BRATTLEBORO -- The Brattleboro branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded four college scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year. Three high school graduates and one mature women, already pursuing higher education, received $1,000 each. These scholarships are funded in part by the AAUW Annual Book Sale which will be held this year on Sept. 4, 5 and 6 at Centre Congregational Church.
The Leland & Gray Union High School recipient was Brittany Bills. She will attend the University of Maine at Machias to major in Marine Biology. During her high school years, Brittany served on the yearbook committee, sang in the chorus, and exhibited in her own art show. She raised funds for a playground reconstruction and for her school related travels to London, Paris, and Italy. She played on the varsity soccer team and was captain one year. She was often on the honor roll and was top of her class in Chinese, physical education, and art. Following the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene she helped in community clean up, particularly for a local business.
The Twin Valley High School recipient was Christine Reilly. She will attend Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pa., to major in English, preparing to teach at the secondary school level. She is a four-year honor student and in the National Honor Society. Other recognitions include: Excellence in French, Actor of the Year, Superior rating in Musical Theatre, and participation in District Choir and District Jazz Choir.
The Brattleboro Union High School recipient was Olivia Siegel. She will attend Goucher College to study international relations planning for a career in foreign service. Her international experiences include a month in Northeast China being a recipient of the Merchant’s Bank Scholarship for the Experiment in International Living, and a class field study in Northern Ireland. She is leader of Brattleboro’s all-female a capella group, she sings in the Madrigals, and has performed at nursing homes and benefit concerts. She has been a recipient of the Choral Leadership Award, the Latin Leadership Award and the Theatre Garrick Award at BUHS.
The Mature Woman recipient was Crystal Durocher. She will attend Vermont Technical College in the Associate Degree Program for Registered Nurse. Following high school Durocher married, raised two daughters and, whenever she could, studied and worked first as a nurses aide and then as an LPN in a variety of settings, most recently at Grace Cottage Hospital. In particular she valued work in a Hospice program because it allowed her to adapt her nursing skills to the unique needs of each patient. During her LPN study she volunteered in Louisiana for Hurricane Katrina relief in makeshift clinics, animal shelters, and in other forms of individual and community service.
AAUW is a national organization devoted to advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.