May Updates

May 17, 2021

Graduating with renewed energy for the future

As a single mother of four, Jonna never expected to complete the final year of her bachelor’s degree online, while homeschooling all of her children! But she has proved more than equal to the challenge. 

“It has been an interesting year and an adjustment for my whole family. All of my classes have been online. While online learning is extremely difficult for me, I managed to do quite well – and I have had to take on the additional task of homeschooling four children full time!”

Jonna is graduating this month with her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University with a focus on Renewable Energy. This specialized focus is an achievement in itself, as it meant taking advanced elective courses on top of an already demanding program.

The covid-19 pandemic is not the first time Jonna’s strength and perseverance have been tested. After leaving an abusive and dangerous marriage of 12 years, Jonna made the decision to create a better life for herself and her children by pursuing higher education. In 2017, she and her children moved from Spokane so she could begin her studies at WSU. With Jim and Gerry Godfrey (featured below) as her Star Scholar Sponsors, WWIN has supported Jonna for four years of her education.

Jonna is a competitive athlete – and while access to her chosen sport, weightlifting, has been limited this year, she and her family have found ways to thrive and be active together. “My children and I enjoyed lots of mountain biking together. In August, I did an overnight, 77-mile bike ride – that was a lot of fun and very, very challenging!”

Jonna looks forward to celebrating her graduation and is excited to begin her new career. She has already been busy with her job search during her final spring semester. We congratulate Jonna on all she has accomplished, and we wish her and her family a happy graduation day!

Jonna and her son

Thank you, Jim and Gerry Godfrey, for helping women in STEM succeed!

“Gerry and I feel it’s important for those of us who have achieved success to help the younger people coming up after us. We hope each WWIN woman graduates with the ability and drive to go out there, be successful, and contribute to society – and, once she’s established, maybe even turn around and support a WWIN Scholar herself.”

Jim and his wife Gerry have sponsored three WWIN Star Scholars to date through their family foundation, including Jonna (featured above). Each woman’s journey is unique, and for Jim, the most rewarding aspect of sponsoring a Star Scholar is learning about her accomplishments and dreams for the future.

Supporting women in STEM is especially meaningful to Jim. He credits his own education in electrical engineering and business administration with providing him a foundation for success. “My education gave me important analytical skills and taught me how business and the economy work. It really prepared me for life – and today, a STEM degree is all the more important as more jobs demand advanced STEM skills.”

As a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force and a U.S. citizen since 1984, Jim deeply values giving back and contributing to society – and this ethos permeates the culture of Chateau Retirement. Owned and operated by the Godfrey family, Chateau Retirement provides independent and assisted living for seniors in the Puget Sound area with premium, class A properties located in Lynnwood, Bothell and Renton. For Jim and his team at Chateau, there is a close parallel between helping women achieve stable, independent careers through education and helping seniors enjoy free and active lives in retirement. “Helping the generation that built this country live happier, healthier, longer lives – and doing it on their own terms – is what we are about. Chateau attracts responsible, caring people to work there; and these are the individuals who are naturally drawn to support organizations like WWIN that make a difference for younger people, too.”

We thank you, Jim and Gerry, for all you do to support Jonna and our other Star Scholars. Your support means that more women across Washington can achieve their full potential through higher education.

Jim and Gerry (center) and their four children.

Put the spotlight on your career story with our personal branding workshop!

How can a personal brand help you shine at work? Your skills, experience, and wisdom deserve to be seen, valued, and celebrated. Telling a powerful professional story through a personal brand – and using the right digital tools and techniques to get noticed – can help you build more meaningful, enduring connections with people in your industry and advance your career. 

Join us June 9 at 4 p.m. PT for a personal branding virtual workshop led by Jenn Spicer and the team from Delightful Communications. Learn to create your own personal branding strategy, communicate your professional purpose, and stand out on LinkedIn as well as at conferences and networking events.

Jenn Spicer

Follow us on LinkedIn for more updates and career workshops.

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