All posts tagged: jrf news

Press Release: TV show encourages donations for women’s scholarships

JRF | Sep 25 2014 |  · · · 

Athens, Ga. – HBO TV host John Oliver prompted a spike in gifts to Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund on his show “Last Week Tonight.”


Viewers from across America have responded to John Oliver’s call to support women’s scholarships programs not contingent on women being contestants in beauty pageants. Jeannette Rankin Fund serves low-income women 35 and older who do not already have a bachelor’s degree.


So far, more than 100 people have donated $6,300. Web traffic has also increased substantially for Jeannette Rankin Fund, jumping from around 100 visitors a day to more than 1,100 the day after the program aired.


Oliver referred viewers to three women’s scholarship organizations – Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund, the Patsy Mink Foundation and the Society of Women Engineers. He said donations should be made “if you want to change the fact that currently the biggest scholarship program exclusively for women in America requires you to be unmarried with a mint condition uterus and also rewards working knowledge of buttock adhesive technology, which is just a little bit unsettling.” Oliver’s segment has gone viral with postings on other news sites and through social media.


“With a tiny staff of three full-time employees and one part-time employee managing our national program, this endorsement means a lot,” Sue Lawrence, Executive Director of Jeannette Rankin Fund, said. We were stunned to hear Jeannette Rankin Fund mentioned on Oliver’s TV show. Although we give scholarships to women all across the U.S, most of our supporters are in our local community in Athens, Georgia. We just can’t afford marketing, so Oliver’s shout out to support us is reaching many new people who’re sending support for our cause. Their donations are for $15, $20, and more. They’ve added up quickly, and we’re grateful for every gift.” 


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 to build better lives through college completion. In 2014, 87 women are receiving scholarships of $2,000 each, which can be used for books, childcare, transportation, utilities, rent, or where needed most to support women while in school. Awards may be renewed for up to five years, so a woman can receive up to $10,000. Jeannette Rankin scholars come from diverse backgrounds, yet they are united in their desire 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


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Meet the Interns: Aerion

Meet the Interns: Aerion

JRF | Jul 18 2014 |  · · · 

I can recall the moment I read the description for a Communications Outreach Summer Intern at Jeannette Rankin Fund. It was just a few days before I got some really disappointing news about my plans to work at a summer camp. Long story short, my summer plans fell through, leaving me with no summer employment. I sent an email to Sue Lawrence, Jeannette Rankin Fund’s Executive Director, about the internship, and spent the rest of the weekend wallowing in my bad luck.


Then Sue called asking for a meeting! I was excited about the opportunity to work on an important project in conjunction with an awesome non-profit organization, I was excited to possibly put the skills I had developed in my collegiate career to viable use, and I was excited to get some real experience in a future career.


There are a lot of times when things just will not work out, as much as you would like them to. Those things fall through so that better things can come together. For me, an internship with a leading scholarship organization for nontraditional women students was better than a summer camp job.


My primary focus is Congressional Outreach to increase awareness and support for Jeannette Rankin Fund, and the experience has been something completely new to me. I enjoy the communal atmosphere when I walk into the office. There is a common purpose that is deeply imbedded in the work of the JRF staff. That purpose is to do everything possible to make sure our scholars succeed. In each discussion and decision, you are able to see that what is in the best interest for the scholars, their families, and their community needs are at the forefront. I value that so much and as a result whenever I am working on pieces of my current project, my first thought is “Is this beneficial to our scholars?” or “Does this represent our scholars well?”


We do the everyday work to make Jeannette Rankin Fund function, but the scholars are truly at the heart of everything.

Aerion Ward is a second semester senior at the University of Georgia studying Psychology and Women’s Studies. In the fall she will embark on a semester long study abroad journey to Morocco. There she will take Gender Studies courses and intern with a local women’s rights organization. As a first generation college student herself, she is honored to work with Jeannette Rankin Fund and knows the impact that the organization has on women and their families.


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Annual Dinner 2014

JRF | Jul 14 2014 |  · · · 

Reservations are now closed. If you'd like to attend the Annual Dinner, please email or call the office at 706-208-1211.


Event Overview:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

5:30pm Social Hour begins -- 6:30 Dinner begins -- 8pm Conclude

Classic Center Atrium, parking in the Classic Center deck included



Margaret Wagner Dahl, Associate Vice President for Health IT at Georgia Institute of Technology

Margaret has worked for nearly 30 years in technology transfer and has extensive expertise in the biomedical industry and healthcare governance. Her position is part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, which helps Georgia enterprises improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation.


