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Meet Susan: Current Scholar, Future Electrician

By Molly Berg
Public Relations
Jeannette Rankin Scholarship Fund

In Susan’s small town in Northern California, there is no qualified, licensed electrician to serve the community.

When Susan joined Women Working, a group for women in field trades, she was motivated to begin her own trade career in construction and landscaping. Through her business, she met a client named Ron, a remodel carpenter who taught her important carpentry and wiring skills. Soon after, Susan was inspired to pursue her Sustainable Technology certificate so that she could become the electrician her town needs.

“My experience in framing, plumbing, and sheetrock will make me a better specialist in electrical,” she says.

Susan is currently earning her certificate in Sustainable Technology at Mendocino College. Once she graduates, she plans to have an electrical apprenticeship so that she can take the electrical contractor’s exam. Once licensed, Susan plans to reduce costs to customers who currently pay travel time of professionals who come from other towns.

“As a professional tradeswoman, I will benefit my community,” Susan says. “I will be a role model for women and girls, as well as helping men become more comfortable with women in construction.”

In 2012, Susan was awarded a Jeannette Rankin Fund scholarship to help her pursue her career goals. The $2000 award can be used for tuition, books, rent, power bills, transportation or other living expenses.

Jeannette Rankin’s Women Scholarship Fund (JRF) awards scholarships to low-income women 35 and older who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees, certificates or vocational training. In 2013, JRF will support 87 women as they work to change their lives through education, bringing the total awarded to more than $2 million. To learn more about scholars like Susan, visit rankinfoundation.org.