Debra McArthur of the Parkville Branch and IBC Reentry Chair hosted this virtual celebration on Saturday, April 17. Debra introduced the keynote speaker Joni Wickham, chief of staff in former Mayor Sly James’ office. Joni is the author of the book, The Thin Line Between Cupcake/Bitch: Taking Action, Driving Change and Getting Results. The title reflects encapsulating the conflict and tensions women in politics often experience in an older, white male dominated world. Her personal experiences inspired her to develop the thesis of the book which is that women should use their POWER to overcome bias vis-a-viz Preparation, Ownership, Wisdom, Energy, Emotion and Respect. She explained in detail with a slide presentation the concept of POWER and ended her presentation by congratulating the Reentry award winners and encouraging them to use their own power in the fulfillment of their goals.
Debra introduced the IBC scholarship winners, all of whom are nursing students. They include: Electra Arzola, Park University; Angela Bennet, Maple Woods; Adra Sanchez, Blue River MCC; and Tomisha Woodruff, UMKC.
The Toni Thornton Award recipients were congratulated by John Thornton who explained the background of the award, a legacy provided by his deceased wife whose name honors the award and who figured very prominently in AAUW. The winners are Argelia Fagre-Rivas, a student at KCKCC in the respiratory therapy nursing program, and Emily Holmes, also a student at KCKCC in the nursing program.
The Reentry scholarships were awarded to two more students this year! The additional funds were provided through the gracious donation of AAUW-KC, due to the disruption in the face-to-face program for 100 High School Girls. The recipients are Amanda Kuhn and Patricia Stover, both KCKCC students. Amanda is an accounting student and Patricia is enrolled in the medical assistant program.
The program ended on a high note with congratulations to all the outstanding and deserving recipients and a fervent hope by Debra that the awards ceremony can be held in person next year!