S: What does PEO mean to you? It’s no secret that everyone knows that the ONLY thing secret about PEO is what the letters stand for. This philanthropic education organization’s outreach extends to women all over the world reaching for the stars.
A: After receiving a PEO Program for Continuing Education grant in 2004 for my undergraduate degree in Biology and Education at the University of Montana, I was invited to join chapter BE in Missoula. What an amazing group committed to this cause! When I moved to Houston, I transferred the first chapter that reached out to me, coincidentally chapter EB. When I went back to school for my Master of Science in Science Education at Montana State University, none other than chapter BE sponsored me for the loan to make it happen.
F: Where I go, PEO goes.
A: Not surprisingly, my journey in living in Montana, moving to Houston, and then moving from Houston and completing a road trip to Montana to finish graduate school feels full circle. Like Texas and Montana bookend over ten years of experience and volumes of journals filled with challenges and transitions. Yet all along, I’ve known I’ve been supported by a sisterhood filled with inspiring and involved women.
R: From El Paso to Kalispell, I’ve road-tripped cross country in order to complete my capstone project in Bozeman and beyond. Along the way, I stayed with PEO sisters through our amazing Bed and Breakfast program, like Cathy in Albuquerque with Chapter AW-BJ and Traci in Colorado Springs with Chapter JA. I’ve learned so much from sharing with other sisters and our journeys to fundraise and support grants for women in education, including meeting a Cottey College graduate in the flesh! Of course, I had lunch with my alma mater BE sisters in Missoula, and felt as though no time had passed.
I: As PEO changes and the concern of declining membership increases, I’m not sure what direction this sisterhood will take. I suppose the same could be said of my current trajectory in a time of uncertainty across the nation. But I know for certain that PEO means a lot to me.