The Karen Possehl Women's Endowment
-Scholars, Mentors, & Alumni | Autumn Inspiration 2013
-Scholars & Mentors | Cabin Fever 2013
-Karen & Jim celebrating with the 2012 KPWE Graduates
Empowering Women to Excel
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.
In addition to providing tuition assistance, the Karen Possehl Women's Endowment matches scholars with community mentors who offer inspiration, encouragement, and professional contacts. The program provides career-focused workshops giving students the chance to learn more outside the classroom.
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.
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. The extraordinary promise and success of this original class of scholars compelled Karen Possehl to get involved personally. Since then the program’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.