Luncheon Celebrates Cincinnati Mothers Earning College Degrees
Union Institute & University celebrated the dauntless mothers determined to make a better life for themselves and their families at the Women in Union luncheon on November 17, 2014. The honorees in attendance were Kimberly Thornhill, Theresa Warren, Melissa Jones, Viann Barnett, Elizabeth Rowe, Melissa Cates, Crystal Anderson Steele, Carliss Green, Seleta Mitchell Bishop, Angela J. Culbreath Williams, and Charlena Walker.
Union President Dr. Roger H. Sublett has said that the best way to lift children out of poverty is to first educate their mothers. Since 2009, Union has raised more than $400,000 in scholarship funds, and has helped more than 35 undergraduate women and their families.
Union’s Board of Trustees created the Women in Union scholarship program in 2009 to support single, head-of-household mothers—and in some cases, even grandmothers—who need financial assistance to return to their education. More than 60 percent of Union’s students are female, and the average age is 39. By earning a college degree and being better able to provide for their families, these women are improving their children’s futures, serving as change agents within their communities and workplaces, and serving as role models for academic success. The objectives of the Women in Union program are:
• To provide single, head-of-household women with accessible paths to higher education and, as a result, better career and professional growth options
• To engage women in socially relevant studies that will elevate their careers, communities, and personal lives as they help others rise above personal or social obstacles and achieve their dreams
• To help children rise above the poverty level, providing a brighter future and a better opportunity for academic and career success
Women are eligible to apply for the scholarship if they are single heads-of-household under a certain income level. They are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) and attend life skills workshops to enhance their academic studies. Since 2009, more than 35 women have benefitted from the scholarship. Scholarships are available for undergraduate women in Cincinnati as well as those seeking graduate degrees.
One graduate explains what her college degree meant and how it changed her life. “Here at Union, I was not just a number and I was not a dollar sign. I was a learner. I was Sharon. I know now that what I worked so hard to achieve is not just a degree. It is more than that. I now I feel equal to my co-workers and I finally fit into the professional environment.”
Women in Union scholarships are provided with the generous support from:
• Western & Southern Financial Group
• US Bank
• The Greater Cincinnati Foundation – The Helen Steiner Rice Fund
• The Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank
• W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Union Institute & University is among a small group of private, higher education institutions in the United States that exclusively serve adult students with the belief that education is about achieving aspirations and goals, celebrating the very best of the human spirit, expanding knowledge, and the transformation of lives and communities.
Learn more about Union Institute & University at www.myunion.edu.