Focus on Scholarships

The AAUW-LB Scholarship Committee, chaired by Miriam Kranser and Nancy Lawrence, has been expanding. For many years both Miriam and Nancy have attended the scholarship ceremonies at Laguna Beach High School and Saddleback College to award the scholarships. The UCI scholarship for returning women is coordinated by Barbara Hamkalo. Recently the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) scholarship has been added, and Lesley Danziger coordinates it. Last year we sent a representative from LCAD and from Orange Coast College to this national leadership conference at the University of Maryland.

   All scholarships are funded through the AAUW Laguna Beach Foundation, our 501c3 public charity.



Miriam Kramer, Belinda Orozco, Nancy Lawrence


Belinda Orozco, one of the scholarship winners, shared her experiences and commitment to education at the June 25 Branch meeting. Overcoming a background of poverty and abuse, Belinda said the scholarship would greatly impact her life and relieve some of her daily struggles. In addition to being a full time student, she has two jobs.  Belinda proudly announced that her daughter, who was in attendance, was the valedictorian this year.  Members at the event were touched by meeting and listening to Belinda’s story about the impact of this scholarship on her life and also meeting her daughter.

Ashley Zieman

Ashley Zieman, another scholarship winner, was unable to attend the branch meeting because of a family emergency. Her vow to not become a victim of circumstances motivated her to return to college after the birth of her child in an abusive relationship. She said that she refuses to quit.  Grateful for the scholarship, she said it alleviates her fear of living paycheck to paycheck and allows her to continue to invest in the community and her family.

Miriam Kranser, Kaleigh Shi, Nancy Lawrence

Kaleigh Shi, a single mom, juggles a shoestring budget, but she is determined to make it in computer science. She said the field is difficult enough without the gender bias that computer science brings, and it is time to revolutionize how the field views the women in it.  Her passion is to bring a better life to her child.