Two Aurora educators are the namesakes of new scholarships created by YWCA Aurora.
The YWCA Aurora Dr. Rebecca Sherrick Scholarship and the YWCA Aurora Dr. Christine Sobek Scholarship were created to honor both women, according to YWCA Aurora Executive Director Melissa Nigro.
The scholarships will be provided annually based on funding availability to Aurora University and Waubonsee Community College students who further the group's mission and who contribute to the Aurora community, Nigro added.
Sherrick became president of Aurora University in 2000 after serving as a faculty member and senior administrator at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis.,, for 20 years. Sobek has been president of Waubonsee Community College since 2001. She has spent her career as an educator and administrator in Illinois' community college system.
Both are passionate about Aurora and education, Nigro said.
YWCA Aurora board member Linda Pilmer said both Sherrick and Sobek are wonderful leaders that have made a great difference in the community.
"We wanted to shine light on the work they have done," she added.
Each will be recognized at the upcoming Leaders of Change Luncheon celebrating inspirational acts of leadership and activism, Nigro said.
In addition, Bernice A. King, the youngest daughter of the late Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr., will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon.
Chris Goerlich Weber, a YWCA Aurora board member, said as part of the YWCA's mission, "We are continually seeking to grow, diversify and create new partnerships in the community."
One new program being facilitated by the YWCA is an 11-week program titled Community Dialogues which uses trained facilitators and films to create discussions in the community.
After several members came to the board last year wanting to address the YWCA's mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, Nigro, who assumed the leadership role at the YWCA about six months ago, decided with the YWCA board to carry the request forward through the Community Dialogues.
"The concept behind the program is that people from various neighborhoods would come together to discuss race with the goal of creating an action plan for their neighborhood," Nigro said.
Community Dialogues events in Aurora are running from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Santori Public Library, 101 S. River St.; and from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays at Main Baptist Church, 814 E. Galena Blvd. The programs are for adults only, and reservations are required. To reserve a spot, go to www.ywcaaurora.org.
If you go
What: Leaders of Change Luncheon
Where: Piper's Banquets, 1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora
When: 11:30 a.m. Monday. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at www.ywcaaurora.org.