September 2016 – November 2016: AAUW Awards Tech Trek Scholarships

Fall is the time of year when most branches come back together after the summer holiday, ready to see friends, plan meetings and events, meet the Tech Trek participants, and begin their year.

The Highlight of our September meeting is to see the Tech Trek participants and hear their stories, what activities they were involved in, their favorite moments.  It is something our Branch, and many across the nation, enjoy doing to support and encourage young girls towards expanding their horizons, perhaps one day going to college and pursuing careers in the STEM occupations.

AAUW Awards Tech Trek Scholarships

SANTA MARIA TIMES – August 6, 2016

Contributed photo. Scholarship winners to Tech Trek were Machuca, Caitlin Lynn, Estefania Cerna, Joelene Velasco, Leslie Lopez, Lluvia Reyes, Victoria Laurel and Dominique Casteel, from left.

The American Association of University Women — Santa Maria Branch awarded full scholarships to several seventh-grade girls to attend Tech Trek at UCSB in July.
The weeklong, all expenses paid, science and math camp is designed to develop interest, excitement and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in math, science and related fields.
This year’s winners were Ivet Machuca, Caitlin Lynn, Estefania Cerna, Joelene Velasco, Leslie Lopez, Lluvia Reyes, Victoria Laurel and Dominique Casteel.
The students were nominated by their math and science teachers and interviewed by an AAUW-SM committee. For Tech Trek, the Santa Maria Branch of AAUW targets the underserved population of the local community, particularly those young women who will be the first in their family to attend college. It is believed that a one-week residence experience on a college campus will increase the likelihood that these young women will pursue higher education.
Another activity is sharing with newcomers and visitors all the plans, programs, and groups that our Branch offers to our members, including Book Groups, Drama Group, Wanderers, Great Decisions, and more.
October, the meeting was about the Dana Adobe – Stories of the Rancho – with speaker Helen Daurio.  Helen is a gifted storyteller, which everyone enjoyed.  She can be seen at the Dana Adobe in Nipomo, telling stories of the early settlers of the Nipomo Rancho.
November the meeting was about: What are CALM, CASA and NRCCPC and why are they important?  We had 3 representatives, one from each organization, who told us about these organizations and what critical services they provide to women and children in Santa Maria who are in crisis.
With presenters from each of the three organizations, we learned the Mission of each and how it is implemented in our community.
The Mission of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Santa Barbara County is to assure a safe, permanent, nurturing home for every abused and/or neglected child by providing a highly trained volunteer to advocate for them in the court system.
CALM’s (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) vision is a world where child abuse no longer exists. Until then, our prevention & treatment services help children in our community live healthier and happier lives.
The National Resource Center for Child Protective Services (NRCCPS) is committed to improving outcomes for children and families by helping public child welfare agencies improve child protection practice.  Through the lens of Implementation Science we design technical assistance that is tailored and specific to each jurisdiction.