were first introduced. I have been blessed to witness an increase in the number of women receiving the scholarship since I was a recipient. As the Fund approaches 40 years of helping women over 35 further their education, it just floods my soul with hope. Jeannette Rankin Fund's quest to help women invokes an untapped potential while providing the privilege to others who witness Jeannette Rankin scholars conquer their dreams. 

Supporters have helped to fuel the fire by providing more than 1,200 scholarships. I hope to see that number double as I am committed to working alongside the team to move the mission forward. The best is yet to come and I’m honored to be on the front lines working with an organization that is making a difference.   


LaTrena Stokes


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The Founders Challenge

JRF | Dec 01 2015 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news, supporting jrf, double your gift

Join us for the Founders Challenge! We’re the Founders of Jeannette Rankin Fund, pictured here presenting the first award to Barbara Dixon. It’s exciting to still be helping women achieve their goal of higher education, particularly as the Fund enters 2016, its 40th Anniversary Year. 


To start 40 off strong, we’re coming together to match every dollar in new or increased donations up to $40,000!


Did you know that we started Jeannette Rankin Fund in a pizza shop in Athens, GA? We emptied our wallets into a breadbasket and combined that money with Jeannette’s bequest of $16,000. Here we are 40 years later asking for you to put money in the basket, too!


In the past four decades, Jeannette Rankin Fund has awarded 1,133 scholarships. Imagine how many lives have been changed for the better because of these awards. Imagine how many more we can help in the next 40 years!

In our wildest dreams, we never imagined Jeannette Rankin Fund having such an impact on so many women and families. Please join us to make the next 40 even bigger!


Donate now by clicking here.



The Jeannette Rankin Founding Mothers

Susan Bailey        Gail Dendy         Margaret Holt        Heather Kleiner             Reita Rivers


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Press Release: Prosperity Together

JRF | Nov 16 2015 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news, education, women, press release

Local Organization joins $100 Million Pledge to Create Pathways to Economic Security for Women and Their Families in America

Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund Joins the Partnership to Demonstrate the Collective Power of Women’s Foundations in Effective Grantmaking

Athens, Georgia—Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund, a member of Prosperity Together, a nonpartisan partnership of public U.S. women’s foundations, announced a collective five-year, $100 million funding commitment. The funding will create pathways to economic security for low-income women and their families.

Jeannette Rankin Fund, founded in Athens, Georgia in 1976, has helped 47 Georgian women and provided a total of 1,236 scholarships nationally. Currently, two women are receiving scholarships to attend Athens Technical College.

The Prosperity Together partnership will fund local programs with a proven track record in providing women with access to higher education, job training, and child care, among other supports. Prosperity Together made the announcement at the White House Summit on Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color on November 13, 2015, which focused on a wide range of issues including the barriers and solutions to economic security confronting millions of low-income women living in America.

While women account for 57 percent of the workforce, they too often occupy minimum wage or part-time  jobs, with little to no employer-sponsored benefits, and limited opportunity for growth and advancement. In Georgia, 19.7 percent of women live in poverty.

"Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund has been helping women improve their lives through college completion for almost 40 years," Karen Sterk, Executive Director of Jeannette Rankin Fund, said. "We are encouraged by the potential of Prosperity Together to maximize our collective impact and significantly improve so many more lives."

Prosperity Together will harness the collective power, leadership and proven effectiveness of women’s foundations working together to ensure women’s economic security in America. The partnership will also issue a call to policymakers, business leaders, the philanthropic community and the public to understand that economic prosperity for all is guaranteed only when economic security and equal opportunity are guaranteed for low-income women. 


Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund was chartered in 1976 and is named after the first woman elected to U.S. Congress. The 501(c)(3) charity provides scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older across the U.S. to build better lives through college completion. Jeannette Rankin scholars come from diverse backgrounds, yet they are united in their determination to break the cycle of poverty, better provide for their families and give back to their communities. To learn more about Jeannette Rankin Fund, visit

Prosperity Together is a nonpartisan partnership of public U.S. women’s foundations dedicated to improving the economic security of low-income women and their families in America. Prosperity Together demonstrates the critical role and power of women’s foundations to drive this work in communities, state by state, across the country. For more information, visit


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Advancing Equity for Women & Girls of Color Summit

JRF | Nov 11 2015 |  · · ·  Tags: jrf news, education, women

The White House is hosting a summit Friday, November 13 on expanding opportunity for women and girls of color. The Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color Summit will focus on a range of issues including economic development, healthcare, criminal justice and vulnerability to violence.

"Some of the statistics about the state of women and girls of color are pretty bleak: according to a 2015 report by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, a black female high school graduate makes about $2,200 less than a white male dropout and black women are near the bottom of earning across all levels of education."

Executive Director Karen Sterk will be at the summit in D.C. as part of Prosperity Together, a partnership of nonpartisan, U.S. women’s foundations. Click here for the live feed. ‪Use #‎propseritytogether‬ to be part of the conversation.

Read more from the Time article.


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Higher education’s multi-generational impact

JRF | Oct 28 2015 |  · · ·  Tags: education, women, poverty

"The sons and daughters of college-educated parents are more than twice as likely to go to college as the children of high school graduates and seven times as likely as those of high school dropouts."

Read more from the NY Times article by clicking here.

It’s been shown time and again that when parents go to college, it greatly impacts the futures of their children. Jeannette Rankin Fund directly supports low-income women 35 and older. But the impact reaches far beyond the individual scholars.

Nearly half are the first in their families to pursue higher education; the typical Rankin scholar has two children and lives on an annual income of approximately $21,000. After receiving the scholarship, 95.2% of Jeannette Rankin scholars earn a degree or certificate. 83.3% say that earning a degree has helped them and their families to become more financially secure.

A college degree makes a difference in a family's day to day lives – securing a career with good pay and benefits so they don’t have to worry about how to pay for food or gas for the car or when an unexpected expense come up, like a child gets sick. It also dramatically changes their long-term prospects – they’re establishing a family tradition of education, and conquering poverty permanently.

Alexandra, a Jeannette Rankin alumna, says: “My degree gave me the flexibility to be really present for my oldest and younger son, and both recognize the value of having a good education. I think what they learned in watching me spend 10 years going from zero education to a doctoral degree was that reaching a dream takes work, not giving up no matter what, and giving it all that you have. I gained a tremendous amount of confidence, and when the job market took a dive and I was laid off, I simply started my own research and program evaluation consulting business. I am making a good income, working from home, and choosing the clients and projects that make me happiest.”

Jeannette Rankin Fund supporters make these changes possible for women across the country. Thank you!


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