University studies students awarded scholarships

The Penobscot Valley Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has named three recipients of the Non-Traditional Women Scholarships for the spring 2018 semester.

To be considered for the $500 award, students must have had at least a four-year break in their education, be enrolled as a degree student at UMaine or another college in the area, and have good academic standing with at least 20 completed credit hours. The AAUW also looks for those who demonstrate perseverance in pursuing their academic goals, whether overcoming personal barriers or balancing family and work with their studies.

The spring 2018 AAUW Non-Traditional Women Scholarship awardees — Nancy DesJardin, Natascia LaVerde and Anna Caballero — are students in the Bachelor of University Studies (BUS) program at UMaine.

DesJardin of Winterport returned to school after raising her son and running her own beautician studio. She says she was thrilled to be accepted in the BUS program and after graduation hopes to do humanitarian work such as health coaching or teaching nutritious food preparation, which reflects her commitment to community volunteering and her “love of feeding people.”

LaVerde, who is in her final semester, wrote in her letter of application that the award would help her as she balances working, studying and family time. She is a work-study student at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast and focuses on history, which she hopes will lead to work in historic preservation. She has applied for an internship with Portland Landmarks and intends to pursue graduate work.

Caballero has served as a sign language interpreter for many years while raising three children, who have all chosen careers in education. Before returning to college, she worked for adult education programs in the Orono area. Caballero’s BUS concentration emphasizes leadership skills since she wants to open her own practice training group home staff and others in social service fields. Pursuing a master’s degree is part of her future plans.

Barbara Howard, director of the Bachelor of University Studies program, was once a recipient of the award. She appreciated the support in her educational pursuits.

More information about the Penobscot Valley Branch of the AAUW is online.