A Mother’s Strength Inspires a Daughter’s Dream: Lorena’s Story
When Lorena thinks of strength and resiliency, she thinks of her mother. “Knowing that I was being raised by a strong woman, I knew that I had to become a strong woman, too – first for my niece who looked up to me, and now for my own daughter.”
As the only daughter in a family of five, Lorena has always had a strong bond with her mother. Growing up in Eastern Washington in a landscape dotted by orchards and vineyards, she worked alongside her parents and brothers in apple orchards. She developed a deep understanding of agriculture, especially apples, potatoes, carrots, and corn. Lorena was intrigued by the nearby vineyards and developed an interest in the art, science, and business of winemaking. She began to dream about building her own career in the wine industry – a job that would be interesting and rewarding and would keep her close to her family.
When Lorena was still in high school, tragedy struck her family when her older brother suddenly passed away in a car accident. Soon afterwards, her parents’ marriage ended. Lorena’s mother was the family’s rock, encouraging her children to keep moving forward and working hard to support them despite her own grief.
“In just a year, what was once a family of five quickly became a family of three. I will forever look up to my mother for her strength. Life gave her every reason to give up, but she never did.”
Lorena was determined to complete her higher education, and her mother cheered her on every step of the way. When Lorena became a mother herself early in her college journey, she took time away from school to work and support her family – but with her daughter watching, it became all the more important to Lorena to finish her studies.
With support from WWIN, Lorena re-entered college at Washington State University to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Viticulture and Enology with minors in Business and Horticulture – the first step in pursuing her dream career in the wine industry. From the moment she learned about WWIN and applied for her scholarship, Lorena felt supported and encouraged.
“WWIN made me feel seen. They made me feel like I mattered, that my future mattered, and that I can in some way create an impact and leave my mark in the world. The scholarship really did lift up my confidence and help me believe in myself.”
Now in her senior year, Lorena is excited by the many opportunities ahead – to deepen her business skills, complete hands-on learning in local vineyards, and begin the stable, rewarding career she envisioned. Above all, she hopes that her journey will inspire and set an example of strength for her daughter, just as her mother did for her. “My daughter always watches me study and do homework. I hope she finds motivation in me and that I’ve influenced her to continue her education and enjoy learning.”
Raising a Glass to Support WWIN Star Scholars: Highlights from the Sip for Stars! Virtual Event
On Saturday, September 11, the WWIN community gathered virtually and in home parties for our 8th annual Sip for Stars! to toast our Star Scholars and provide vital scholarship funding for women in colleges and universities across Washington State.
Our returning emcee, Brad Goode, brought his characteristic passion and energy to the event, sharing some of the outstanding accomplishments of WWIN women through a fun trivia contest and wine giveaway from our partner Januik Winery. (Did you know that WWIN Star Scholars have an average GPA of 3.7 and that 45% are the sole or primary breadwinners for their families?)
WWIN Star Scholar Alishia Agee-Cooper captivated Sip attendees with her inspiring story. Since receiving her WWIN Star Scholarship five years ago, Alishia has overcome significant hardships and has completed her Master’s degree. She has built a meaningful career as a Social Worker to support herself and her child – and to give back to others in need.
“WWIN supported me so I can support my family. ‘Thank you’ isn’t nearly enough!”Alishia Agee-Cooper
Together, we raised more than $180,000. All funds raised through Sip for Stars! are directed to the WWIN Star Scholar program, funding higher education for amazing women like Alishia who are now on the path to fulfilling careers and economic stability.
We are so grateful for the enthusiasm and generosity of all who attended Sip for Stars! Investing in a woman’s education creates meaningful change for her, the future of her family, and our society as a whole.
PS. Fundraising is still open. Make a gift today to support a WWIN woman on her journey to earning her degree. You can also become a Star Scholar Sponsor and impact one life deeply by providing financial support over the course of a Scholar’s college career.
Leaving Your Legacy: An Informational Workshop on Planned Giving
Presented to WWIN by Erin J. Scannell, Heritage Wealth Advisors
Planned giving is a powerful way to leave an impact on the causes that matter most to you. Your estate can ultimately be left to your heirs, to a charity like WWIN, or both – but without clearly delineated plans, much of your wealth may go to the IRS instead.
Please join us Friday, October 15 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm for a free, informative, online workshop with Erin Scannell, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, AAMS®, Heritage Wealth Advisors. He will share information and strategies that you can use to gain more control over your own estate plans and direct money to the charities that are important to you.
Please note that this workshop is informational in nature and will not include a solicitation by WWIN or any other charity.