April 21, 2024

Photos courtesy of Leotha Stanley

The bulk of our scholarships are awarded to deserving high school seniors of color in Dane County, to assist the students as they begin their post high school educations. Since the inception of our scholarship program, our scholarships have greatly impacted the lives of our 502 WIF Scholars. In 2024, we are awarding 29 scholarships of $2500 each for a total of $72,500. This is the highest number of scholarships we have awarded in one year. 1-2 WIF scholarships each year are continuing scholarships, which are for returning or non-traditional college or tech school students. 

In 2014, we established a continuing scholarship in honor of WIF founding member the late Jan Studesville, who, along with her husband Alfonso, tragically died in a motorcycle accident. Starting in 2017, we have awarded a high school scholarship in honor of WIF founding member the late Gloria Jones-Bey. Starting in 2019, we have awarded a high school scholarship in honor of our founding member, the late Dr. Virginia Henderson. In 2021, we awarded the first high school scholarship in honor of the late Rose Ann Brown, WIF Founding member. We have implemented a Scholarship Sponsor program where a sponsor can fund the entire $2500 scholarship which will be awarded in memory of a loved one or to a scholar entering a particular field such as business or health. WIF also chooses scholars for several independently funded scholarships. We honor the scholars and their families at our annual spring Scholarship Award Reception.

In 2011, Women in Focus Inc. established the WIF Scholarship Endowment Fund housed at the Madison Community Foundation. The Endowment proceeds currently fund 1-2 scholarships each year. We continue to add to this fund so we can use the income from the fund to award scholarships for students of color in perpetuity.