Opening the Door to Opportunities: Alondra’s Story
I will never forget the moment I received my Star Scholarship and saw the door open to my dreams.
My name is Alondra, and I am a proud Mexican American woman – the daughter of two immigrants who believed deeply in the power of education and came to this country to create a better future for themselves and for our family.
Growing up in a low-income agricultural community in the Yakima Valley, I have always seen higher education as the path to open doors. For as long as I can remember, my dream has been to become a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, and to find creative ways to give back to my community.
When I learned that I had been awarded a WWIN Star Scholarship to attend college, I was overjoyed! My goal is to use my education to build a business from the ground up, bring economic stability to my family, and make a difference in my community. Ultimately, I want to inspire a movement of positive change in the world.
I am the first in my family to pursue a college degree. I want to set the foundation of education my parents longed for and inspire others to achieve their ambitions. I want my family members to ask themselves, “If she can do it, why can’t I?”
I am closer than ever to achieving my dreams. I am so grateful to know that there is a community of people like you supporting women’s education and cheering me on. When I think of everyone who has helped me succeed in my college journey, I’m inspired to do all I can to give back to others – and I truly believe that changing one woman’s life can change the world.
I hope you will consider making a gift today to help empower the next woman to change her life.
Class of 2023
Taking the Lead to Support Women’s Education at Work: BECU’s Women’s Leadership Group
When Liz Wagner and her colleague Felicia Ako decided to start a workplace book club focused on women’s leadership at BECU, they knew they were tapping into a common interest. What they didn’t know was how quickly it would transform from a small, close-knit group of 15 into a 150-member Women’s Leadership Group involving employees at every level and department across the credit union. Liz and Felicia now lead the group with help from others, including Debbie Wege, WLG’s Community Chair. Liz and Debbie shared how inspired they are by the passion and engagement within the WLG community: “We were amazed at how quickly it took off!”
Since 2017, WLG has grown into a robust platform for women’s leadership and career advancement within BECU, featuring monthly discussions, community building, and meaningful volunteer opportunities. Last year, WLG welcomed 180 attendees to its first-ever virtual conference on women’s leadership. As much of the BECU workforce shifted into a virtual environment during the pandemic, WLG provided an important source of connection during a time of isolation. Debbie reflects, “It makes a huge difference to have people in your corner. Women tell us they’ve grown so much in their personal confidence by being part of WLG.”
This year, WLG made the collective decision to sponsor a WWIN Star Scholar – a commitment that will provide vital scholarship support enabling a woman to complete her higher education. As a cooperative, not-for-profit credit union, BECU has always had a strong focus on community and a history of partnerships with WWIN and with other mission-driven organizations in Washington. WLG now provides a new way for BECU employees to join in a cause that is close to their hearts: supporting women’s education and economic empowerment.
“We’re so excited to partner with WWIN! Supporting WWIN feels like a natural connection for WLG. We’re focused on women’s advancement in the workplace, and WWIN is doing the same thing through education. In addition to scholarship funds, what makes WWIN so effective is the wrap-around support they provide for each woman. WWIN has created a community that is about supporting one another through all that can happen in life to derail your plans. In WLG, we’re trying to do that for each other – and extending that support to women beyond our walls is inspirational.”
Reflecting on WLG’s incredible trajectory, Liz encourages others who are interested in forming a community like WLG within their own workplaces to do it – and to define their goals, find a partner, and keep asking for feedback along the way. “When you see something that has grown as big as WLG has, it can seem intimidating to start something – but it can be done. Go for it! You can do more than you realize.”
Liz and Debbie are excited about the impact WLG can have both inside BECU and through its partnership with WWIN. Liz says, “We’re so appreciative of the work WWIN does for women in Washington, and we’re so glad to be part of making one woman’s dream come true through a Star Scholarship. The true measure of leadership is creating something that lives beyond you – and we hope that not only will WLG endure, but also that it will have a lasting impact by supporting women’s advancement and women in our community through partnerships with organizations like WWIN. The more you support women bettering their opportunities, the more life opens up for them – and when we support each other, what we can do together is so powerful.”
Activate You: Quieting your inner critic
Imagine what you would be doing without your inner critic – the voice that says, “I’m not ready,” or asks, “Who am I to do that?” or “What will they think?”
Join us January 12 at 4 p.m. PT for an insightful and practical workshop with Gretchen Remmers. As the resident coach on Tara Mohr’s Playing Big team, Gretchen draws on the wisdom and skills of the pioneering Playing Big model and her more than 25 years of experience as a professional coach, facilitator, and former HR executive. She has helped countless women around the world listen to their own wisdom, go after their dreams, and learn powerful tools to play bigger in their personal and professional lives.
In this workshop, you’ll explore tools from the Playing Big framework to quiet the mental chatter and move toward your goals without the feelings of stress that come with self-doubt. You’ll learn about the myth of self-confidence, why we all experience self-doubt, and how to recognize your own inner critic – along with three practical tools to quiet self-doubt in the moment so it doesn’t hold you back. We can’t wait to see you there!