Volume 115 Issue 9

May 2024

2023-2024 Theme:

Building Connections to Meet Future Challenges

Message from the President

Dear Members,

I sincerely enjoyed April’s annual meeting. This is the cumulation of what we do during the year-our major advocacy program, scholarships. The results for this year were 9 young women receiving a boost in their educational goals towards economic sustainment and freedom. Providing the scholarships was made more relative after hearing their journeys and goals and what our donations mean to them. Only 5 recipients and their family members were able to join us this year for the award ceremony. The students were so gracious and grateful in their acceptance. Quite a few tears fell during the program.

Please recognize and thank Karen Reichensperger for taking over the scholarship program after Jeanette Pierce was incapacitated. Many thanks to Jeanette for getting it started. Thanks to the members that volunteered to vet all the applications. And, thanks to all our members who were able to donate to our scholarship fund. Remember, donating to our scholarship fund is continuous. You can do it at any time. Great , successful teamwork!

Congratulations to our new elected officers voted into office during the meeting: Vice President for Membership and Secretary, Debbi Sochia, Vice President for Membership, Martha Steele, and Treasurer Elect, Patricia Tucker. They start their term 1 July along with Antonina Duridanova, Treasurer in her second year of a 2-year term, and President-Elect Claudia Walker assuming the presidency. Please email or call your congratulations. You may show your support by volunteering for the small one-time jobs. Every minute of volunteering helps.

The nominating committee expended a lot of time and effort in approaching members to fill the elected officer positions. Thank you for a job well done!

I will attend my grandson’s college graduation in Virginia May 4th, so I will not be with you for the last meeting of the year as president. I never imagined that I would lead any group during my 70’s or even when I joined AAUW. But I enjoyed meeting many women with diverse interests, each experiencing different adventures. I have enjoyed the challenge of the office. I do wish I had joined AAUW when I was somewhat younger and had more energy. The mission of the organization    is so important to the lives of women and girls which makes me want to do more and to do better. Thank you for your support, your patience, and trusting me to lead the organization.

I want to publicly thank each member of our Board of Directors who served during my 2 years as President. This team is engaged, responsible, responsive, and committed to AAUW, our members, and our mission.

Our guest speaker for May is Kayla Carter, CEO of FOR HER. To understand FOR HER, you really need to visit their website - https://iamforher.org/. This is also an organization with which we should consider some type of partnership to help directly affect the lives of women.

What still keeps me up at night: poverty—easy to get into, hard to get out of in a country of so much; climate change-loss of water and ocean changes, fires; loss of rights in the US, especially women’s right and voting challenges; local elections. The struggles continue. So, what am I going to do about it?

Thanks for the Memories


2023-2024 Branch Leaders

Executive Committee


Diane Claiborne-Carr       

President Elect

Claudia Walker     

Vice President Membership

Ruth Lyle                         

Vice President Programs

Deborah Andrepointe              


Norma Khoshbin    


Antonina Duridanova


Suzanne Benson

Standing Committees

Public Policy

Pat Sanford


Antonina Duridanova


Jeanette Pierce

Karen Reichensperger


Martha Steele




Malinda Gaul


Mary Ellen Pratt




Jeanette Pierce



Rachel Skelley

Community Coordinator





Michelle Burk

Member Outreach

Kathy Dicke



4 MAY 2024



11:00 A.M

Luncheon: $18 Box Lunch. Make choice from offerings below.

RSVP with lunch choice to:

Antonina Duridanova - ninadanoff@sbcglobal.net


Checks made out to: AAUW-SA      Note: May Meeting

Mail to: AAUW San Antonio

           P.O. Box 460825  

           San Antonio, TX 78246-0825


Zelle payment: Click the Zelle tab in your bank account.  

Use the email aauwsatx@gmail.com to send money.

In the memo field identify the payment: AAUW May Meeting.








