The WINGS Conference (Women INterested in Going to School) originated in a 2001 meeting of the Seaside Branch Education Committee and was quickly adopted by co-sponsors Astoria Branch and Clatsop Community College. Originally intended as a one-time event, it proved so popular that this year’s 2019 conference will be WINGS Number 17. To date, WINGS has served almost 800 local women, many of whom pursue their education–whether it be earning a GED, a community college certificate or degree, or a bachelor’s degree. In 2011, WINGS was one of four winners of AAUW’s national Breaking Through Barriers award.
The purpose of WINGS is to show women how they can overcome barriers to education, to provide them with the contacts and skills to get started, and to inspire them to do so. The one-day conference is cost-free to participants and includes breakfast, lunch and professional on-site child care. Women hear stories from past participants about their successful efforts to overcome any difficulty in continuing their education. They attend sessions led by college staff and others on such topics as college admissions; degrees, certificates and pathways; career planning; accessing federal financial aid and scholarships; living-wage career opportunities; and conquering math anxiety. They receive incentives to enroll at Clatsop Community College and the opportunity to apply for WINGS scholarships.
Funding is provided by local businesses, foundations and individuals, and our community has always been very generous and supportive.
Our AAUW members work hard to make WINGS a success. Branch committees include volunteer coordinators, donation solicitors, publicity providers, child care managers, registration assistants, hospitality and meal coordinators, materials collectors, pre- and post-conference callers, and general on-site volunteers.
WINGS is a huge undertaking but well worth the effort. Past participants tell us that WINGS has made a critical difference to their lives and the future of their families. AAUW’s mission is fulfilled in visible and important ways. To find out more, check out the college website and check under coming events:
Questions?Nancy Kruger at firstname.lastname@example.org.