Karen Possehl Women's Endowment

About KPWE...

Please our latest fact sheet for information on KPWE successes! 

Karen Possehl Women's Endowment (KPWE) provides opportunities for talented and deserving women to attend the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS). These non-traditional women gain the freedom and confidence to invest their energies more fully in their coursework and to pursue experiences that enrich their personal development and career preparations.

Financial assistance is available to women who have clearly defined financial need and strong academic potential.  Scholars receive tuition assistance when accepted into the program.  Additional funding is available to women who need help with childcare expenses while attending UCCS.

Each year, more than 400 community supporters and business leaders attend UCCS' largest fundraising event, the Annual KPWE Unstoppable Women's Luncheon. The KPWE Advisory Board recognizes and honors one Unstoppable Woman in the Colorado Springs community along with KPWE graduating scholars. Funds collected from ticket and table sales, advertising, and sponsorships help to support scholarships and programmatic activities for the KPWE scholarship program.

In 1990, faculty and staff at UCCS, in partnership with the Colorado Springs community, began raising funds for an endowment that would provide women with financial assistance for college and empower them to transform their lives. These were women of tremendous talent and potential, hamstrung by what seemed to be insurmountable challenges. Some of these women moved directly from a safehouse to the classroom at the outset of the program.  Since the program's inception, it's founders have expanded their mission to support nontraditional women who have faced adversity or significant life challenges. 

In 1998, Karen Possehl was approached with an innovative proposal for an endowed scholarship to advance women's education. Although Karen and her family are Denver residents, they recognized UCCS' unique need for this support. Karen was so impressed with the project that she took it on personally. Since she and her husband, Jim, made their generous initial gift in 1998, the community has adopted the program as its own. Many community members have stepped forward offering to be mentors or to contribute to the endowment. The needs of a nontraditional returning student are typically more complex than those of the new high school graduate. That's why the program provides its scholars much more than a check in the mail. Many of these women return to school needing a boost in self-esteem and confidence. KPWE mentors unlock the inherent strength and capabilities of these women by showing faith and sharing inspirational experiences of triumph. They are both sounding boards and wise counselors for the scholars. The mentorship piece of the KPWE is key to its success, and your support will expand its scope. 

The impact of the Karen Possehl Women's Endowment (KPWE) is best described in the words of those it serves. "This program was the helping hand when I needed it most," says Jan Grossberg, 2002 scholarship recipient. "It's been an emotional and financial lifeline. Just knowing I had people to talk to was enough to help me change my life." Many talented women in our community have faced significant challenges in their quest of an education. KPWE scholarships give these women the tools they need to conquer the obstacles they face.

The scholarships provide critical monetary support, yet this is only the beginning! Strong community mentorships, caring emotional resources, peer counseling, and childcare options are woven into each scholarship, giving women the freedom to concentrate on their education.