BALLWIN CHESTERFIELD BRANCH HISTORY
FOUNDING OF THE BRANCH
The Ballwin-Chesterfield Branch was founded in 1981 as the Lafayette Area Branch with 41 charter members and the plan to meet during the day. We have grown steadily, averaging over 200 members.
PROGRAMS AND MEETINGS
At each branch meeting, the Program Committee is committed to presenting speakers on mission-based topics that capture the interest of our members, while focusing on the goals that reflect the mission statement of AAUW. Diverse programs and speakers for topics related to social justice, health care, economic well being, diversity, gender and educational equity, human rights, international affairs, and public policy are featured.
Throughout the year, members participate in a variety of interest groups, such as bridge groups, book groups, a Play Readers group, a Movie group, Creative Expressions, Out-to-Lunch, “Munching Matters” and Golf.
ACTIVITIES – FUNDRAISING
Supporting the AAUW Fund and awarding local scholarships for mature women returning to college traditionally is an important part of branch efforts. Our successful program, Dollars for Scholars, raises scholarship funds through member-sponsored activities. Through these efforts, money is contributed to the AAUW Fund, and scholarships are provided to women attending University of Missouri-St. Louis, Pierre Laclede Honors College at UMSL, and Maryville University. In 2015-16, the branch began a “continuing book sales fair” to raise funds. This successful project received a ten-star award from AAUW MO.
In keeping with AAUW’s emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and careers for girls and women, Ballwin-Chesterfield has long made STEM a focus. Beginning in 2014, we have recognized five junior women at Valley Park High School as STEM Girls of Promise. Each receives a medal, a certificate and a small cash award at a recognition breakfast at the school for them and their parents. In 2015 we added Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School to our STEM Girls of Promise and hold a similar breakfast there. In 2017 Valley Park High School was added.
Ballwin-Chesterfield has been well represented by enthusiastic and sizable delegations to all state, regional, and national meetings from 1997 to the present. Members have served as officers and board members of AAUW MO.
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