The Women’s Resource Center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to engaging, educating, enriching and empowering women of all generations, awarded 22 scholarships of $1,000 each at a ceremony in Sarasota on May 20. Betty Schoenbaum, longtime supporter of the WRC Scholarship Fund, was in attendance to witness the recipients receive their scholarships. This year’s class represented women who are pursuing degrees in various fields of study—from nursing to psychology.

During the presentation, Brenda Parker, WRC board member and scholarship committee chair, shared heartfelt words about her experience as a professional woman—doing everything on her own and thinking she had to be a “Superwoman.” Parker encouraged the WRC Scholars to ask for a little help when they need it. “Webelieve women are the heart of the family and families are the backbone of our community. When the women of our community are strong and self-sufficient, the impact is far-reaching.” Parker congratulated mother-daughter recipients Nathalie Barr, a Betty Schoenbaum Family Foundation Scholarship recipient, and Natalya Green, a Dr. Elinor Crawford Scholarship recipient, who are each pursuing a degree in nursing.  “I love helping people who are in need and that’s what inspired me to goto nursing school,” Barr said.

Natasha Logan, a Dr. Elinor Crawford Scholarship recipient, shared her story of overcoming obstacles to achieve her goals to obtain her bachelor’s degree in nursing. “It’s inspiring to know that not only my friends and family, but also my community, supports me in pursuing my dreams,” she said.

“Each of these courageous women has demonstrated great drive and adetermination to achieve their highest potential,” says Ashley Brown, president and CEO of the Women’s Resource Center. “We are proud to support their hard work and perseverance. As women improve their education and training, their earning abilities increase. Through our scholarships and programs, we are creating opportunities for these women and their families. These scholarships make a real difference in our community.”

The Women’s Resource Center’s annual scholarship program is made possible through contributions of its members and donors. Since 1997, the Women’s Resource Center Scholarship Fund has awarded $725,000 to WRC Scholars.

Applicants must demonstrate a financial need, hold a high school diploma or a GED equivalent, and should be pursuing an undergraduate degree or certification program at a vocational, two-year, or four-year institution.

I admire you all,” said Schoenbaum, who contributed funds for 10 scholarships this year. She gave the recipients her well-known heart-to-heart hug.“You juggle your time with families, jobs and school and some of you are even starting new careers mid-life. This is one of the best days of my year.

The 2017 Women’s Resource Center Scholarship Fund committee included Brenda Parker, chair, and Ellen Akhavein, Ed.D., Jamie Aymerich, Lillian Elliot, Pauldie Howrigan, Deborah Kostroun, Liz Mercer, Eva Rickert, Madeline Ross, Kaylea Schule, and Pam Truitt.