Philanthropic Educational Organization Scholarships Help Women Reach for the Stars

The Athens Chapter of the Philanthropic Organization for Education, or PEO, holds numerous fundraisers throughout the year to provide scholarships for women for their academic pursuits.

PEO’s goal is to raise national and international scholarships for women to help them financially with their college education using the message “women help women reach for the stars”.

Whether it’s women in high school who plan to attend a four-year college, women hoping to pursue graduate school, or women returning to school after being in the workforce, PEO is there. to help you.

“Women help women reach for the stars, and it’s our whole goal to help them in any way we can,” said Caryl Kiser, president of PEO Chapter DD in Athens. “Over the years, they continue to do so. Different chapters do this in different ways, but the goal is to launch these scholarships.

Kiser said seven women who were in college more than 150 years ago tried to become a sorority, but some of them didn’t make it. They decided to start their own philanthropic organization and created a doctrine that PEO still uses today.

There are two chapters of the organization in Athens because Chapter DD split from Chapter G in the 1960s, Chapter G Vice President Martha Sloan said. The DD Chapter, which has over 20 active members, offers five local scholarships for women and they received over 20 applications in 2021.

Each chapter is authorized to nominate one of its candidates to be considered by an international committee for international scholarships.

Internationally, PEO scholarships tend to be quite competitive. Last year there were more than a few hundred applicants.

Since the inception of the PEO Scholarship Program, they have proudly provided over $32 million to support 2,730 women in the United States and Canada.

Each chapter can participate in a four-year planning process to hold a convention at the epicenter of their chapter, where other chapters and guest speakers are invited. DD and G Chapters have partnered to host this successful event in 2019.

Approximately 500 PEO members from across the state attended the convention and all members in attendance were encouraged to raise funds for My Sister’s Place in Athens. At the convention, members raised over $1,500 for My Sister’s Place.

Affirming the positive benefits of these scholarships, former PEO Fellow Shawn Wilson defined PEO as an organization focused on empowering women through education.

“PEO empowers women through support and financial assistance to obtain an education, achieve their goals, and ultimately realize their potential,” Wilson said in an email.

Wilson learned about the organization after his daughter received a PEO scholarship after graduating from high school, and a PEO member suggested that Wilson apply for the current academic year as well.

Wilson completed his application and also wrote a letter to the scholarship committee.

“As a single mother working full time and finishing a bachelor’s degree, this scholarship helped me a lot to cover the tuition fees for my last year of university,” Wilson said in an email.

Wilson said she plans to give back after graduating next spring because she thinks PEO is a wonderful organization that helps women like her.

Both Athens Chapters emphasized the importance of timely transmission of application information, as scholarships from past recipients are not carried over to the next year without a new application.

Sloane and Wilson agreed that they wanted to share the resources PEO has to offer to introduce women to potential financial and educational opportunities.

Kiser was adamant: PEO creates a brotherhood that will last a lifetime.


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Aubrey L. Morgan