Wilkes University graduate student Yosara Gonzalez of Hazle Township, Pa., is the recipient of a career development grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Gonzalez is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in middle level education with a focus on English/language arts at Wilkes. She will seek academic work and lead innovative community projects to empower women and girls as a result of the grant. Gonzalez is a bilingual liaison for the Hazleton Area School District.
Career development grants provide funding to women who hold bachelor’s degrees and are preparing to advance or change careers or reenter the workforce. Primary consideration is given to women of color and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentials in nontraditional fields.
“I’m very thankful to get this opportunity to expand my career,” Gonzalez says. “I am mother to three children. I have a 19-month-old baby girl, and two boys, six- and seven-years old. I loved my career as an architect and artist, but more than anything, now in this stage of my life, I want to learn all the necessary skills to be able to teach my children and others in the community the wonderful fulfillment received from expressing yourself through language and arts.”
AAUW is one of the world’s oldest leading supporters of graduate women’s education. Since 1888, it has awarded more than $115 million in fellowships, grants and awards to 13,000 recipients from more than 145 countries. For the 2019–20 academic year, AAUW awarded more than $4 million in fellowships and grants to roughly 260 scholars, research projects and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls.
“In the 130 years that AAUW has been providing funding, our fellows and grantees have contributed so much to their schools, their communities and to society at large,” says Kim Churches, chief executive officer of AAUW. “We know that this year’s recipients will continue in that esteemed tradition, and we are honored to provide the resources they need to excel in their academic work – and to ultimately make a difference in the world.”
AAUW empowers women and girls through research, education and advocacy. The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic and political. AAUW’s fellowships and grants have helped scholars and activists overcome barriers to education and advancement for 130 years.
The master’s degree in middle level education prepares students to teach fourth through eighth grades in particular content areas including math, science, English/language arts and social studies. Candidates can go on to apply for Pennsylvania middle-level teaching certification. The program is offered in an online format.