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Scholarship Committee Report

Shirley Phillips
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 38 No. 1, February-March 2002, p. 22-23.

The Scholarship Committee, a subcommittee of the LLLI Conference Team, distributed $10,000 allocated within the 2001 LLLI Conference budget to cover scholarships. The working group included: Shirley Phillips, Canada, Committee Facilitator; Rebecca Magalhaes, USA; Carol Luck, Canada; Nancy Spahr, USA; Mary Roache, New Zealand; Sharon Barsotti, USA; Elaine Dawson, Republic of South Africa; Carmen Vandenabeele, France; Mary K. Wales, USA; Kay Egbers, USA; and Ruth McAllister, China.

The response to the call for scholarship applications was tremendous. The article and application form were prepared for the Oct/Nov 2000 issue of Leaven, and immediately posted on the LLLI Web site in order to give Leaders as much time as possible to apply. Within days, the applications started to come in. A total of 176 applications from 20 countries around the world were received by the deadline of January 3, 2001. Of these, 70 applications, or 40 percent, were from new Leaders accredited since the 1999 LLLI Conference.

Each member of the working group received all the applications and developed a list of potential recipients. Lists were merged through many rounds of consensus building before the final 30 recipients were selected. Although it was very difficult to choose the 30 Leaders who would receive the scholarships, just reading the applications was inspiring. As one committee member wrote, “Most rewarding for me was reading the scholarship applications and seeing how important the Conference is to so many Leaders—what a gift of energy and inspiration it provides for those who live so far away or who have overcome almost insurmountable challenges to attend.” Reading about the applicants’ hopes and dreams for their work as Leaders, about their dreams of attending a Conference, and how the experiences gained would enrich their skills as Leaders was a privilege.

  • From a brand new Leader looking forward to leading her first meeting:—“I want to go to the Conference for the same reasons I became a Leader: to do everything I can to see to it that all women have access to information about breastfeeding as well as private and public support for their breastfeeding efforts. It will allow me to meet and network with other breastfeeding advocates worldwide, as well as other nursing mothers like me, who want to make a difference in the world. And make a difference we will—one baby at a time.”
  • “I want to share enthusiasm for new ideas and new information with other Spanish Leaders and Leader Applicants. I feel that all of the Leaders in Spain have plenty of opportunities to help mothers, but not enough opportunities to connect with other Leaders and ‘recharge our batteries’ to keep us motivated to continue doing what LLL is all about.”
  • “I am so proud of La Leche League and my involvement in it! We can make such a difference for the babies in our communities and I am sure throughout the world. It must be amazing to see mothers and babies from so many different and diverse backgrounds who have so very much in common. The Leaders I have met and LLLI itself have had such a tremendous, positive impact on our lives. I am so thankful. I do believe that attending the Conference will take me to the next level in education and enable me to be more supportive as a Leader.”

After the Conference, the recipients were asked “What was the highlight that first came into your mind when you got back home and began telling others about your Conference experience?”

