The American Association of University Women Vero Beach Branch celebrated its 50th anniversary in March, 2014.
It all began in 1964, When Lenore Feibel and Dorothy Forbes moved to Vero Beach, missed their former AAUW chapters and became INVOLVED. They organized a tea, which 65 women attended. At the first meeting, held at the Women’s Club, 54 charter members joined the new branch. Now the third largest of 42 state branches, the Vero Beach group promotes a love for learning and is dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls.
For going on six decades, local members of the AAUW have supported educational and philanthropic activity. In past years, the branch involved children in theater and the arts, created holiday parties for clients of the Sheltered Workshops for the handicapped, held GED graduations at the Indian River Correctional Facility and Vero Beach High School and supported the Safe Space Shelter.
Here are some of the current, ongoing branch outreach and cooperative activities:
- Five book review breakfasts, free and open to the public
- Tutoring programs to adults for ESL, literacy and citizenship through Literacy Services
- Mentoring in and out of elementary schools through Big Brother, Big Sister
- Cooperatively sponsor an all-day STEM Summit at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute to encourage local middle school girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math
- Organized a week-long STEM Camp for middle schoolers
- Volunteer and judge at annual Science Fair; present two AAUW awards
- Founded an affiliated student organization of AAUW on the Indian River State College IRSC campus after attending the National Conference of College Women Student Leaders in Washington, DC
- Held non-partisan political forums for candidates running for office
- Conducted voter education program encouraging women 18-30 to vote
- Fundraisers and member contributions provide annual $1200 scholarships and stipends for four women attending IRSC annually since 1971. An endowed scholarship at IRSC currently awards approximately $500 annually
- Funded two national endowments: The Lenore Feibel Fund has generated $90,000 for research. The Jannetta MacPhail/Harriet Strong National Endowment provides $75,000 for graduate scholarships
- Founded Annual Senior Expo to bring community services resources and information for seniors conveniently together in one venue
- Received a grant to develop an anti-bulling, self-esteem building video, Let Go, used in classrooms across the state
AAUW Vero Beach Branch proudly stands on the shoulders of strong women who came before us. Please get INVOLVED by joining our ongoing efforts to help women and girls!