April 19, 2017

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

AAUW Valdosta Branch Wins State Presidents’ Award

The Valdosta branch of the American Association of University Women hosted its 2017 Sister-to-Sister Summit on March 4.

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) was recently named the first recipient of the AAUW of Georgia’s Presidents’ Award.

Yetta McMillan, co-president of the AAUW of Georgia, said that she created the Presidents’ Award “to highlight a branch that has gone above and beyond to touch [the] lives of young women and girls.” She added that the award is not an annual one. Rather, it is only given when a branch exceeds all expectations.

The Valdosta branch of the AAUW was recognized for its Sister-to-Sister Summit, an annual event that brings together diverse groups of adolescent girls to address issues that concern them. The 2017 event was held on March 4 and welcomed roughly 90 middle school girls from Lowndes and Brooks counties to the Valdosta State University campus for a full-day mentoring program. The theme was “I’m Possible.”

Beatriz Potter, president of the Valdosta branch of the AAUW, said that the focus of this year’s Sister-to-Sister Summit was on teaching the middle school girls that they have unlimited future choices when it comes to their personal, their academic, and their professional lives. Activities were designed to empower the girls to identify their options and opportunities, build and maintain positive self-esteem, and handle peer pressure, cyber bullying, and the limitations that society places on young women.  

“The AAUW of Georgia Presidents’ Award defines the combination of all the work that members have invested during the last 19 years to provide a life-changing experience through each Sister-to-Sister Summit,” Potter shared. “Now, we are looking forward to the planning of the 20th summit. Each year the summit energizes not only the girls attending but also all those who have participated in every aspect of the planning. The summit experience generates a positive charge in all the participants, which ignites new passion for creating the next year’s theme.”

The AAUW has been empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881. It brings people together for the common goal of breaking through educational and economic barriers for women and girls. It advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, the AAUW has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 branches and 800 college and university partners, including Valdosta State University. Collectively they work to analyze gender equity issues in education and the workplace; help shape the lives of the next generation of women leaders; level the playing field for girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; advocate for policies that advance equity for women and girls; support challenges to sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace; provide educational and lifelong learning opportunities for women; respond to the global development needs of women by helping them contribute to the economic and social development of their countries; fight to close the pay gap; and much more.

The Valdosta branch of the AAUW will be recognized at the AAUW of Georgia State Convention April 21-22 in Dunwoody.

Visit http://valdosta-ga.aauw.net/ to learn more.

NOTE: The Valdosta branch of the AAUW is comprised primarily of VSU faculty, staff, and alumni. The 2016-2017 list of active members includes Diana Acero, Patricia Barrett (membership vice president), Inday Bauer (program co-vice president), Cristina Calestani, Mariya Chakir, Vivian Cody, Rosetta Coyne, Sridevi Dasyam, Roxanne Lee Davis, Robyn Dinkins, Anna Hadbavny, Sheila Hall, Diane Carol Holliman (treasurer and immediate past president), Selensia Holmes (corresponding secretary), Christine James, Linda Jurczak, Hanae Kanno, Martha Leake, Patricia Marks, Quiana Martinez, Bettye McClendon, Anita Ondrusek, Ericka Parra (recording secretary), Betty Paulk, Elena Ponder, Jessica Pope, Beatriz Pena Potter (president), Xiaoai Ren, Beverley Richardson-Blake (program co-vice president), Patricia Rozier, and Mary Helen Watson.