The AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. In support of this mission, the Atascadero Branch of AAUW awards scholarships annually to women who have completed one year or more of college at an accredited institution and who live in or attended High School in the North County. In the past few years awards have ranged from $500 – $2,000.

            Scholarship Recipients for 2021

Sydney Lewis is a senior at Cal Poly studying Mechanical Engineering.  Her current dream is to start her own drone company.  Our scholarship will help her purchase a “kick-ass computer” to run the software programs she needs to succeed in her major.

Gabriella Diaz wants to become a Speech Pathologist.  She works for the Children’s Museum and volunteers

Maritza Perez is a first generation Latinx student who wants to become an epidemiologist to work on public health inequities. She is a research assistant in Santa Maria as well as being an advocate on campus as a CalFresh Outreach coordinator.

Lana Borges, from Templeton, has the goal of becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has volunteered at the AHS Wellness Center.  She and a friend partnered to create and sell handmade clay accessories.  The proceeds are donated to the Conscious Kid which supplies anti-racist materials to classrooms across the nation.

Belen Olague would like to work with emergent bilingual students.  Her other interests include mentoring SLO high school students, tutoring English language learners, and Salsa dancing.

Grace Thayer is working to become a teacher for either elementary or middle schoolers.  Being an umpire for youth softball and managing the Cal Poly Softball team keeps her busy.

Maria Contreras received a scholarship from us last year and is continuing her studies in Criminal Justice.  Her parents are field workers and she is the first in her family to attend college.  Being a probation officer is her goal.

Adelaida Brown, a 4th generation county resident, was actively involved with Scouting while growing up.  She will be the first in her family to pursue an advanced degree and will be attending the UC Irvine School of Law this fall.

Drew Daner, a former Tech Treker, is attending school in Indianna where she has been challenged by meeting people from different parts of the world and participating in clubs and organizations.  Her goal is to share her love of Mathematics and STEM with students by teaching.

Courtney Niemeyer, a single Mom, is studying to become a Certified Nursing Assistant at Cuesta.  She discovered her love of nursing by caring for her aging and ill Grandmother.

Emily Ford is the recipient of the Georgie Arnold scholarship award for the second time.  In the past she worked at Camp Hapitok where she helped children with speech and language disorders.  She is working on getting both a special education and multiple-subject credential so that she can have an inclusive classroom.


Applications for 2021 will be open in February 2021.  All applications will be due no later than April 30, 2021.  The application form for 2021 is available here:  AAUW ScholarApp 2021

We suggest consulting these Tips for Successful Scholarship Applications before you complete this or any other scholarship application. They are based on feedback from reviewers of scholarship applications in previous years.  Download the tips here: scholarapptips

For further information please contact Judie Magonacelaya at or Marilyn Hamilton at, Scholarship Co-Chairs.

The Georgie Arnold Scholarship fund was established in Georgie’s memory by her family and friends in Atascadero AAUW. It is designated for women pursuing careers in education.

Eligibility for these scholarships is limited to:

  • Residents of Atascadero, Santa Margarita, Templeton, or Paso Robles;
  • Members of Atascadero Branch AAUW; and
  • Women who have graduated from one of these local high schools now living out of the area to attend college.

Applicants may be women at all levels of higher education. Women pursuing degrees in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Academic progress
  • Financial need
  • Description of goals
  • Volunteer activities
  • Letters of reference