Local Scholarships

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Download the AAUW Los Gatos-Saratoga Local Scholarship application.  (2021)

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Overview

Each year, the scholarship committee selects women from West Valley College who are transferring to a college or university in order to continue their education in math, science technology, engineering (STEM) or related fields.  A printable brochure is attached.

This year the Local Scholarship Committee has decided to honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late champion of gender equality whom we all admired so much. All scholarships awarded in 2021 will be dedicated to her memory. Applicants are women students at West Valley College who are majoring in a STEM field and are transferring to a four-year university or college to complete their degrees.

Due to the wonderful generosity of our members, both when they renewed their membership and in response to our recent appeal letter, these scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $3,000 each. Previously the award has been $1,500. We hope to award at least two or three, depending on how many qualified applicants we can attract in these difficult times. Your support is more important now than ever and our recipients are deeply grateful.

–Marilyn Fuller, Local Scholarship Committee Chair

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Scholarship Donations

Donations in support of these young women are always welcome and appreciated. Checks may be written to: ISPF-LosGatos-Saratoga AAUW Local Scholarship Committee.
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2021 Scholarship Awards

The Local Scholarship Committee has awarded scholarships of $3,000 each to three women students at West Valley College who are transferring to a four-year college in 2021-2022. These scholarships are all dedicated to the memory of the gender equality champion, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We are very pleased to introduce this year’s recipients.  Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were again unable to present these awards in person but offer them our warmest congratulations.

Francesca Hope has long enjoyed her studies in STEM courses. She has applied to the University of California, Santa Barbara to continue her coursework in Chemical Engineering with the goal of a Master’s Degree in Materials Engineering. Francesca felt a lack of community among fellow women students in her courses, so she took the initiative to start and lead the first Women in STEM Club at West Valley College. Although events had to be virtual, she was able to organize several guest speakers in STEM fields and felt that the connections they made were empowering to them at a time they were really needed. She has proven herself to be an intellectually curious and highly motivated student.

Alexandra Lum has been accepted to Arizona State University to study Health Science with the goal of becoming a Physician’s Assistant. Due to her own health history, she has worked toward a career in the medical field with the goal of helping others. She has a lot of experience as a volunteer helping others, from children to the elderly, in a variety of organizations. She also became a member and coordinator in the AGS Honor Society at West Valley College, where she improved her public speaking and organizational skills. Strong women examples have been important in her life and she is proud to be a recipient of an AAUW scholarship.

Paula Silva De Oliveira plans to attend Santa Clara University to continue her studies in Mathematics and Computer Science. She is particularly interested in the field of Aviation Engineering. She has completed many challenging courses in these fields and proven herself an exceptional student with strong leadership skills. She has experience as a volunteer assisting others as well as participating in environmental clean-up events. She is a first-generation immigrant who is pleased to be eligible to take her U.S. Citizen Naturalization test soon. In her life, Paula has had to overcome many difficulties to be able to continue her education thus far.

A big THANK YOU to you, our members, for your generosity in making donations and through the Tea and Talks with Authors events this year. Your support of the scholarship fund helps tremendously, giving these students the extra support they need as they continue their university education in the fall and pursue their STEM career goals! You are truly making a difference in their lives.

THANK YOU also to the Local Scholarship Committee which is composed of educators or those who have worked in educational institutions. The members are: Marilyn Fuller, Chair; Audry Lynch, Mara Otlans, Karen Pock, Dianne Priest, Julie Stevens, and Sumi Tanabe.

 Marilyn Fuller, Local Scholarship Committee Chair

2020 Scholarship Awards

The Local Scholarship Committee has awarded scholarships of $1,500 each to three women students at West Valley College who are transferring to a four-year college in 2020-2021. We are
extremely pleased to introduce this year’s recipients. Due to the Covid-19 virus, we were unable to present these awards in person.  We  congratulate this year’s recipients.

PARMIDA KAVOOSI  plans to attend Cal Poly or a UC campus to study civil engineering. She has a strong background in math and physics. Working with architects on real-world projects during her internship gave her invaluable experience working independently, solving problems, and using time management techniques to follow schedules and meet deadlines. An immigrant from Iran, she was determined to improve her English skills so she signed up to be trained as a tutor at WVC, allowing her to help others with their math skills while improving her own communication skills. She has proven herself to be a very hardworking student making excellent grades while overcoming many obstacles outside her control.

ANDREA LE plans to attend San Jose State University to study nursing with the goal of
becoming a registered nurse and/or a nurse practitioner. Her interest in science and math comes from her mother, who had studied microbiology and passed along her knowledge of the scientific world as Andrea was growing up. Once Andrea took an anatomy class, she decided to study nursing. She has worked hard toward this goal, maintaining an excellent GPA, and has
volunteered at a Kaiser hospital which increased her skills in patience, compassion, empathy and communication. Andrea believes strongly in equality for women, and though she faced cultural obstacles to pursue a career in a STEM field, she had several women teachers who helped her believe she could attain her goals.

SHOHEILA OREGANI plans to study for a nursing degree at San Jose State University. Her
experiences growing up in Iran, where there are limited choices for women, were frustrating for
her. She became a flight attendant and her work experience taught her to be independent from her family and responsible for herself. She immigrated to the U.S. to have more opportunities and has held several jobs and volunteer positions which have encouraged her love of science and nursing. As a member of the AGS Honor Society at WVC, she volunteered in different community services while simultaneously demonstrating collaboration, effort, motivation and discipline in her classes.

2019 Scholarship Awards

Local scholarship recipient Tzelzin Hernandez, shown with Mara Otlans, Marilyn Fuller and Julie Stevens.

