American Association of University Women (AAUW) West Chester-Chester County Branch members are celebrating 60 years of supporting women and girls. The AAUW mission, focused on advancing equity for women and girls through education, advocacy, philanthropy and research, has been fulfilled in many ways by local branch members.
In education: Members started the Teenage Parent Program (TAP), Reading is FUNdamental (RIF), held Educational Equity Roundtables, sponsored the Bookshelf project, Project Piggy Bank, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), and Let’s Read Math. They continue to support Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT), Parents/Educators Exploring Technology (PETT), and provide an Alice Lawson Scholarship annually to a non-traditional female student more than 25 years of age whose college education has been interrupted by employment, finances and/or family obligations.
In advocacy: Members worked on Protecting the Rights of Youth, Speaking Out and Being Heard, a Warm Line for new mothers, and supported the Chester County Women’s Coalition. They started the West Chester Recycling Center, Imagine the Possibilities program, put together a Chester County Program Resources Guide, and continue to offer Pay Equity and Start Smart programs.
In philanthropy and research: Members worked with the Philadelphia Global Water Initiative (PGWI), Wings for Success, Dawn’s Place, the Legal Aid Society of Southeastern PA, Phoenixville Women’s Outreach and The House, Women in Politics, West Chester University Resource Pantry, Girl Scout Leadership Tea, and Decade to Doorways Homeless Prevention. They continue to support many of the local charitable organizations, such as the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, Chestier County Fund for Women and Girls, Black Women of Chester County in Action (BWCCA), Harriett Jarosh Environmental Education Fund, Laundromat Library League, Community Youth and Women’s Alliance (CYWA), Friends Assn. for the Care and Protection of Children, Safe Harbor, Home of the Sparrow, and Family Service of Chester County.
“We've been deeply committed to our mission and to West Chester and Chester County,” says AAUW Chester County Branch co-president Deb Lizwek, “and we plan to continue this commitment for many years to come.”