The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Nevada County Branch recently awarded more than $15,000 in local grant money to four different community organizations.  The grants were made possible by a generous bequest from the late Cleo Gibson, who was a member of the AAUW Branch and a former Branch President.

The four recipients of this inaugural Cleo Gibson AAUW Community Education Grants included Bright Futures for Youth/Citizens for Choice, The Caregiver Advantage, InConcert Sierra Composers’ Project, and Community Beyond Violence.  These programs align with AAUW’s mission to advocate and provide philanthropic support in critical areas impacting the lives of women and girls.

Bright Futures for Youth and Citizens for Choice received $7,500 for the first year of a joint Peer Health Helpers project that will span two years, with the potential of additional monies for the second year.  The project provides 50-plus hours of training in health and wellness for the student helpers.  Using the training, the student helpers will work with their peers in areas of mental health, drug use, alcohol and tobacco prevention, and sexual and reproductive health.

The AAUW Cleo Project awarded The Caregiver Advantage $3,750 for a one-year program to provide respite and training for 12-14 local individuals who are currently caregivers.

InConcert Sierra Composers’ Project was granted $1,750 to fund a scholarship for one young woman to study under Education Director Mark Vance.  The scholarship recipient will learn musical theory and apply it in composing two pieces in collaboration with a local non-profit.

The AAUW Cleo Project presented Community Beyond Violence with $2,600 for staff and family training in positive parenting to break the cycle of violence.

AAUW membership is open to individuals with an associate, baccalaureate, or higher degree from a qualified educational institution. For individuals interested in participating in branch interest groups and other activities, but who have not had the opportunity to complete a degree, the Nevada County Branch offers “Friends of AAUW” membership. For more than 75 years, the AAUW Nevada County Branch has been striving to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. For more information: or call 530-470-9395.