Twelve young women on Whidbey Island were recently awarded $900 scholarships from the Whidbey Island Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW).
The 12 winners who received scholarships during a gathering at First Methodist Church in Oak Harbor on Saturday, Sept. 9 were: Sarah Aree (Clinton), Elisabeth Findley (Langley), Emma Gossler (Clinton), Maggie Nattress (Langley), Kayli Bobson (Oak Harbor), Haven Lemme (Oak Harbor), Dulce McClure (Oak Harbor), Maile Rivers (Oak Harbor), Alexis San Angelo (Oak Harbor), Morgan Stevens (Coupeville), Audrey Taylor (Oak Harbor) and Grace Waite (Oak Harbor).
The girls participated in a week-long camp in July at Pacific Lutheran University and Eastern Washington University, known as Tech Trek, leading up to the awards ceremony. The camp is designed for girls between grades 7-8 who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects. The girls were required to complete an application, write an essay and be interviewed in order to be selected for the camp.
The students lived in dorms on the campus and participated in classes and labs, while they also took fields trips focusing on robotics, genetics, chemistry, marine biology, cybersecurity, coding and more. The field trips took them to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Mount Rainier, Washington State University’s Spokane School of Medicine, Harbor WildWatch in Gig Harbor and the Turnbull Wildlife Refuge.
The scholarship funds supporting the program were raised by the local branch of the American Association of University Women. Also making contributions were the ARISE Charitable Trust in Freeland and Christina Moats, owner of Christina’s Island Real Estate.
The American Association of University Women is meant to advance equity for women and girls through education, philanthropy and research, according to a press release.