Your choice of meat and bread, leafy lettuce, tomato, cookie, chips

Meat Choices: Chicken Salad or Roasted Turkey

Bread Choices: White, Multigrain, or Gluten-free (comes with Rice Krispie treat)



Nitrite-free ham, roasted turkey, bacon, cheddar, Swiss, leafy lettuce all on a butter croissant, chips, cookie

Bread Choices: Croissant - Regular or Gluten-free (comes with Rice Krispie treat)



Nutty Mixed-Up Salad

Grapes, strawberries, cranberries, walnut mix, organic field greens and feta, balsamic vinaigrette, cookie (take chicken on side or pay $2.79 more)


Big Chef Salad

Nitrite-free ham, roasted turkey breast, grape tomatoes, country olive blend, hard boiled egg, mixed salad greens, cheddar and asiago with fresh-made ranch dressing, cookie

May Speaker

Kayla Carter

Founder and CEO

For Her

Kayla Carter, a lifetime daughter of the City of San Antonio, has devoted her life to building equity for women, and she is the Founder of For Her, a local non-profit she established in 2013.

For Her was inspired by Kayla's personal experiences, when her community supported her during a challenging time, leading her towards healing and success. Over the past decade, Kayla has focused on addressing systemic inequalities. She is committed to fostering a sense of belonging, creating social capital, and ensuring equitable opportunities for women to thrive. She is passionate about uniting individuals who share a mutual interest in reciprocity and women's growth and success.

Currently, Kayla Carter holds the position of CEO at For Her. She is an active participant in Leadership San Antonio’s Class 47 and a member of the local chapter of The Non-Profit Council. Her past contributions include serving on the Alamo Area Coalition Against Trafficking (AACAT) and the S.T.O.P. Task Force. Kayla firmly believes in the power of women to bring about transformation in their communities through social, political, and philanthropic innovation.

Kayla is increasingly becoming a go-to voice for those interested in building lean non-profits and promoting women’s equity. She advocates for innovative thinking beyond the conventional philanthropy model, asserting that this can lead to more creative ways of maintaining community welfare. She firmly believes that such an approach can guarantee the long-term success of organizations and enhance the lives of the individuals and families they support.


AAUW San Antonio

April 13, 2024


Our monthly meeting was held at Paesanos in Lincoln Heights. The meeting was called to order at 11 a.m. by President Diane Claiborne-Carr.


Diane welcomed our visitors, the winner of our branch scholarships and their family members. She announced that our membership has risen to 92, as we have added a new member this month.


Debbi Socia, chair of the Nominating Committee, announced the committee’s nominations for officers for the 2024-2025 year.

President-Elect: No candidate at this time.

Vice-President for Programs: Martha Steele

Vice-President for Membership: Debbi Sochia

Secretary: Debbi Sochia

Treasurer-Elect: Patricia Tucker


Diane asked for nominations from the floor, but none were offered. The nominees were elected. They will serve under our current President-Elect, Claudia Walker. (Note: There is a position specified by AAUW National-Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Intersectionality- that was held by a past member, Kimberly Henry. One member, Dre Andrepoint, has already volunteered to serve as Chair of this committee.)


Following the luncheon, Diane called upon Mynda McGuire to present the history of the San Antonio Branch AAUW scholarships over the past 100 years:


During the organization’s first 20 years, the branch offered annual scholarships of $100 and $200 to send young women to University of Texas. They raised funds by bringing in nationally-recognized speakers, and selling tickets to the events to the public. Ticket prices were usually under 50 cents. In 1920, William Butler Yeats was engaged to speak, and in 1922, the speaker was Robert Frost. These poets not only presented programs to the public, but also addressed school children in daytime programs.


In later years, fundraising for scholarships included banquets and auctions. These events were called “Breaking the Glass Ceiling.” For many years, members raised funds by collecting used books and holding an annual sale at a local mall.


In recent years, we have sold raffle tickets before the holidays for a prize of a gift card, and also held a sale of champagne and chocolate at one meeting. Our textbook scholarships of $500 each are funded by these events.


Our $2,000 graduate scholarships are funded by profits from investments of our members’ bequests. The number of scholarships depends upon the interest earned on the investments over the years.


Scholarships to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders are funded by AAUW San Antonio and AAUW Texas SHARE program.

Diane then called upon Ali Heller, a member of the Scholarship Committee, to explain AAUW’s tenacious and trailblazing support of women’s education since 1889. She informed scholarship winners of the gender equity mission of AAUW, and our intersectional, inclusive values in efforts to remove barriers for women. Currently, sixty percent of college graduates are women.


