El Segundo Women’s Club Invaluable Asset
to ESUSD Students’ Academic Futures
Quietly laboring behind the scenes, these El Segundo ladies help fund futures
El Segundo, CA – June 11, 2013 – A landmark building facing El Segundo High School on the Mariposa Side of campus, the El Segundo Women’s Club actually predates the high school itself. Organized on May 23, 1922, a group of 18 civic minded women banded together to become a formal entity with the central goal of enriching the community of which they were members. By 1931, the El Segundo Women’s Club was federated with the District, State and General Woman’s Club, continuing its good works and growing its membership.
With a goal of maintaining a viable and vital presence in the community, the ESWC members worked to feed and clothe needy families as well as begin their long tradition of providing scholarships to deserving students. By 1936, the members borrowed the kingly sum of $2,000 to pay for moving the original one-room El Segundo schoolhouse to its present location on Mariposa Avenue to serve as their official clubhouse. Eager to pay off their mortgage, the Woman’s Club held rummage sales, bridge parties, hosted dinners and dances, mounted plays and staged raffles, ultimately succeeding in 1943 when they paid off the mortgage, owning their headquarters free and clear.
Which left them with plenty of time to do what they do so well – enrich the community. And for nine decades, they have done just that.
On June 5th at noon, 10 outstanding ESUSD students joined the El Segundo Woman’s Club members for a luncheon, along with their parents, school administrators and staff, to celebrate over $7,500 of scholarships awarded to graduating seniors.
Mrs. Kathie Stabile, Chairperson of the El Segundo Woman’s Club Scholarship committee, announced 223 applications vied for the awards, plunging the committee knee deep in reading before deciding on 10 students to honor. A most difficult assignment for committee members Maxine Walsleben, Diane Margrave, Carol Cervantes and Barbara Frazee. With families gathered in the hardwood floor dining room of the Women’s Club, feasting on home cooked entrees contributed by the Woman’s Club members, the scholarship recipients were invited to come up to the microphone and share a little bit about themselves and their academic careers.
Three students from El Segundo High School each won $1,000 scholarships. Ethan Liang, one of 10 children, mentioned the scholarship held special importance to him because “My mom, who is sitting with me today, won this same scholarship 34 years ago!” Samantha Vinzon’s scholarship was highly treasured, and she thanked the Woman’s Club members saying “as a permit student coming here in the 6th grade, this especially means a lot to me.” Abigail Landers, a senior off to UC Berkeley to study Science was especially proud of her environmental work with the students at Center Street School where she started the “Grades of Green” project which she also continued at ESHS.
Kevin Qualls, who at the previous ESUSD School Board Meeting had been honored as a recipient of the Gates Millennial Scholarship, was especially grateful to the club for the $1,000 Barbara Kessener Scholarship. After thanking the Women’s Club, he singled out custodian William Ochoa at the high school, who was never too busy to pause in his duties to encourage and support Kevin in his dreams of attending USC to study Mechanical Engineering.
Ridley Middough, with dreams of a fulfilling career as a firefighter, was awarded the $500 Alec Shedloy Scholarship. He thanked the Women’s Club saying he felt his three years as a Los Angeles County Explorer had really paid off. Linnea Palmer, winning the Virginia Shedlov $500 scholarship, was thankful for help in pursuing her dream of attaining a PhD in Physical Therapy.
The $500 Lavon Frazee Memorial Scholarship went to Brent Wood, on his way to El Camino College to study Criminal Justice before ultimately heading off the Coast Guard. Winning the $500 Lavon Frazee TRUST Scholarship was Hanin Alhassan – who could not join in the festivities due to an Advanced Placement exam at the high school. Mrs. Stabile reminded the group Hanin has only just come to the United States 2 ½ years ago – and was one of the hardest working students the committee had ever seen.
Taking home the Jean Hayos Memorial Nursing Scholarship of $1,000, Aricca Vasquez glowed at the prospect of enrolling in Cal State Long Beach in the pre-nursing program. “As the oldest of four I’ve always had a nurturing nature so I thought nursing would be a perfect fit for me,” she shared with the audience.
Audrianna O’Keefe, Class of 2013 Valedictorian for Arena Alternative High School, thanked The El Segundo Woman’s Club for their generous $500 scholarship which she said would “really help me as I go to Santa Monica College to become a psychologist.”
As guests finished the luncheon celebration with a giant piece of cake, the El Segundo Woman’s Club closed out yet another year of selfless service to the young adults in the community, loyal to their commitment to always lend a helping hand.
Chairperson Stabile mirrored the thoughts of all who attended the celebratory luncheon. “The qualifications these selected students all possess are amazing, from the jobs they hold down, to the activities they are involved in, including volunteerism and community service, and most importantly, to the academic workloads they each have taken. This all shows a commitment to excellence. We are very proud of all the recipients and wish them much success.”