Recap: Project Aspire's Women Who Aspire to Inspire Scholarship Luncheon At The Brown Palace
If you’re looking for the next non-profit to support then consider Project Aspire, an organization supporting women in education (specifically graduate school) by women. A humble yet incredibly inspiring non-profit, ProjectAspire has been providing scholarships for women preparing for a master’s degree since 2007.
Project Aspire was founded by the compassionate and strong-willed Marney Andes and since the beginning of Project Aspire, Marney had always wanted to host an annual scholarship luncheon where supporters could come and learn more about Project Aspire’s efforts and honor women in leadership roles. She had a specific place as well – The Brown Palace in Downtown Denver. In 2013, this idea came true and on September 20th, Project Aspire hosted their 1st Annual Women Who Aspire to Inspire scholarship luncheon honoring Joan Mazak, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Colorado, as a “woman who aspires to inspire others” and featuring keynote speaker Dr. Lynn Gangone, Dean, University of Denver-Colorado Women’s College. Winners of the 2013 were also announced.
Beginning with cocktails and wine, like-minded women and men gathered together in a small-sized room at The Brown Palace. After about thirty minutes, the program ensued with a full lunch of salad, entree and dessert, a brief overview of the organization, a well-edited video presentation by Blue Ring Media on the works of Joan Mazak and a inspiring speech from the personable Dr Lynn Gangone.
Although it’s a typical program, the atmosphere of the room was anything but typical. There was something very different about this luncheon. It could have been the room, the food or the inspiring women in the room. For whatever reason, the luncheon truly showcased the sweat and guts of Marney Andes and her team and it was all summed up from her inspiring story.
Marney was inspired to start Project Aspire from a personal experience that changed her life. While she was studying for her master’s and working as an education recruiter, she met a wonderful lady named Julie who was brilliant and had the smarts of a genius. Julie was ready to start her master’s when they came to a realization that she wasn’t able to afford the tuition. Julie and her husband were hard-working people but their combined income was just enough to make her ineligible for financial assistance but not nearly enough to fund her own education. Hence, Marney decided to bridge that gap for women who had the desire to pursue a master’s degree but just didn’t have the financial means.
Unlike the past few years, this year two women were award scholarships from Project Aspire. Both incredibly bright women who are going to be great leaders in the Colorado community and beyond. To see past recipients, learn more or support Project Aspire, click here.