DOWNEY - The Downey branch of the American Association of University Women held its final meeting Saturday, shutting down after 55 years due to declining membership.The chapter launched in 1957, providing scholarships to Cerritos College female graduates who transferred to a four-year college or university. For many years Dr. Mary Stauffer would match the scholarships. The club, however, struggled to attract new, younger members and funding the annual scholarships became difficult. Membership this year was at 20. Before they officially folded Saturday, the chapter handed out seven scholarships to local women, including Phung Duong (Cal State Long Beach), Oralia Ojeda (UCLA), Sun Kim (UCLA), Nicole Gonzalez (UCLA), Danielle Horseman (UC Riverside), Anne Kelemen (Cal State Long Beach) and Elizabeth Azubuike (UC Riverside). "In 1957 the AAUW Downey branch was organized to promote equity for women and girls, and life-long education and positive societal change," the chapter said in a statement. "It is very disappointing to report that after 55 years the awarding of the scholarships and goals cannot continue due to the lack of new membership. No young ones seem to want to get enrolled."
********** Published: September 13, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 22