Now we focus on the gender pay gap, advocacy for laws and policies that contribute to women’s success, and education. Nationally, AAUW’s scholarships total $135 million. AAUW funds fellowships in seven categories, including career development, community action, and professional qualifications. AAUW also offers a free online training class on negotiating salaries, called Work Smart.


In conclusion, Ali offered the recipients some advice given to her by a former boss.

1)   Do not speak ill of your professors or bosses. These comments can have consequences.

2)   Always offer a firm handshake.


The scholarship recipients were announced and the recipients who were present were introduced. Each one gave a brief description of her education journey and her current major.


Diantha Perelli announced the winners of the textbook scholarships:

Elizabeth Chambi Montora

Olivia Solis

Rosaria Fernandez

Sylvia Portillo

Elizabeth and Olivia were in attendance, and each was accompanied by her daughter.


Ali Heller announced the winners of the $2,000 graduate scholarships:

Briana Cardenas, Brittany Edwards and Munube Yilmaz. Briana was present and accompanied by her parents.


Pat Sanford introduced the winners of scholarships to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. This prestigious conference, to be held in May in College Park, Maryland, features nationally known speakers and offers networking opportunities for student leaders. The winners are Amy Ayala and Bianca Rawlings. Bianca was present and spoke about her work for a non-profit, as well as her graduate program. Amy was also present and thanked the branch for the opportunity of receiving leadership training. This year, each of the women we are sending to NCCWSL will be mentored by a member of our branch. Pat Sanford will mentor Bianca and Rachel Skelley will mentor Amy.


In conclusion, Jeannette Pierce, who had volunteered to chair the scholarship committee, but had to resign due to a serious injury, offered a thank you to Dr. Karen Reichensperger, Life member of AAUW, past president of our branch, and long-time chair of the Scholarships Committee, who flew in from her home in Minnesota to temporarily chair the committee. Karen did not come back to the presentation that she had so often arranged. The members offered thanks and a round of applause.


The meeting was then adjourned.

Lunch and more…

Do AAUW women like to lunch? Yes, indeed! Do AAUW women come together for more than lunch? Yes, we do!

AAUW Values

We have long advocated for gender equity, economic security, and education. This is because we value intersectionality, being inclusive, reaping the benefits of intergenerational membership, and empowering women and girls to achieve their potential to lead and contribute. When I first saw that intersectionality was an AAUW value, I admit that I was not sure what the term meant. Picture a Venn Diagram. Women, gender, race, education, ethnicity, age, workforce, opportunity, military, health, healthcare, family role, mother, aunt, sister, daughter, cousin, grandmother, great grandmother, and more. You see the picture. It’s vibrant, large, encompassing, and global. There are millions of us, and we each have a voice, our collective voice made stronger by our differences. When we join together to make our voices heard, we are powerful!

This is a crucial year for us to act on our values. We can make our mark in towns, cities, and on the national level.


Push for federal policies to advance gender equity. We support strong laws to close the wage gap, provide paid sick time and parental leave, protect pregnant workers, stop sexual harassment and more. Push for the ERA!!

In Texas

Around the country, AAUW activists are helping to advance legislation to protect women and ensure economic security for them and their families. Start by being informed. Take action as suggested in Constant Contact messages from the AAUW Texas Public Policy Advisory Committee. Check the Texas Legislature Online (TLO) website for a myriad of information including your representatives’ names and contact information. Know your representatives’ voting records. If they don’t support AAUW values, vote for someone else who does.

Speak up, Connect, Show up, Vote

Personal freedoms are under assault. Great legal minds are making a strong case that our democracy is on the line. To stave off going backward into a time when women had fewer freedoms, when our country had more restrictive voting and financial laws, it is imperative that we speak up. Call and email your representatives! Connect with women in our branch and in other organizations that share our organizational values so that our combined voices make a powerful sound that makes change happen. Attend forums and events of organizations such as the League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood, and Go Public (a local organization for San Antonio area public schools), and many others. Put your values into action when you show up by attending marches and demonstrations or by making financial contributions. As citizens, is it our responsibility and civic duty to vote. Know your ballot before you vote. Research candidates to see what their values are. Don’t rely solely on name recognition. Vote in local elections every time. Since not many people do, it only takes a few voters one way or another to make a difference.

