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Emmaline Voorheis

“The P.E.O.  Kiper-Twist Scholarship was of enormous help as I was unable to work a stable job during this last semester as I was putting in almost triple the amount of clinical hours as last semester in the hospital.  Having money for gas and groceries took off some of the stress of a very full academic plate, and allowed me to put more of the time I would have spent working towards studying. I am so encouraged by this organization.  It warms my heart to see women helping and supporting other women achieve their vocational dreams.”

Emmaline Voorheis: age 23, is starting her second of two-year Nursing Program at Cuesta College with her Associate Degree in Nursing to be completed in May 2024.  She has already finished the first of four semesters of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Cal State University Monterey Bay, which she intends to complete by May 2025.  Her ultimate goal is either to complete the Physician’s Assistant degree through SCUMB or to attend CalStar’s flight nursing program in Colorado.

THE P.E.O. STAR Scholarship recognizes young women of stellar achievement.  It was established in 2009 to provide scholarships for exceptional high school senior women to attend an accredited post-secondary educational institution to in the U.S. or Canada in the next academic year.

“It is my dream to pursue a career as a speech therapist.  The support of P.E.O. means the world to me because, as the eldest of a single mom who helps pay the bills, college tuition is an overwhelming prospect.  While this challenge makes my dream of attending college seem unreachable at times, P.E.O. is working alongside me with financial, motivational and emotional support that will help me reach my goals. 

This award will be a massive help in paying off my first year of college, while also working and helping out around the house.  It is a blessing to have the weight of this financial burden lifted off my shoulders as I start my first year at Cal Poly!

I hope to keep an optimistic heart with me throughout college and into my future career so that no matter what I end up doing, I might make a positive difference in someone’s life like P.E.O. has been for me.”

Sarah Krumme: age 18, is a STAR award recipient and a 2022 Paso Robles High School graduate who will be attending Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, with a Psychology major and a minor in child development and ASL.

Kasey Nguyen: age 19, received a P.E.O. Paso Robles Chapter HL Kiper-Twist scholarship.  She is attending the University of California, Riverside, with a major of Psychology with the goal of going to medical school and becoming a pediatrician.

“The P.E.O. scholarship helped me financially to afford all my costly college textbooks and supplies to ensure my success.  Their support is motivating me to pursue my college education and long-term medical school goals.”

“The financial and emotional support of P.E.O means the world to me because their gift will allow me to provide a better lifestyle for my children. It will allow me to pay for some of the cost of my summer classes, which will get me one step closer to reaching my educational goals.

I moved to California from Mexico in 2003 by myself when I was only 15 years old. I learned English and graduated high school in 2007. In 2012, I earned DACA status, which allowed me to continue my higher education.

It hasn’t been easy to pay for school out of pocket (DACA status precludes federal loans or aid), but I’m succeeding while holding down two jobs, raising two children as a single parent, and going to school full time.

These challenges have shaped me to become a better person, mother, and educator. I am teaching my children that with perseverance dreams do come true when we work hard for them.”

Paula Zepeda: Loving Concern Fund recipient, 34, single mother of two children, 9 and 12, is earning a B.A. in Liberal Studies through an online program at Brandman University (anticipated May 2023), and plans to earn a multiple subject teaching credential from the University of Massachusetts Global.

Kristen Baxstresser: a Loving Concern Fund recipient, 46, is a divorced single parent of two boys ages 17 and 14.  A Paso Robles resident, she is currently a Licensed Vocational Nurse working two jobs who plans to pursue a LVN-Registered Nurse bridge school program through West Hills College in Coalinga or Cuesta College in the next one to two years.

“I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the women of P.E.O. who support women in the most difficult and dire circumstances.  I did not seek my divorce and was diagnosed with cancer seven months into it.  I had to refinance my home on my own and get a full-time job without time off during my treatment in order to provide for my family. 

While 2020 was difficult for most people, my emotional, financial and physical struggles were overwhelming.  I don’t know if I could have made it through without the support of P.E.O. to help me in these struggles.

I am so thankful to all the women of this organization who have supported my family and me.  I cannot thank them enough for their contributions to our future.”

“P.E.O. support has significantly impacted me both financially and emotionally.  I am trying to get through graduate school without accumulating exorbitant debt, and I am succeeding with savings and by applying for scholarships.  The P.E.O. scholarships will cover the cost of my books, as well as supplemental expenses associated with my degree and clinical rotations. 

Knowing there is a group of strong, smart, and successful women in my corner who are willing to help me has been convicting and encouraging. My goal is to pay back both the scholarships and the support to a future graduate student as soon as I am in a position to do so.

I am proud to be setting an example of hard work and perseverance for my daughters and look forward to a successful career as a Speech Language Pathologist after graduate school.  I hope they will learn that they can achieve almost anything they put their mind to with enough hard work and sacrifice.”

Ashley Jones: Kyper-Twist and California P.E.O. scholarships recipient, 42, single mother of two daughters (nine and six), graduate student, online Masters in Speech Pathology at NYU (2023).

Angela Lopez: Kyper-Twist & California P.E.O. scholarship recipient, 31, single mother of 12-year-old boy, graduate student, Marriage & Family Therapy with emphasis on Latinx Mental Health, Antioch University (Santa Barbara), October 2019-fall 2021.

“PEO has made a tremendous impact in my life. PEO provided me not only with financial assistance for graduate school, but also hope and strength to persevere despite difficulty.

I was born in the U.S. of immigrant parents who decided to raise me back in their country of origin, Mexico.  I completed my BA in Clinical Psychology there and decided to return to the U.S. to pursue better career and lifestyle opportunities. Being a U.S. citizen and being able to pursue a goal of higher education was a real privilege, but I faced many challenges when transferring my degree. My son has witnessed the efforts made to accomplish my goals in this country, and I can see how modeling this behavior has made him a great student and kind little human.

I would be honored to join P.E.O. in the future so that I might help women reach their dreams. Seeing the challenges of my community, I hope to build a practice in San Luis Obispo with Latinos given that my background allows me to share with them in a profoundly compassionate way.”

“When I was pregnant, P.E.O. helped me with a financial scholarship.  I was concerned about how I was going to finish school, save money to provide for my baby, while at the same time doing something for myself.  

Earning an AA is a huge step, and one that I hope to follow up with a BA in Early Childhood Education.  P.E.O. ladies have been super friendly, kind and supportive of my goal to become the professional woman I dream to be and secure a better future for my baby.”

Lucy Parra: Kyper-Twist scholarship recipient, 27, married with a nine month-old daughter, AA Early Childhood Education, North County Cuesta College, January 2015-fall 2021.