As one of our pillars is service, it is important that we serve both the University of Texas community and the Austin community at large. With our service projects, we hope to achieve just that. Our goal is to understand where people come from and their struggles so we can offer a helping hand in whatever way possible. Being a woman of excellence means serving voluntarily and when there is need.
In 2015, Women of Excellence and UMOJA hosted the first Queen “Be” Project to serve the Austin community. This event engaged local high school girls one Saturday to help them grow as young women. It included serval workshops centered on building confidence, creating healthy relationships and lives, college readiness, and discovering the power of womanhood. Participants were also entered into a raffle to win full prom makeovers. Queen “Be” was founded so we could connect college and high school students. As an organization, we have dedicated time to ensure the program continues in a meaningful way so that each participant leaves with an better understanding of who they are and what they can achieve.
2015 marked the first annual Staff Banquet, in which Women of Excellence got to honor those individuals who clean the residence halls, cook in the dining halls, and ensure the campus runs and functions efficiently. To honor them, we created a luncheon wherein staff members are able to take a break from their busy schedules to enjoy food, music, and recognition from us students. Starting in 2017, we began honoring both men and women in an effort to expand the event.
Posada Esperanza is Women of Excellence’s main philanthropy. It is a home that offers women their children a safe place as they transition from different situations. They are part of a larger home, Casa Marinella, that houses both men and women. We make visits each semester to do whatever work is needed, including cleaning, childcare, and sorting donations.
To foster a collaborative atmosphere as well as teach incoming college students how to plan and execute a service project, our Buds are tasked with just that each spring. The Bud Class of 2016 held a mini Week of Excellence to raise awareness for mental health and self image, while raising money for Posada Esperanza. In 2017, our Buds raised money to hold a spa and game day for women at Brookdale Senior living in Westlake. Our latest Bud class raised money to buy and donate books to ABA Connect. Each Bud Class gets completed control over what they want to do, from choosing an initial project to finding funding, to making sure it’s completed before the end of the spring semester. We’re excited to see what service projects future members come up with!