So, while we’re enjoying lunch together, we are also able to share information, strategize, and commit to action. May I join you? I hope you join me too.

Pat Sanford

AAUW San Antonio Public Policy Chair

AAUW Texas Public Policy Advisory Committee


Elizabeth Chambi Montora 

We look forward to getting to know you!

Invite a friend or family member to attend a meeting. If they join as a New Member after attending a San Antonio AAUW event or meeting, the National dues are half price: only $36. AAUW Texas dues are $13.00, and San Antonio Branch dues are $16.00, for a total of $65 for their first year.


You can pay online with Zelle or by check.

On January 30th you received an email from me with the updated AAUW-SA Directory. Please let me know anytime there are changes to your information.

Any membership questions please call, text or email me.

Ruth Lyle

V.P. Membership

AAUW - San Antonio




Bingo Fundraiser for Greatest Needs

Join us for virtual Bingo on May 15, 2024 at 6:00 pm.

To get a Bingo card make a donation to AAUW Greatest Needs using the below link and then email

Malinda Gaul mgaul@satx.rr.com.

Link to Donate to Greatest Needs


by Dee Kite

Right now my husband, two small dogs and I are living in a small rental house while our home is renovated. I’ve spent a good part of my days dealing with the things that don’t work here (there are a lot), submitting work orders, dealing with workmen…you know the drill. And there’s a part of me that says, “It’ll all be okay, it’ll all be better when we move back.” Basically, “This is not really my life. One day, everything will be right, everything will be as it should be.”

This is known as the Arrival Fallacy. Thinking things are not okay now. Happiness will be in the future and will be determined by external factors.

For me, this isn’t new, it didn’t just pop-up when we started renovating. I’ve been doing it forever. And I realized, at this late date, they’re right, it is a fallacy. And I realized it’s time to stop waiting for the day I have good posture and am not afraid of death. For the magical time when I’m free of MS and prediabetes and heart disease and GERD, when I’m wise and calm and sleep through the night.

Because even if these things happen, there will always be something else beckoning from the horizon, “Hey you! When you do this your life will finally be right!”

No! No more! It’s time to accept and embrace my life, to be who I am within my body, my reality.

It helps me to remember something my oldest friend, my Sister-By-Choice, taught me. When she was a therapist in a women’s prison, surprisingly, the happiest people were the “lifers.” They had to accept most everything about their lives because there would be no change of address, no return of agency. Cyndi said their happiness came because they, “Stayed inside the fence, made their lives inside the fence.”

These women did not have the option of believing things would be better when they were released. They had no reason to spend time imagining superior lives on the outside, in the future. Everything was right there. And they were happier.

I’m learning to do the same with my thinking, noticing my thoughts when they veer outside of the fence of today to the fallacy of arriving tomorrow. I practice bringing my thoughts back to the wonder of the moment in front of me. This is where joy lives.

I invite you to try it too. Pull a Ram Dass and Be Here Now. Stay inside the fence of today. Accept and love your beautiful life, with all its flaws. There’s only one of you and you are amazing.


Dr. Dee Kite

Celebrating Gifted Young Women!!

On April 13th, the San Antonio Affiliate of AAUW met to honor young women who are receiving our scholarships. Ali Heller presented an over-view of AAUW and its many endeavors, showing examples of how philanthropy supports advocacy, education, and research with the goal of equity for women and girls.

Textbook Scholarships 

Rosario Fernandez (UTSA-BS in biology), Elizabeth Chambi Montoro (SAC-BSN in Nursing), Sophia Portillo (NE Lakeview-AS in STSEM), Olivia Solis (SAC-AA in Business Administration) received $500 for textbooks. They were selected from among the 33 applications received. The review committee was comprised of Mary Adams, Pearl Eng, Ali Heller, Diantha Perelli, Felice Siefert, Flo Wallace. Diantha Perelli made the $500 presentations.