Cheryl Jackson, Process Line Manager for Kellogg

Cheryl is a Jeannette Rankin Alumna, who earned her degree in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering in 2013. She said:

"When I started on this path I had almost no work experience and only a GED. Leaving an abusive marriage and going from stay at home mom of five children to single parent left me with very few options for employment, much less any that provided self-sufficiency. As I approach my final year to finishing my degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, I stand in amazement and gratitude that this dream is coming to fruition. I would not be in this position without the support of the Jeannette Rankin Foundation."


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Meet the Interns: Ellen

Meet the Interns: Ellen

JRF | Jun 27 2014 |  · · · 

Walking into the JRF office feels like walking into someone’s home. Tasteful décor greets you, sprinkled among inviting pieces of furniture, and a refreshing sense of peace. When I first stepped inside this office, it was just a few weeks ago, in early June, and I was nervous. The typical anxieties of a new intern filled my mind: Would my supervisor like me? Was I qualified enough to be here? Is my outfit all right?

Now it is nearly July, and I have spent a handful of afternoons in this pleasant office working with the warmest collection of individuals. I have enjoyed the cheerful, encouraging attitude the staff at JRF has toward their work and one another (interns included!) and the interesting projects I have worked on so far. By far, my favorite activity has been writing the new bio paragraphs for the 2014-2015 JRF scholars. In completing this project, I have had the opportunity to read the personal statements of dozens of scholars and each story and voice has leaped from the computer screen. Trying to condense the lives of these women into a few sentences has been a challenging task. Most of the time, I feel like copying the entire essay and submitting that as their bio instead, as I could never begin to compete with the energy and passion of their writing.

Additionally, I also have the opportunity to moderate the scholar and alumnae Facebook group, another wonderful way to get to know these inspiring and strong women. Their insightful posts about their classes, careers, and families hints at the beautiful way these scholars see life—as an experience they can own and shape for themselves in spite of any obstacles that might say otherwise. I have already learned one important thing about these women: they are fighters. When life pushes them, they hold tighter to their textbooks and they push back.

I am confident that my internship here at JRF has impacted my plans for the future. This fall, I will begin my senior year at Carroll University in Wisconsin, double-majoring in Professional Writing and Global Studies. My work with non-profits like JRF has broadened my perspective of the world and prompted me to consider a career helping others to pursue a better life for themselves. For now, I look forward to finishing my summer here and soaking up every bit of inspiration and determination that I can from this experience!

Currently attending Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Ellen studies both Professional Writing and Global Studies. In addition to her schoolwork, she is an active member of the social justice club on campus, speaks to underclassmen as a Study Abroad Ambassador, and works as a writing tutor.


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Two New Nursing Students

Two New Nursing Students

JRF | Jun 18 2014 |  · · · 

The hard work of selecting scholars is over, and the exciting work of preparing to send out scholarship checks is beginning. Two applicants that rose to the top during selection happen to be enrolled at the same school in the same program!

Pamela and Sandroe are studying Nursing at Athens Technical College, and their perseverance and goal-oriented approach to school made them stand out. Athens Tech was excited about this news, as well, and published an article about the two students. Click here to read it in full.

A big thank you to the volunteers and donors who make these scholarships possible. There are 87 incredible women receiving help to go to school and conquer poverty in 2014.

Key excerpts:

“Women selected for Jeannette Rankin scholarships are hard-working individuals who are attending college, keeping up with jobs and volunteer work in their communities, and caring for their families,” said Sue Lawrence, Executive Director for Jeannette Rankin Fund. “Sandroe and Pamela are great examples of women who are juggling a lot of responsibility and succeeding. They are very determined and persistent.”

A single mother with five children, Sandroe spent the last eight years working as a waitress at a Waffle House restaurant. She enrolled at Athens Tech fall semester of 2011 to begin her quest for becoming a nurse.  This past March, she left the Waffle House and has devoted her time to her academics.

Sandroe said: “My ultimate goal is to one day be a nurse specializing in behavioral health, and of course, I would like to volunteer some of my free time at the Mercy Health Center that helps those who don’t have medical insurance with their healthcare needs. I feel extremely blessed to have been chosen to receive the Jeannette Rankin Scholarship.”

In 2010, an oven burner ignited Pamela's husband’s clothing, and the resulting fire severely burned him. His treatment and recuperation through the burn clinic at Doctors Hospital in Augusta took nearly a year, and during that time, Jones got hands-on training from the nurses about how to treat her husband’s wounds and how to change his bandaging. The nurses were so impressed with Jones’ learning skills and abilities that they encouraged her to attend nursing school. She enrolled at Athens Technical College in 2012 to prepare for the Nursing program.


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