AAUW Alumna Gives back to the Boise Branch

July 10, 2014

Molly O’Leary, 1992 AAUW Career Development Grantee, was reintroduced to AAUW in a surprising way recently.

Molly O'Leary

Molly O’Leary

When AAUW Boise Area (ID) Branch members asked around for some legal advice, they were directed to O’Leary, known in the community for working with nonprofit groups. After the work was finished, the branch found out, much to their delight, that their bill was waived completely. As it turned out, O’Leary’s grant was partially funded by the Idaho State Golden Anniversary Endowment! O’Leary was happy to reconnect with AAUW and give her expertise to the branch.

When she applied for the grant, O’Leary explained, “I was a single mom with a 4-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son contemplating college and was faced with the reality of quitting a job I loved, losing a steady paycheck and benefits, and moving far from my support system to go into debt at the age of 39. Not exactly an easy choice, but I knew if I didn’t give myself that chance, I’d regret it the rest of my life.”

The grant helped out with child care expenses, books, and school fees. She now has a business law practice, BizCounselor@Law, where she assists businesses and telecommunications clients.

It was a remarkable twist of fate that a former AAUW grantee happened to be recommended to Kathy Scott, president, and Julie Custer, funds chair. “Happenstance!” Scott told us happily. The fact that Boise Branch members helped fund the national endowment that O’Leary received was just icing. Scott said it was nice to see the money the branch had raised for a national endowment was making an impact on a woman in their community.

The moral of the story is that AAUW is everywhere, even where you’re not expecting it. Members and alumnae are doing great things in their fields and lives. If you have interacted with a fellow or grantee, let us know!

Molly O’Leary was sponsored by the Idaho State Division Golden Anniversary Endowment and the Virginia Cutler/Ettie Lee/Bessie Kotzin Endowment



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