AAUW Florida began in 1929 and has been active ever since. Thirteen years earlier in 1916 a group of Tampa women organized as a branch of the Southern Association of College Women. It was the only branch in the state until 1923 when a Tallahassee group organized a second branch. The two groups were joined by St. Petersburg in 1924, and then followed by Jacksonville, Miami, Gainesville, Pensacola, and Sarasota in 1926, Hollywood in 1927 and Central Florida (now Orlando-Winter Park) in 1928. These branches were the founding branches of AAUW Florida. Over the years the number of branches has varied as has the total membership. Presently we have 39 branches with a total branch membership of approximately 2,500 and there are another 1000 AAUW members living in Florida who are not affiliated with a branch.
Tech Trek Camp News
The 3rd annual Tech Trek Florida Camp will take place on the Eckerd College campus in St. Petersburg, Florida June 27 – July 3, 2015. Shirley Reid, Camp Director for 2014 and her volunteer team report that it was very successful thanks to all who contributed in some measure. The girls, all entering 8th grade in September 2014, thought it was an awesome experience. From building model bridges, designing roller coasters, programming robotic cars, being a marine biologist for a day and exploring wind power, what did these girls have in common? They are all experienced science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)!
The 44 girls out of 110 applicants representing 21 branches have been notified that been chosen to attend the 2015 camp. They have all accepted their invitations to attend the camp.. This year the camp will offer a course in coding and application development thanks to the generosity of Verizon.
If you want to be involved as a student counselor, or volunteer your time and talent please in some other way contact Shirley at firstname.lastname@example.org.We ask that all branches in Florida to participate in this effort through sponsorships and volunteers.
It is important to raise funds to make the TechTrek camp a successful endeavor. It takes $900 to send one girl to camp. You can contribute directly at http://www.aauw.org/program-gift/?treatment=TECHTREK or send your check to Carol Newnam, 906 Golden Beach Blvd., Venice, FL 34285, noting that it is for Florida Tech Trek. This is a statewide collaborative effort and you can help by volunteering and/or contributing The first check came from the Fort Myers/Lee County Branch. How soon will you or your branch contribute, too?.
Do you remember what campus life was like? We need “dorm Moms” too. Don’t miss out on getting engaged with FL AAUW and STEM! We need YOU!
For more information about the TechTrek program read About Florida Tech Trek 2015.
Public Policy Impact Grant for 2014-2015
AAUW Florida has been awarded a Public Policy Impact Grant for 2104-2015. The primary issue is Equal Pay with a secondary issue of Human Trafficking. We held an advocacy Day in Tallahassee on March 18th. Branch members were asked to meet with elected officials in January and February regarding Equal Pay and our other public policy priorities. Florida AAUW members participated in the Twitterstorm Sunday January 11th.
Getting Out the Vote is an important element of the grant. sending letters to the editor about Equal Pay and Human Trafficking and talking with legislators about these two items that are of great concern to women. Read the Public Policy Impact Grant‘s Action Plan to learn how you can incorporate appropriate actions into your branch plans.
On-Going Statewide Activities That Assist Branches
- AAUW Florida sends out AAUW Florida Action Alerts as needed during the Florida Legislative session. If you would like to become a subscriber to these Action Alerts, please email Diane Schrier, State Public Policy Chair and ask to have your name added to the list. Write AAUW Florida Action Alert in the subject line. The Action Alerts advise subscribers when an important issue included in our public policy program is about to be heard in a committee or voted upon in a legislative session.
- Branches may apply for mini-grants of up to $500 for special branch projects. The funds requested must be matched by branch funds, monetary contributions or in-kind contributions.
- Branches may also invite an AAUW member from a branch in another part of the state to speak to share their expertise and/or experience of in an area of particular interest to the branch. The state will pay for the speaker’s travel expenses if the branch applies for funding through the Leader-on-Loan program.
We publish a newsletter, FloriVision, twice a year and have a Facebook page. Please visit our Facebook page and like us!
Branch Activities that Benefit Girls and Women
Many of our branches are located in communities where there are PACE Centers for Girls and are active in supporting these centers by volunteering their services, donating needed materials and supplies, making financial contributions and/or serving on their boards of directors. PACE Centers are for teenage girls who have lost their way and fallen behind in school. Girls that attend PACE, a free program, improve their grades, graduate, go on to college or begin careers thanks to a caring staff, teachers, and personal counselors. Other branches support local girls organizations by contributing needed supplies and materials. Still others are very involved with activities such as the Academic Olympics, Math Superstars, Reading is Fundamental, STEM workshops for girls of various ages, or work in local precincts during national, state and local elections, etc. Most of our branches raise funds for the AAUW Funds (Educational Opportunities, Eleanor Roosevelt, Legal Advocacy, Public Policy and Leadership Programs). Many branches also raise money to award scholarships to local women needing financial assistance to complete their work toward Associate of Arts or Bachelors degrees. The qualifications for the scholarships and the amounts of financial assistance vary from branch to branch. We are committed to the AAUW Mission and the Public Policy Action Program established at the June 2013 Convention in New Orleans, LA. Please download and print the 2013-2015 brochure. The AAUW Florida Public Policy Program was updated in April 2014. Read or download the AAUW-Florida 2014-2016 Public Policy Program. You may also download the Public policy cover dated April 2014
Other Items of Interest
Read this eye opening report on Human Trafficking written by Mary Palomar a member of Florida’s West Pasco Branch. Learn about the National Women’s History Museum and look at the online exhibits. The museum has private funding to build a museum on the National Mall in Washington, but needs to have congressional approval to purchase the land for the building. Sign the petition on the home page to ask the Senate to support the bill that will enable the museum to purchase the land at no expense to taxpayers. If the bi-monthly Mission & Action e-Bulletin isn’t arriving in your email you may read the most recent issue and older issues at http://www.aauw.org/resource/aauw-mission-action/.
View AAUW’s calendar of events by visiting the AAUW website at www.aauw.org.