Economic empowerment for women through education.

For more than 20 years, we have been supporting women on their educational journey.

The HER Scholarship Program helps women gain access to economic self-sufficiency and long-lasting financial security through higher education.  Scholarship Recipients are women who are non-traditional students, age 35 or older, who are sophomores and face financial barriers to obtaining their degrees.

These women have the passion to achieve, they have set a goal, and are determined to cross the stage.

The HER Scholarship program was founded by Annette Stoddard-Freeman and Sally Grootemaat in 1996. The inspiration came from Annette’s own experience as a widow facing difficult financial circumstances after the death of her first husband. 

We know by obtaining a college degree, women earn more. This program provides women the opportunity to permanently increase their economic well-being and their capacity to provide for their families. Children of college-educated mothers also fare much better in terms of educational attainment, health outcomes, and economic potential. Helping a woman supports generations, lifting entire family systems into a higher economic and social status.

Since its inception, over 100 HER Scholarships have been awarded to students at Alverno College, Mt. Mary University, and University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with almost all of our Recipients obtaining their Bachelor’s Degree.

Each year, many donors make generous gifts to the HER Scholarship Program. In addition, the HER Scholarship Endowment Fund helps support these ambitious women students.

Thank you, Missy Levit for the HER Scholars Challenge! Former WF Board Director and long-time supporter, Missy Levit, proudly matched all gifts in support of HER Scholarship program for an entire month.

Sandy Cunningham, Chair

Kareeda Chones-Aguam

Sue Hickey

Missy Levit

Margie Paur

Gwen Plunkett

Carol Robinson

Holly Ryan

Ann Stoddard

Deborah Washington, HER Scholar

Jerri Washington

HER Scholars:  Academic Year 2020/21

The named HER Scholarship recipients for this academic year are all dynamic and ambitious women. While each has her own story, together they demonstrate determination, passion and commitment. It’s your gift that acts as inspiration. There are daily challenges and life barriers that test these students, yet they persevere in your honor. Please celebrate their achievements!

Alverno College

Catherine Vlahoulis, Business Administration, Dec. 2020


Concetta Clemente, Fashion Design, May 2022

Latoya Martin, Nursing, May 2021

Lisa McCauley, Dietetics, May 2021

Kristy Pochowski, Early Childhood Education, May 2021


Aneta Acevdo, Special Education, May 2022

Nawal Bouamer, Social Welfare, May 2021

Patricia Cannon, Early Childhood Education, Dec. 2021

Jessica Derosier, Biological Science, May 2022
Funded by College Endowment Association

Kathy McGraw, Early Childhood Education, May 2021

Carrie Scott-Haney, Social Welfare, Dec. 2021

Crystal Vang, Social Welfare, May 2021

“I can’t tell you how big an impact Women’s Fund had on me. I’m always grateful for cool women who are willing to help other women realize their own potential.” Barbara, HER Scholar

“Knowing that there are complete strangers, willing to support my success, inspires me every day. My studies have awakened my mind and ability, and I’m grateful to the community that helped make this possible for me.” HER Scholar Recipient

Please make a gift today, so these women can continue their educational journeys. Thank you for your generosity!


The only way to end the cycle of government violence against people of color is to take action every single day. Use your voice. Use your vote. Use your money.  #womensfundmke