2019 Displaced Women's Scholarship Awardee Summaries

A bit about this scholarship…

One of the most lovely things about a women’s organization is that our supporters involve their families from the start. There is an intergenerational draw—women bring their kids to play as they mentor, daughters bring their mothers to meet our executive staff and link their family foundation to our work.

That is how we met the wonderful donor behind the Displaced Women’s Scholarship Fund—through her daughter—women committed to helping women with hearts and hands. Their family trusted us to setup the scholarship and we are proud to present their stories here.

We at Women of the World knew exactly what to do with these funds, how to apply them to where the need was greatest, where we had a unique niche. Women immigrants and asylum seekers have very little access to funds for education. These hard working women are often in impossible Catch-22’s, unable to work while asylum paperwork is being filled and unable to improve on their impressive skills and education in this forced downtime due to lack of funds. For immigrants and Dreamers, demagoguery threatens their access to opportunities in a tragic refrain of xenophobia that one would think a scientifically advanced liberal democracy would have overcome by now. As you will see from the below summaries of our awardees stories, their perseverance matches their intelligence and made them terrific ambassadors for this scholarship in specific and for equal roles for our new neighbors in general.

(All summaries have been made anonymous to protect the vitality of our awardees. If you would like to support women like those highlighted below, please Donate To Women of the World or Shop At Our Online Store on this site.)

Purpose of the Fund

The Foundation may use the Fund to provide women refugee, asylum seekers, and immigrants and their American born daughters residing in the state of Utah with funds to support their pursuit of education, technical training or certification through a qualified program. Special consideration may be given to applicants that had no opportunity for higher education in their countries of origin.

With a closing application date of March 1st, 2019, the Displaced Women’s Education Fund of Utah received 22 applications during its open period in this inaugural year. Of those applications, six women were awarded scholarships for summer or fall 2019 tuition costs. TOTAL AWARDED FOR SUMMER AND FALL 2019 TUITION COSTS: $16,000.

Peruvian Immigrant, University of Utah, Masters in Accounting

She moved from Peru to America when she was 4 years old and has witnessed her mother working hard to provide for her family ever since. She is passionate about her studies in Accounting and is involved in the Beacon’s Scholar Program and First Ascent Program. She is working part time in her field, while going to school full time. She has received a Home Town Scholarship, she will be interning with Ernst and Young in hopes of ending the summer with a job offer upon the completion of her degree. 

Mexican Immigrant, University of Utah, Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy

She is an immigrant from Mexico who is currently a teacher at a dual-language school in Salt Lake. She is pursuing a Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy to achieve her goal of becoming a Principal and helping push for more 90/10 elementary schools. She has seen the success for the students in these schools and wants to make them more accessible for children whose success will depend on the resources provided to them at that age. She is extremely involved in her school, as the Teacher Representative for the Board of Governors, Vice Chair of Community Council, representative on the school’s Leadership Board, and as an attendee at every accessible conference/training offered in the area. She cannot apply for scholarships at the U until she has completed her 1styear. As a single mom of two kids, who works full time and is attending grad school full time. 

International Student from Uganda, Salt Lake Community College, Associates in Pre-Health Sciences – Nursing

She has applied her passion for education and nursing to get to this point in her educational goals. As an international student, she has higher tuition fees with more restrictive access to scholarships, so she applies for many scholarships, sells crafts, and fundraises to afford her full-time tuition. She returns to Uganda every year to assist with three programs she helps run: Interethnic Health Alliance, art therapy for refugee and street children, and assisting with school resources for girls in the Torro district. Her goal is to get her Associates, then go to University of Utah for her Nursing Degree, and finally pursue a Nurse Practitioner’s degree. Once her educational goals are achieved, and she has worked to give back to this community, she hopes to move home to Uganda and train other women to help with nursing skills in the health field. 

DACA student from Mexico, University of Utah, Bachelors in Linguistics

She is a DACA recipient studying Linguistics, with the intent to then pursue a Masters Degree in Human Rights or Forensic Linguistics. Her family is from Mexico and moved to Canada when she was very young, in order to provide her with the best Deaf community education they could find. They ended up needing to leave Canada and came to Utah. As the first Deaf student at the University of Utah in a long time, she has seen many challenges, but also looks at it as an opportunity to encourage other Deaf persons to accomplish their goals if it includes a 4 year hearing university. Her interest in Linguistics is driven by her passion for bridging the sometimes devastating gap in communication between police and legal departments and the Deaf community. She is now working three jobs to be able to afford her tuition. This scholarship would have a huge impact on her ability to manage her work schedule to allow for the time she also needs to dedicate to her studies. 

Immigrant from Mexico, Salt Lake Community College, Associates in Pre-Health Sciences – Nursing

She is attending SLCC with the goal of moving on to Nursing school. She is passionate about a career in healthcare, as it is an effective field to give back to the community. It also would allow her to work with her second passion, translation. With her current language skills, along with her current efforts to learn French, she hopes to provide the best care as a nurse who is able to help translate for the hospital’s patients. Right now, she and her father work to pay for her tuition. They are limited in funds and must pay unit by unit. These funds will allow her to move closer to a full-time student status. She gives back by working with Amigos Mentores, a mentoring program that assists younger students in accessing educational opportunities and resources for success. 

DACA student from Mexico, Salt Lake Community College, B.S. is Social Work

She is a DACAmented, queer Latina who is unable to apply for tuition waivers or federal financial aid due to her status. She has been estranged from her family due to her sexual orientation, and relies on her hard work and close-knit community to succeed. She is a social work major and will be graduating with her Associate's degree in the year 2020. After that, she plans on continuing her education at the University of Utah. Her end goal is a doctorate, allowing her to serve her community, and all those who identify with any aspect of her story. She holds two jobs to afford school, and this scholarship, in conjunction with the Bruin Dreams scholarship will allow her to relax her work hours and focus more time on studying and progressing in her educational goals. She has been working with organizations like International Rescue Committee and Open Door Enrichment Services to give back to vulnerable populations in her own community.