Graduate Scholarships 

The 2024 $2,000 graduate scholarship awardees are Briana Cardenas (OLLU-MS in School Psychology), Brittany Edwards (UIW-DPT in Physical Therapy), and Munube Yilmaz (TX State-PhD in Counseling, Leadership and Psychology). This year was an anomaly with only six (6) applications received. The review committee was Rachel Skelley and Patricia Tucker. Ali Heller made the presentations.

National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL)

AAUW-SA again sponsored students to attend AAUW’s premier leadership conference at the University of Maryland. Amy Ayala (St. Philips- ASRC) and Bianca Rawlings (TX A&M-MA in Business Administration) showed significant leadership involvement during their studies; this conference will enhance their leadership skills. Ali Heller presented them with their $500 checks from the Branch for transportation and miscellaneous expenses. State SHARE funds financed their $565 registration fee. We look forward to hearing from them in one of our future newsletters.

Certificates will be mailed to the scholarship recipients. The Branch can be proud of these students as well as their own efforts at fundraising.

Karen Reichensperger

Left to right are as follows: 

Bianca Rawlings, Amy Ayala, Briana Cardenas, Elizabeth Chambi Montora with her 4-year-old daughter Anjali, and Olivia Solis with her teenage daughter.

The two scholarship recipients who will be attending the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) are Bianca Rawlings (left side) and Amy Ayala (right side ). 

Left to right are as follows: Sariah Espinoza (mother of Amy Ayala), Briana Cardenas, Amy Ayala, Bianca Rawlings, Olivia Solis with her teenage daughter, and Elizabeth Chambi Montora with her 4-year-old daughter Anjali. 

Interest Groups


Wednesday, May 22

4:30 pm


Neighborhood Eatery and Bar

Located at The Alley on Bitters

555 W. Bitters Road, Suite 110

San Antonio, Texas 78216


RSVP to Malinda Gaul

only if you plan to attend



Thursday, May 9

11:30 am

Luna Rosa Puerto Rican Grill y Tapas

910 S. Alamo

San Antonio, Texas 78223


RSVP (text or email)

only if you plan to attend

by noon, on Tuesday, May 2

Ali Heller


Text 210.617.8189


Monday, May 13

12:00 noon


14424 San Pedro Ave. 78232

Contact Pearl Eng




Saturday, April 27

10:00 am

by Zoom

The books for the next AAUW year will be selected.

Contact Diane Carr or Diantha Perelli for the Zoom link.


Friday, May 10

1:00 pm

4242 Broadway

San Antonio, Texas 78209

To RSVP Contact

Wondra Chang wchang646@gmail.com


Friday, May 17

1:00 pm

100 W. El Prado Drive #207

San Antonio, Texas 78212

To RSVP Contact

Kathy Dicke kdicke946@gmail.com

Culinary Adventures

Luna Rosa Puerto Rican Grill y Tapas

910 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78223

Family owned.

Located at the former Rosario’s location in Southtown.


From their website: The savory pernil y arroz con ganudules, mofongo, sorullitos, tostones, and more. From Spain, we will offer the amazing paellas, tapas, and sangria. The Tapas concept offers patrons the option to choose from a variety of tasty dishes to share. We offer a fully stocked bar specializing in a variety signature Puerto Rican rum cocktails, tropical margaritas, and a selection of tintos and white wines. 

We had a gorgeous day for our Culinary Adventure in April at The Creek in Boerne!!

Movie Goers

Since the movie schedule comes out every Thursday we cannot plan a month in advance. Look for notice when there is a good movie.


You can donate to the AAUW San Antonio Branch for Scholarships by making a check out to AAUW SA and sending it to AAUW San Antonio Branch, P.O. Box 460825, San Antonio, Texas 78246.

You can also donate to AAUW Greatest Needs

by clicking HERE.

The Two-Minute Activist
The Two-Minute Activist is a source of information on topics relating to women’s issues. It also enhances our ability to send emails and texts to legislators to fight for equal pay, family leave, stopping sexual harassment, equality in education and more. Sign up on the AAUW webpage to get regular alerts to be able to take timely action.
You can also text “AAUW” to 21333 to get AAUW action alerts via text. 

Follow AAUW San Antonio on:

Facebook www.facebook.com/aauw.sanantonio

Twitter @AAUW_SanAntonio

LinkedIn AAUW San Antonio

For more information visit the AAUW websites: