WELI Forum another inspiring success - Nearly $140,000 raised to support women in our community

Publish Date: 
Oct 31, 2017

The fourth Annual Women's Education & Leadership Institute Forum took place on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at Tehama Golf Club. The evening was a dazzling, intimate dinner and conversation, moderated by Adrienne Laurent, Chief Strategic Communications Officer at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System featuring Joanne Taylor, Community Volunteer and Trailblazer and son Bruce Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Taylor Fresh Foods.  This year, the Forum raised nearly $140,000 for WELI!

The featured speaker was WELI Scholar, Alexis Munoz (right with two of her mentors).  Her testimony of grit and overcoming, led to a standing ovation. As a recipient of the WELI scholarship, she found strength in knowing that there are women that have overcome similar struggles and that an entire community was working behind the scenes to ensure she had the tools and support to achieve her dreams. Alexis graduated from Hartnell College and transferred UC Santa Cruz; she is a Neuroscience and Bioinformatics major and plans to apply to a MD/PhD Neuroscience Program at Stanford University.

We are incredibly grateful to Joanne and Bruce for giving generously of their time to support this great cause. Their leadership has helped us bring resources, education, support, and mentorship to the WELI program. Taylor Farms provided seed funding to launch the WELI program in 2011. When Bruce was asked why he is interested in supporting women, he said, “I could feel it was a grassroots effort, truly coming from the women in the community and I liked the idea of mentoring the students. I have always been a big fan of mentoring. “

WELI is an award-winning program that combines a financial scholarship with leadership development and life-skills training to women in our community. The WELI program entered its seventh year.

WELI has provided its scholars $350,000 in scholarships, awards 25 scholarships a year, and has admitted and graduated 175 women to date with over 80% of the first 4 cohorts  completing an associate degree and/or certificate of achievement.

For further information on promoting the economic prosperity of women in our community through higher education please contact Jackie Cruz at the Hartnell College Foundation at 831-755-6810 or jcruz@hartnell.edu