The Local Scholarship Committee met on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, to review and select the recipients of the AAUW Transfer Scholarship for 2019-2020. We are extremely pleased to introduce the four winners.

THALIA BILLAWALA is attending Davis this fall to study cell biology. Her career goal is to become a neonatologist. She has long had an interest in medicine, and was able to attend courses at West Valley College while still in high school. She was able to shadow an OB/GYN in the doctor’s office. Later, during her recent years at West Valley College, she was one of the WVC students who started a Pre-Health Sciences Club to help members network and prepare themselves in the pursuit of health-care related majors. She was also a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society, a community service club. This scholarship will help offset future student debt.

TAHANI FAISAL plans to attend San Jose State University this fall to study Communicative Disorders and Sciences with the goal of becoming a Speech Pathologist. From her volunteer work at the Child Development Center at West Valley College, Tahani developed a passion for helping children. Her own learning difficulties caused her to take a class to learn how to better assist others, and then to work as a tutor at West Valley College. This scholarship will help ease the financial burden on her family while she is at SJSU.

TZELZIN HERNANDEZ is attending UC Santa Cruz this fall to study cell and developmental biology. Her career goal is to get a medical degree and practice as an OB/GYN. She also plans to minor in music. Tzelzin has done a lot of volunteer work in her community and some of that included her work associated with the Mission College Symphony. She was one of the WVC students who formed the Pre-Health Sciences Club at West Valley College to help and encourage one another in their future studies, and was a STEM Peer Tutor assisting fellow students. Due to a difficult family life, which has caused her to take on many responsibilities, which would challenge any full time student, the financial assistance from this scholarship will be very helpful.

MIA MUNEMITSU hopes to attend UCLA this fall to study mathematics or economics with a career goal in computer science or data analysis. Her love of mathematics began in high school and has grown while at WVC, where she gets new challenges. She was active in sports in high school as well as an honor society. While at WVC she has worked as a peer tutor and also as an assistant coach for the high school badminton team; both have taught her better communication skills and patience. This scholarship will ease some of her financial burden.

There were seven applicants for the scholarship this year, and it is always difficult for the committee to select the winners because they all have outstanding academic records and laudable career goals. Our branch members’ donations and the funds from the Authors’ Luncheon this year have provided enough funding to award four scholarships of $1,500 each.  Thank you for your generosity in giving these students extra support as they continue their education at university in the fall and pursue their STEM career goals!

2018 Scholarship Awards

The Local Scholarship Committee met last month to review and select the recipients of the AAUW Transfer Scholarship for 2017-2018. We are extremely pleased to introduce the three winners, each of whom has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship upon transfer this fall.

MEHAR JAISWAL – Her goal is to earn a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Aerospace Engineering at San Jose State University, where she will begin studying this fall. She graduated from Silver Creek HS and has excelled in her physics and mathematics courses at West Valley College. Her passion outside of her studies and work, is as a long term volunteer at an enrichment center for youth. There she helps the children with their homework, carefully explaining and reinforcing math, and other concepts as needed. As an international student, she faces higher university fees, and limited options regarding where she can work, so this scholarship will relieve some of the financial burden of her studies.

Marilyn Fuller with  Samira Sebt and Mehar Jaiswal, 2018 Scholarship recipients. (Not shown is Sara Valencia)

Marilyn Fuller with 2018 Scholarship recipient, Mehar Jaiswal

SARA VALENCIA – With an eye to go into Nursing, her goal is to study Biology. She would eventually like to become a Family Care Practitioner or Physician. Her main focus in life has always been to help others. This passion is evidenced by her many community volunteer activities which include tutoring children and teens, as well as her paid position at Kaiser Permanente, first as an intern and now, after a promotion, as an Administrative Services Coordinator. This scholarship will ease some of the financial burden of her family, which includes other college bound siblings.

SAMIRA SEBT – Her goal is a degree in Bioengineering with an eye toward a career in advancing medical devices such as prosthetics, improved hearing aids, or creating new drug delivery systems. She was able to put into action her knowledge of physics, from her studies thus far, as an intern with Nauto, which is a company dedicated to developing devices to monitor distracted drivers. Samira has demonstrated her deep dedication to her studies with her 4.0 GPA while at West Valley College. As an independent woman, she can make good use of the financial assistance this scholarship offers.

Thank you for your generosity through individual donations and funds from the English Tea which give these students extra support as they continue their education at university in the fall in pursuit of their STEM career goals!

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About the Committee

The committee is composed of educators or those who have worked in educational institutions.

  • Marilyn Fuller, Chair –  taught elementary and middle schools at three different CA districts for 34 years, the last 15 in Campbell Elementary School District.
  • Audry Lynch –  taught preschool, elementary, high school; 32 years as a counselor at an intermediate school and 25 years as a part time English instructor at Mission College.
  • Mara Otlans – has a finance background; worked 15 years as CFO for home builder responsible for financial reporting, strategic planning, marketing, accounting, and personnel.
  •  Karen Pock – taught fifth grade in the Foothill Elementary School, Saratoga Union School District for 36 years.
  • Diane Priest – taught school for 33 years and retired from the Saratoga Elementary School District.
  •  Julie Stevens,  – worked as an administrative assistant in the Department of Civil Environmental Engineering at Stanford.
  •  Sumi Tanabe – worked at West Valley, District Office of the Chancellor and retired as a manager at Mission College and taught part time Computer Applications for 20 years.
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Contact:

Chair: Marilyn Fuller, mdfuller1@aol.com