  • “Spending three days in a community where babies, children, and families are truly welcomed and at home. Meeting other Leaders—we are all co-Leaders. My Group is planning to send my co-Leader to the LLLI Conference in San Francisco, California, USA in 2003 and I'm already starting a savings account to attend the Conference in Washington DC in 2005!”
    Linda Ruth Ciglen, Canada
  • “For me the highlight was the people. Some of my most precious memories of those days at the Conference are of my nine-year-old daughter—watching her make new friends, dance and cheer in the closing ceremonies, and take in all those scenes of parents with babies in slings, mothers nursing their babies, and happy families. I know that when she grows up and has babies of her own those memories will affect how she mothers them.”
    Tiffany King, USA
  • “I had a strange experience just before the Conference began. I was extremely thirsty, so I sat down at one of the Hilton bars. A man, perhaps in his mid-20’s, asked me where I was from and what I was doing here. The lobby was filled with La Leche League arrivals, so I explained about the Conference. He roared with laughter. ‘Breastfeeding! That's what you do in Europe. This is America. We don’t have that here,’ he declared. I could see women breastfeeding from where I was sitting, yet he, sitting right beside me, evidently could not. For me, that puts into perspective how precious and necessary these La Leche League Conferences are.”
    Naomi Stadlen, Great Britain
  • “I think the highlight was what a great family bonding experience we had. My husband was not very excited to be going to a Conference on breastfeeding, but once he got there, he was amazed at how big La Leche League is. My husband is all the more supportive of what I am doing, and I learned so much to help my family, myself, and my Group!”
    Michelle Carlson, USA
  • “Even though the scholarship I received covered only a small portion of the amount needed for me to attend the Conference, it gave me the incentive and the confidence to actively seek out the rest of the money needed. Attending the Conference made me feel much more connected to the network of Leaders around the world and to realize that I am an important and valued part of that network. The Conference filled both my head and my heart and provided lots of suggestions for my hands to work on!”
    Maria Fertakis, Greece
  • “Attending the Conference meant so much to me! It was wonderful to see that we are all different in our different ‘worlds,’ but yet, we are all basically the same! Going to the Conference allowed me to broaden my vision. Even though I feel even more like a little fish in a very big pond, I've realized that the little bit I do in my little corner is like throwing a rock into water; the ripples eventually affect everyone around. Little by little, in our little corners of the world, we are working together for a better future for our children, and their children to follow. I came home richer in spirit and soul.”
    Petro Garcia, Republic of South Africa
  • “The highlight of the Conference for me was being surrounded by so many loving moms and dads, meeting the needs of their babies and children, and treating them with respect. It was a wonderful time to be encouraged in my mothering and in my leading.”
    Lisa Boyle, USA
  • “After I received the Rainbow Scholarship and prepared all the necessary things, I hesitated. The distance from Taiwan to Chicago is over 16 hours by air. I was not sure whether my twin babies and myself could bear it. Anyway, I have done it and I am so glad. When I was ready to leave the Conference, my heart was full of the wonderful discussions and sessions. I really see how big LLL is and what kind of support I can get from such a huge organization.”
    Jessica Liao, Taiwan
  • “Hearing the message, over and over again, that mothers are fundamental to the family and essential to their babies, was so refreshing. Spending a weekend with people who value my job as a mother, my work as a Leader, and my interest in supporting other women has renewed my commitment to being a Leader. I don't think words can express how much it meant to me, and what it will mean for this community.”
    Sam Doak, USA
  • “For six months I agonized about attending the Conference. I was sure I was going to feel lonely without my family and familiar surroundings. When I got there, I was surprised at how at home I felt. Even my body image has changed—I now perceive my body as extremely normal. I am very proud to be part of La Leche League. ‘I like the person I am when I am around you.’”
    Jennifer Naude, Republic of South Africa
  • “It is very hard to pinpoint exactly what was so extraordinary. The sum was definitely greater than the parts. Things I can put into words are: being amongst thousands of people who were passionate about breastfeeding; three wonderful days of feeling part of a majority rather than a minority; the opportunity to access such an overwhelming amount of information; having so many nurtured children and babies around. We loved it.”
    Lindsey Anne Wylie and daughter, Alexandra, Great Britain
  • “For me this Conference was the most wonderful experience that I ever had. Meeting so many people from all over the world working for the same objective gave me knowledge and power to continue fighting to help my country improve the lives of women and children. I hope some day to repeat this wonderful experience.”
    Margarita Rosa Guarin Rueda, Colombia
  • “Two years ago, I thought that attending the LLLI International Conference was a nice idea but an impossible dream. But somehow, with a lot of work and support from many, I actually attended the Conference. I attended as many sessions as I could and they were so intense. I cried in one of them, I laughed in several, I learned new information in some of them, and I shared my experiences in others. But most of all, I received and gave mother support all around. And that will keep me going in my days ahead as a La Leche League Leader.”
    Maria S.(Pili) Peña Vazquez, Paraguay

Dreaming of or planning for the LLLI Conference in San Francisco 2003? Now is the time to start planning to make your dream become a reality. See you there!

2001 LLLI Conference Scholarship Recipients

Affiliates
Naomi Stadlen, ­LLLGreat Britain
Linsdey Anne Wylie­, LLLGreat Britain
Terry Stafford­, LLLCanada
Linda Ruth Ciglen­, LLLCanada
Vickie Parnell­, LLLCanada

Eastern United States (EUS)
Joanne Ciccotelli­, New Jersey
Heather (Sam) Doak­, Ohio
Amy Davidson, ­New York
Tiffany King­, Kentucky
Michelle Carlson­, Tennessee
Jane Trambley­, Pennsylvania
Kristi Ramey­, Ohio

International Division (ID)
Trevlynn Oberholster­, Philippines
Pushpa Valli Panadam­, Paraguay
Jessica Liao­, Taiwan
Coro Garcia Ormazabal­, Spain
Petro Garcia­, South Africa
Margarita Rosa Guarin Rueda­, Colombia
Jennifer Naude, ­South Africa
Maria Fertakis­, Greece
Gina Nigro­, Spain
Lily Gonzales de Veron­, Paraguay
Maria S. (Pili) Pen-a Vazquez, ­Paraguay

United States Western Division (USWD)
Terriann Shell, Alaska
Tania Hoar­, Kansas
Amy Peterson, ­Idaho
Lisa Boyle­, Colorado/Wyoming
Tricia Pajella­, Missouri
Roni Anderson, ­Wisconsin
Tiffany Nixon, ­Illinois

Scholarships for the 2003 Conference will be announced in the Oct-Nov 2002 issue of Leaven.
If you are interested in serving on the 2003 Scholarship Committee, please contact:
Shirley Phillips at Sphillips at llli.org (email). Help with translations of scholarship materials would be most appreciated.

Shirley Phillips and her husband, Don, live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and have three children. She wrote this article on behalf of the LLLI Conference Scholarship Committee.

Last updated September 17, 2006 by jlm.
Page last edited .


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