Educational group awards grant
Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The Troy chapter of Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.), one of the pioneer societies for women, has awarded a $2,000 Program for Continuing Education Grant to Wanda Norris, a student at Troy University.
Elaine Bassett, chapter chair of the Educational Loan Fund committee, said this particular grant is for women who’s education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to support themselves and/or their families.
The Troy chapter of P.E.O. was founded in 2003 and currently has about 30 members.
“The chapter has several fundraisers during the year and all the proceeds go the various scholarship philanthropies of sisterhood,” Bassett said. “P.E.O. was founded in 1869 by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa and was originally a small campus friendship society. Today, there are P.E.O. chapters in every state in the United States and in several Canadian provinces, with a membership of nearly a quarter of a million.”
Bassett said the mission of P.E.O. is to promote educational opportunities for women.
“Our sisterhood proudly makes a difference in women’s lives with six philanthropies that include ownership of Cottey College, a women’s college with two-year and selected four-year programs,” Bassett said. “Five other philanthropies that provide higher educational assistance to women in various stages of their higher education.”
P.E.O. offers an International Peace Scholarship to women from other countries who study in the United States and then go back to their home countries to share what they have learned.
“We also have scholarships available for high school seniors and graduate students, as well as a loan fund which makes educational loans available to women enrolled at any level of higher education.” Bassett said. “So far, more than 90,000 women have benefited from our organization’s educational grants, loans, awards, special projects and stewardship of Cottey College.”
To date, P.E.O. has awarded Educational Loan Fund dollars totaling more than $143.6 million, International Peace Scholarships are more than $29 million, Program for Continuing Education grants are more than $43 million, Scholar Awards are more than $16 million and P.E.O. STAR Scholarships are more than $2.6 million. In addition, 8,500 women have graduated from Cottey College.