California State University, Long Beach
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Women and Philanthropy Makes Direct Impact On Students

Published: March 3, 2014

For some, receiving a scholarship from Women and Philanthropy (W&P) is a humbling experience. For others, it’s just a reminder of how far they have come. No matter what, it’s clear the program has made a difference for many.

For the 15th consecutive year, Women and Philanthropy at CSULB has awarded scholarships to re-entry students. Since its inception in 1998, the program has given out 161 student scholarships totaling more than $275,000 to reentry students as well as those pursuing research and creative scholarships. This year, 12 students received financial support from the organization.

This year’s recipients are May Hey, a dietetics/food administration major; Hailey Sharer, a biology education major; Ana Roman, a psychology and chicano/Latino Studies major; Nancy Trujillo and Charina Fabilane, biochemistry majors; Seng Sarret, a psychology major; Kaycee Villarreal, a biological sciences major; Jeanette Younger, a management information systems/business administration major; Clanetta Kline, a social work major; Azere Wilson, an English Education major; Amanda Acklen, a women’s, gender and sexuality studies major; and Thaddeus Feese, an economics major.

Current co-chair of the organization, Marilyn Anania, reflected on the impact of W&P on her own life by her involvement in it.

“Women & Philanthropy is an organization that reminds me of how far I’ve come because I have an education,” she said. “To be able to support students struggling to establish a secure future for themselves by providing funds to assist them on their journey is a privilege. Meeting and working with the women of this organization has provided for me personally an enrichment of spirit and an enthusiasm I didn’t have before for the university and all the good that it does. I’m very proud to be part of this wonderful group of women.”

Victoria Storberg is a CSULB alumna, who received a W&P Re-entry Scholarship in 2007, the same year she completed her bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a certificate in Therapeutic Recreation. Today, she is a member of the organization.

“When I received the Re-entry Scholarship from Women & Philanthropy in 2007 I was humbled,” she said. “Here was a group of women who recognized me for my academic accomplishments and my perseverance, what an amazing day that was.”

Storberg, who graduated as the CSULB Outstanding Graduate in the College of Health and Human Services and works as a rehabilitation therapist, didn’t forget the help she received from the organization.

Women's History Campus Events
Women and Philanthropy board members Norma Brandel Gibbs (l) and Lynn Hermstad at a Feb. 4 event at the Miller House.

“I joined Women and Philanthropy right after graduating CSULB in 2007 because I wanted to give a student the same opportunity I received,” she said. “I continue my membership with Women and Philanthropy because we make a direct impact on students’ lives. It is at the scholarship receptions that we hear from the student on just how impactful our scholarship has been and it can bring tears to your eyes.”

To qualify for a scholarship, individuals must be undergraduates with a five-year break in their education progress, 25 years of age or older, presently enrolled in six or more units, have an overall grade point average of 2.5 and the ability to demonstrate financial need.

“There are so many things I love about Women and Philanthropy,” said Grace Knight, current co-chair with Anania. “First, the women in the group are so warm and inviting. There are no egos or conflicts, we’re all in this for the same reason. Second, the scholarship applicants are so inspirational. They truly want to better themselves, despite unbelievable obstacles. Finally, we are able to make a difference in someone’s life. For me, that is everything. How lucky am I?”

Women and Philanthropy was formed in 1998 to create opportunities for students who have demonstrated a commitment to academic success, an intellectual curiosity, and innovative spirit. Made up of alumnae and friends of the university, members make financial contributions to the university to support scholarships and volunteer their time on campus in areas corresponding to their individual interests.

For additional information regarding the scholarships or membership in Women and Philanthropy, call Allison Ohanian at 562/985-2800.

–Shayne Schroeder