Women’s Resource Center Awards $22,000 in 22 Scholarships

The recipients are pursuing degrees in the fields of nursing, dental hygiene, and anesthesiology.

Others are attending school for degrees in graphic design, education, and social sciences.


(Sarasota-Manatee, FL) The Women’s Resource Center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to engaging, educating, enriching and empowering women of all generations, awarded 22 scholarships of $1,000 each at a reception in Sarasota on May 20. This year’s class represented women who are pursuing degrees in various fields of study—from nursing to the social sciences.

Betty Schoenbaum, a longtime supporter of the WRC Scholarship Fund, attended the reception and shared heartfelt words about her experience as a philanthropist. “Helping people get an education is one of the greatest things you can do in your life,” said Schoenbaum. She also encouraged the WRC Scholars to give back by volunteering their time. “The first apartment my husband and I lived in cost us $40 a month, which we could barely afford.  We worked hard to open a restaurant in Charleston, West Virginia. That one store turned into more than 2,000 restaurants in 36 states. You may have heard of it—Shoney’s Big Boy? Because of our hard work and success, I’m able to help people who have trouble affording an education, get one.”

Felicia Phillips, a Betty Schoenbaum Family Foundation Scholarship recipient, shared her story of overcoming obstacles to achieve her goals to become a licensed practical nurse. “It’s inspiring to know that not only my friends and family, but also my community, supports me in pursuing my dreams,” she said.

“Each of these courageous women has demonstrated great drive and a determination to achieve their highest potential,” said Ashley Brown, president andCEO of the Women’s Resource Center. “We are proud to support their hard work and perseverance. As women improve their education and training, their earningabilities increase. Through our scholarships and programs, we are creating opportunities for these women and their families. These scholarships make a meaningful difference in our community.”

The Women’s Resource Center’s annual scholarship program is made possible through gifts of its generous donors. Since 1997, the Women’s Resource CenterScholarship Fund has awarded $725,000 to WRC Scholars. Applicants must demonstrate a financial need, hold a high school diploma or a GED equivalent, and shouldbe pursuing an undergraduate degree or certification program at a vocational, two-year, or four-year institution.

“I admire you all,” said Schoenbaum, who contributed funds for 10 scholarships this year. She gave the recipients her well-known heart-to-heart hug. “You juggle your time with families, jobs and school and some of you are even starting new careers mid-life. This is one of the best days of my year.

The 2018 Women’s Resource Center Scholarship Fund committee included Brenda Parker, chair, and Ellen Akhavein, Ed.D., Jamie Aymerich, Lillian Elliot, PauldieHowrigan, Deborah Kostroun, Liz Mercer, Eva Rickert, Madeline Ross, Kaylea Schule, and Pam Truitt.

About the Women’s Resource Center
For more than 37 years, the Women’s Resource Center has been dedicated to engaging, educating, enriching and empowering women of all generations and socioeconomic levels. Today, WRC serves thousands of women and families in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Its vision is to provide unique strategies and programs that strengthen women through life’s transitions and provide balance, confidence and determination, which not only meet their immediate needs, but also provide hope for the future. To learn more, visit MyWRC.org.