All posts tagged: jrf news

Supporter Story: Theresa Cullen

Supporter Story: Theresa Cullen

JRF | Oct 22 2013 |  · · · 

When I walked into Theresa Cullen’s home, I was immediately overwhelmed by so many outstanding pieces of pottery all over her kitchen. There were beautiful plates, cups, and bowls, and I wanted to take them all home! I asked if she made all of the pieces and she said, “Yes, I have slowly made pieces and then made so many I started to give them away as gifts!”


Theresa has made a great impact as a volunteer for more than 15 years with JRF. She began as a first-round reader, reviewing scholarship applications and helping to select the women who will receive JRF awards. “It made me realize how important these scholarships are; many women desperately need scholarships to enroll in college and find their way,” she says.


Recently, Theresa found a way to combine her love of pottery with her dedication to help low-income women build better lives through college completion – she launched a website to sell handcrafted lamps, with proceeds benefiting JRF scholars. “I have seen what education can do to people’s lives. It can completely change them.”


Each of her lamps is one of a kind, and Theresa said you never know what it is going to look like after firing it in the kiln - it can be exactly what you wanted or not at all what you expected.  The fire affects the colors, and a lot of strategy goes into it through the placement of the lamp inside of the kiln and the temperature. To Theresa, it’s like “opening a present on Christmas morning.” (lamp base right)


Theresa also pointed out how important it is to do something you enjoy that helps other people.  “Selling these lamps not only feels good, its feels right. When people buy these lamps it also makes them feel good while spreading the word about JRF.”


Meeting with Theresa that day made me feel so inspired. She was truly an amazing woman. Her spirit just made you feel good about yourself and her home was so welcoming. She has motived me to try pottery, too!


To purchase and view these one of a kind, handcrafted lamps, visit


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First JRF 5k

JRF | Sep 05 2013 |  · · · 


An incredible 326 people registered for the race, and 222 ran the course! Huge thank you to board member Deb Walock and her team at Caterpillar for pulling together such a wonderful event. More than $10,000 was raised to support low-income women conquering poverty through education.

See photos from the race at Online Athens here: race photos

Race Info:

“Caterpillar is very excited to accelerate educational opportunities through the efforts of Jeannette Rankin Fund,” said Deb Walock, Manufacturing Engineering Manager at the Athens Caterpillar.

Please come out and support JRF on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at the Fun Run and 5k sponsored by Caterpillar.

Fun Run at 1:30 pm

Walk/Run 5k at 2pm

Oconee Veteran’s Park in Watkinsville

If you pre-register you'll receive a hat from Caterpillar! There will also be awards for Overall Male/Female, Masters Male/Female, Grandmasters Male/Female, and Top three male/female in age groups 10 and under through 75 and over. Plenty of snacks and drinks for everyone.

Registration is $20 before September 18 and $25 after. There is also a family registration for a group of four for $60. We hope to see you there!

Are you ready to sign up? Click here!

Special thanks to: Power Partners, GreenWood Inc, Industrial Mechanical Inc (IMI), Coldwell Banker Upchurch Realty, Engineered Systems Inc, Pinnacle Bank, Athens Family Dental, SCANA Energy, Publix, Piedmont College, TRC Staffing Services, Oconee State Bank, Anthony Chiropractic, Aesthetic Dental Association of NE GA and Fortson, Bentley and Griffin Attorneys at Law.


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Welcome new intern, Megan!

Welcome new intern, Megan!

JRF | Aug 15 2013 |  · · · 

Hello readers! My name is Megan Hicks and I am the new Donor Communications Intern for JRF this fall! I will be assisting JRF’s Marketing and Development Coordinator, Bentley Worthy, with various projects throughout this season. I also have the responsibility to create enticing blog posts for all of you and keep you updated on the excitement here with JRF.

Currently, I am a second year master’s student at the University of Georgia studying human development and family science. My interests are working in non-profits doing work with families and the community. I believe this internship is a great way for me to reach out to the community!

This fall my goal is keep you all informed with all of the amazing activities that JRF has planned for the next few months! I am very excited to start my journey of blogging this information to you! 


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Local author donates toward scholarship in memory of a Georgia Woman of Achievement

Local author donates toward scholarship in memory of a Georgia Woman of Achievement

JRF | Jul 08 2013 |  · · · 

Press Release

Athens, Ga. – Athens author Martha Phillips recently donated toward a 2013 Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund (JRF) scholarship in memory of Mary Ann Rutherford Lipscomb, an Athens native who championed education.


The Mary Ann Rutherford Lipscomb Scholarship will help a low-income woman 35 or older have access to higher education that will benefit herself, her family and her community.

Phillips is a member of The Athens Woman’s Club (AWC), which has shown its commitment to education by starting free kindergartens, the Athens Regional Library, the Tallulah Falls School and through sponsoring many other projects.  Phillips invited AWC President Betsy Walker to join her when she presented her donation.


Jeannette Rankin scholars are women who have a plan for how to use their education to better their communities. This coupled with AWC’s dedication to women’s welfare and education, inspired Phillips to make the first donation toward the Mary Ann Rutherford Lipscomb Scholarship.


"I was a single mother raising two boys, and I can relate to the struggles of JRF recipients. It gives me great pleasure to help other women move forward,” Phillips said. (Picture left to right: Pat Reagan, Sue Lawrence, Martha Phillips, Betsy Walker)

Pat Reagan, Sue Lawrence, Martha Phillips, Betsy Walker


Lipscomb was a teacher, principal and one of the founders of AWC. She focused on issues with rural schools in Northeast Georgia and worked through the club to provide textbooks and supplies. As a lobbyist, Lipscomb advocated for compulsory education for Georgia’s youth, free kindergartens and health regulations.


The importance of education to Phillips, Lipscomb and AWC ties directly to JRF’s mission to “provide scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older to build better lives through college completion.”


This year, 87 women were selected from hundreds of applicants for scholarships of $2000 each. Awards are renewable for up to five years, so a recipient could receive up to $10,000 toward her education.  To date, JRF has provided $2 million in financial aid to more than 750 women across the U.S. JRF is one of the few organizations making scholarships to older women students, an often overlooked group. These need-based scholarships give hope to women who are juggling school, work and family responsibilities. On average, 50% of JRF scholars are first in their families to go to college.  In addition, JRF supports success; of alumnae responding to the annual survey, 84% had graduated or were still enrolled in school. JRF scholars are women who are making great changes for themselves, their families and their communities.


To learn more about JRF, visit and to learn more about Martha Phillips, visit


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Annual Dinner 2013!

JRF | Jul 05 2013 |  · · · 


More than 300 people gathered in The Classic Center Atrium to celebrate the 87 hard-working women receiving JRF scholarships this year. Scholar speaker Kellirae sang beautifully and was accompanied by local talent Jim McKillip. After Kellirae's speech, Margaret Holt was so inspired, that she took to the stage and challenged guests to donate a scholarship. Attendees rose to the ocassion and donated $3,296 to fund the Friends of Kellirae Award.

Betty Jean Craige received the JRF Founders' Award with a moving speech, and Judith Ortiz Cofer honored us with a speech and reading.

See photos from the 37th Annual Dinner on our facebook page: JRF Dinner photos

It was a lovely nights, and we hope to see you next year!

Save the Date

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


The Classic Center (Need directions? Click here!)

Online reservations are now closed. Seating is limited, please confirm space is available by contacting JRF staff at 706-208-1211.

Betty Jean Craige, JRF Founders' Award Recipient

Judith Ortiz Cofer, Keynote

Kellirae Boann, Scholar Speaker


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