Daily Archives: May 23, 2022

2022 Gateway to Equity Award Winner

Family Service receives AAUW Gateway to Equity Award

Mark Butler, executive director, receiving the Gateway to Equity Award on behalf of Family Service of Chester County (2022-23) from AAUW West Chester – Chester County Branch co-president, Janet Kane

At its annual May Banquet, AAUW West Chester-Chester County presented the Gateway to Equity Award to Family Service of Chester County. Executive Director Mark Butler accepted the award, presented by Janet Kane, co-president of the AAUW branch at the dinner and awards ceremony at McKenzie’s Brew House in Malvern.

The Gateway to Equity Award is presented annually to a group, organization or individual that has shown by action and philosophy the promotion of the AAUW mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Family Service was chosen from among about a dozen nominations from AAUW members.

In accepting the award, Butler talked about the programs of Family Service, working to improve and strengthen families. He focused attention on their Exchange Club Family Center. In addition to helping meet short term needs of the center, such as food and clothing, AAUW members will make additional   donations throughout the year, which may include opportunities for volunteering.

AAUW members look forward to working with and becoming more familiar with the important, critical work of Family Service during the upcoming year!

2022 Alice Lawson Scholarship Winner

Ayana N. Williams-Smith of Upper Darby is the recipient of AAUW West Chester-Chester County Branch’s 2022 Alice Lawson Scholarship in the amount of $3,000.

Ayana attends Immaculata University, where she is completing her studies in the Healthcare Management program. Ayana anticipates completing her final six-credits by summer’s end. In Ayana’s own words, “It has been a long journey!”Alice Lawson Scholarship

Ayana, the mother of a 19 year-old son, completed an Associate in Science Degree in psychology from Delaware Community College in June 2019. Earlier, Ayana received the Holmium Laser certificate in 2010, and was awarded a Surgical Technician Diploma from Harrison Career Institute in 2002. Ayana is presently enrolled in Immaculata University’s College of Adult Professional Studies (CAPS) with the goal of earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Management.

After she graduates, Ayana plans to immediately enroll in the Masters of Science Degree program at Immaculate University. Ayana’s professional goals include a future in healthcare administration, where she aspires to “bridge the gap between administration and the hospital workers”. She hopes to “change the narrative and bring back the thought that everyone is important, and we are a team”.

Ayana values education. She acknowledges that going back to school as an adult was and is challenging, but well worth it. Ayana is a remarkable woman, who while working as a surgical tech, managing a home and family, and recovering from COVID-19 maintained an impressive GPA and attained Dean’s List status during the spring 2020 and fall 2021 semesters at Immaculata University. Ayana has been inducted into Sigma Alpha Phi (The National Society of Leadership and Success) and Alpha Sigma Lambda (The National Society for Non-Tradition Students). At Mainline Health, Ayana is a member of the DREI Committee (Diversity, Respect, Engagement, Inclusion).

Her academic advisor at Immaculata University, Kate Kearney, said that Ayana is an exceptional student who has balanced the challenges of working in a Level 1 trauma center during the pandemic, while excelling in her classes. Ms. Kearney has no doubt that Ayana will continue to do great things in this world and earning her Bachelor of Science degree is a vital stepping stone on her path forward.

Ayana was introduced at the Spring Soiree held at McKenzie Brew House on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.