The YWCA of North Orange County
215 E. Commonwealth Ave., Suite F, Fullerton, CA 92832
(714) 871-4488
©Copyright The YWCA of North Orange County, 2007-2014, All rights reserved.
The scholarship was started by Ruth Thurmond in the 1980s, when she began working with the YWCA to secure basic essentials like food and shelter for foreign students. In her work, she learned of few funding resources for women trying to go back to school, said her son, Don Thurmond.

Mrs. Thurmond’s passion for educating women was planted at a young age. During her senior year of college - around 1938 - she met the man she later married, but when they first met her father did not allow her to wed until she finished college and spent one year working in her chosen profession - teaching, said Don Thurmond, who continues his mother’s mission and scholarship even after her death.

In 2010, he was the first man appointed to the YWCA of North Orange County’s board of directors in 84 years. He serves as the association’s treasurer and in his role, he oversees investments made to generate the income from interest that funds the scholarship.
Thurmond Scholarship
Thurmond Scholarships Help Six Women Achieve Their Academic Goals
Fullerton CA:  Women re-entering Fullerton College or California State University Fullerton have more opportunities to receive scholarships due to the generosity of Shirley Bloom, a longtime Fullerton resident. Shirley Bloom established YWCA Scholarships at Fullerton College and California State University Fullerton.

The Joan and Burnie Cohen Scholarship was established to help re-entry women attending Fullerton College to overcome barriers to their education and attain gainful employment.  The Late Bloomers Scholarship was also established to help re-entry women, 27 years or older, who have the greatest financial challenges.  A total of $7,400 was awarded to four women at the YWCA Annual Luncheon held on June 28.

The Joan and Burnie Cohen Scholarship was established in memory of Joan and Burnie Cohen who devoted their lives to service above self.  Both Joan and Burnie were both born in Los Angeles in the 1920’s. Joan was raised by a single mother who encouraged her in education and independence. Burnie grew up in a loving home and giving was always part of his nature. Both attended UCLA and married in 1951. They were active in the North Orange County, Joan with the League of Women’s Voters, the food bank and Pathways of Hope, and Burnie as a “reader” at Richman School. They had two children, Susan and Marty.

The Late Bloomers Scholarship was established in celebration of Shirley Bloom. Shirley was born in the mist of the depression in the 1930’s. There were no social programs to help suffering people until the 1940’s. There was no social security, welfare, food stamps, workers’ compensation or unemployment. Shirley managed to finish 2 years of college when she got married and moved to California. When the youngest of her 5 children turned 2, she returned to college at California State University Long Beach and received her degree in English with a teaching credential. She later went to work for Los Angeles County Department of Social Services. Shirley was a single mother struggling to get her children through college. In 1978 she remarried and moved to Fullerton. In 1993 she was widowed and retired. She joined AAUW and became active in the League of Women Voters, volunteered at the food bank, Pathways of Hope.

On June 28, two women received the first Joan and Burnie Cohen Scholarship Awards.  Marcela Ramirez, who is a single mother of two children, 1 year old daughter and a 9-year old son. She attends Fullerton College and hopes to get her Associate of Arts Degree. Her career goal is to get her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and work for a nonprofit organization that helps pregnant women who have fallen victim to domestic violence.

The second recipient of the Joan and Burnie Cohen Scholarship Awards is Vanessa Coria. Vanessa comes from an impoverished family and has a learning disability, working hard with resources provided to shape her educational pathway. She plans on graduating from Fullerton College and getting a degree in Business.

The first Late Bloomers Scholarship was received by Karen Cogan. Both Karen and her husband lost their jobs just one year apart. They also lost their home to foreclosure. Her husband is working a part-time job and Karen’s hope is to secure a higher degree in communications at California State University Fullerton and get a good paying job.

Joanne Mace is the second Late Bloomers recipient who juggles work, family, and school and a part-time job. She has a daughter in high school whom she supports. Joanne is working towards her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and wants to teach part-time at a college or university focusing on Art History.

Shirley’s primary goal is to help women who have the greatest financial challenges to continue to move forward in their education and gain skills that will result in employment and self-sufficiency.  Many achieve self-sufficiency through career opportunities offered at Fullerton College or will move forward to California State University with a four-year degree in their chosen field.
YWCA of North Orange County Expands College Scholarships for Re-entry Women
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Bill McGarvey Scholarship
Bill McGarvey's Sons Award 2015 YWCANOC Scholarship Awards

The 7th Annual Bill McGarvey Scholarship Luncheon was held at the Brownstone's
Cafe, Fullerton. Pat McGarvey and Bill McGarvey III presented the scholarships on
behalf of their father, Mr. Bill McGarvey Jr., to Wanda Sabia and Janis Alexa

Wanda Sabia is majoring in Liberal Studies at California State University Fullerton.
She currently works as an Academic Coordinator for elementary aged students.
She needs her degree to move forward in her chosen field of work. Wanda has
raised her family and put her personal growth on the back burner for the last 30
years. She is now focusing on reaching her personal goals to help others.

Janis Alexa Smith, was the second recipient of the Bill McGarvey Scholarship
award. She is majoring in Human Services. She selected this path from her
exposure to shattered families as a Family Law Paralegal. Those years of
interacting with adults battle with the final weaponry of divorce, being children and
money, made her decide to get somewhere on the preventive end and help people
before it is too late. Janis is expected to graduate in May 2015 with her Bachelors
of Science Degree.

The Bill McGarvey Jr., Scholarship recognizes and supports the efforts of the Adult
Reentry population and their decision to return to complete their education by
providing scholarships to students 27 years or older, attending California State
University Fullerton. Many Adult reentry students find themselves facing major
challenges such as supporting a family while working and attending classes, as
well as additional responsibilities that life experiences present.

A special thank you to the YWCA of North Orange County's Bill McGarvey Jr.,
Selection Committee: Rosalina Camacho, CSUF WoMen's Center, Rosamaria
Gomez-Amaro, YWCA Past President, Zina Gleason, YWCA Board Member,
Nancy Stock, YWCA Board Member, and staff, Diane Masseth-Jones, YWCA
Bill McGarvey 2016 Scholarship Application
Thurmond Scholarship Brochure
Thurmond Scholarship Application
Joan & Burnie Cohen Criteria
Joan & Burnie Cohen Application
Late Bloomers Criteria
Late Bloomers Application