The Women of Achievement Awards are presented to women who:
- Exhibit leadership skills in their field of expertise
- Advocate for positive social change in our community
- Demonstrate a commitment to the YWCA mission of eliminating racism and empowering women
- Have garnered respect within the community
- Are dedicated to helping women and girls achieve their goals
- Exhibit qualities of teamwork, integrity, and dedication
- Give back to the community through their time, talent and/or resources
- Are active in Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, or Pender County
Award Categories & Eligibility
Advocacy & Social Justice Award recognizes significant contributions of an advocate for an important cause or policy, such as the environment, civil or human rights, voting rights, victims’ rights, animal rights, or by challenging injustice and valuing diversity through her profession or volunteerism.
Arts & Culture Award recognizes a professional or volunteer making significant contributions in the visual, literary, cultural,
performing and graphic arts, television, radio, journalism, and/or architecture field.
Business Award recognizes a professional or volunteer making significant contributions in business, industry, banking, marketing, public relations, law or finance and/or those who are self-employed who have contributed their time and talents to local businesses.
Education Award recognizes significant contributions in the field of education as a teacher, administrator, researcher, coach, volunteer and/or librarian. The nominee should demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of education.
Health & Wellness Award recognizes significant contributions in the fields of medicine and/or fitness. The nominee may be a physician, dentist, nurse, researcher, volunteer, therapist, technician and/or administrator.
Public Service Award recognizes significant contributions that enhance the quality of life for the community. The nominee may work or volunteer for the government as an elected/appointed official, a non-profit or in any field that has a positive impact on public policy.
Rachel Freeman Unsung Hero Award recognizes a woman who has overcome significant personal obstacles in their lives and are now in the beginning phase of serving others, her family, church, and/or community through her profession or volunteerism. This award is in memory of Ms. Rachel Freeman who served as President of the YWCA Board and on many YWCA committees. She was an active community member, a champion for education, and served on the NHC School Board for more than 10 years.
Trailblazer Award recognizes a young woman 35 or under that is creating, participating or adapting initiatives to empower women, eliminate racism, and/or making a positive change in her industry or community.
Adult nominees must be active residents of Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover or Pender County.
YWCA Board Members, committee members, staff, and past Women of Achievement recipients are not eligible to be nominated.
Past Women of Achievement nominees are eligible to be nominated again.
Young Leader Scholarship recognizes two female high school seniors making significant contributions in their community. One scholarship will be awarded based on merit, and one awarded based on mission.
The merit award focuses on a woman who excels academically. The mission award focuses on a woman who has bounced back from adversity in her young life; this leader is defined by her perseverance, not by her hurdle. The mission award was established as a family legacy from Jordan Duhe Willets.
The top two candidates chosen each receive a $1,000 scholarship to be used for post-secondary education at an accredited educational institution.
An official school transcript is required as a part of the nomination form.
Selected recipients will be notified ahead of time.
Student Impact Grant supports non-degree research projects, community programs, or project-based proposals that promote the mission of the YWCA to eliminate racism and/or empower women. Candidates should be a female enrolled at the college or university level or a female-led student group in Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, or Pender County. The top candidate will receive a $1,500 grant to fulfill the need addressed by the proposal or support project completion.
Candidates must be enrolled at the college or university level in Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, or Pender County.
Project proposals must have a direct public impact, be nonpartisan, and take place within the four-county service area of the YWCA Lower Cape Fear. Projects should include a clearly defined activity and/or outcome that promotes the elimination of racism and/or the empowerment of women and girls within the community.
YWCA Women of Achievement Award recipients are selected by a committee made up of representatives of event sponsors and community members. This committee meets to consider all nominees and make the final selections. Award recipients are not notified prior to the event, as they are announced at the Women of Achievement Awards ceremony. Nominees who are not selected as award recipients may be nominated again.
NOMINATIONS DEADLINE: Friday, January 15th by 5:00 pm
Nominations are invited from organizations, institutions, businesses, professionals, civic groups and individuals.
Nominations by family members are discouraged.
Nominees must be active residents of Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover or Pender counties.
All nominations must be submitted online.
Letters of support, articles, and photos will not be considered.
Nominations received that do not include sufficient information will be returned for completion or rejected.
Nominations must include:
- Full contact information for both the nominator and the nominee
- Consent from nominee to be included as a candidate in the Women of Achievement Awards
- Resume, official school transcript, or proof of enrollment as noted for each Award category
- Completed online nomination questions, as outlined in the next section
Please be prepared to answer the following questions when submitting a nomination.
Adult & Young Leader Scholarship Nominations
- Explain the nominee’s background/history of professional or academic achievement and leadership skills for her designated category.
- Describe how the nominee’s work supports the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.
- Describe how the nominee has served as a role model for others in her community, profession, school, or organization.
- Explain or list the nominee’s community involvement and/or volunteer activities.
- Please list any awards the nominee has received or been nominated for as a result of her academic, professional, or volunteer contributions.
- Rachel Freeman Unsung Hero Nominations ONLY – Explain personal obstacles and barriers the nominee faced and overcame in order to achieve or serve. (Personal obstacles can include illness, disability, extreme poverty, family problems, emotional issues, etc.)
Student Impact Grant Applications
- Briefly describe the individual or group submitting this proposal. Please include any faculty or staff advisers involved in this project.
- Describe the goal of this project. Include any research to be conducted & methodology, mission and purpose of the program, and anticipated program outcomes or impact.
- Describe the project timeline, including specific dates and completion goals.
- The number of individuals the project will serve.
- Please provide an itemized project budget.