YWCA aims to recognize women of achievement


Jessica Darland/Iowa State Daily

The Ames YWCA honored three women for their achievements March 5, 2015 at the Octagon Center for the Arts. Susan Rhoades received the Woman of Achievement award; Kayla Sander, senior lecturer of accounting, received the Rising Star award; and Kierstyn Feld, sophomore in pre-architecture received a scholarship. Iowa State’s Bhangra dance group also performed near the conclusion of the event.

Lindsey Settle

The YWCA Ames at ISU is looking to recognize women in Story County that embody their mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. Seven to 10 women will receive YWCA Women of Achievement Awards either through a nomination or application process.

“With everything going on in the world today, it’s more important than ever to be recognizing women who are making an effort,” said Angela Merrick, YWCA Ames at ISU Executive Director.

According to the YWCA Ames, women can be nominated for their accomplishments in the workplace, community or school. Students may also apply for the 2019 scholarship award. One undergraduate or graduate student at Iowa State will receive $1,000 to be distributed over two semesters.

Only one of five YWCA’s left on a college campus, the YWCA Ames at ISU has revamped their program so this year more individuals can receive recognition for their efforts of bettering their communities.

“Our hope is that we can inspire young women to do the same and work toward social justice and women’s empowerment in Story County,” said Merrick.

Kierstyn Feld, senior in architecture and 2015 Women of Achievement Award scholarship recipient, received the award for her efforts to eliminate racism and empower women.

“I think it felt good to know that people were recognizing good things in the community. People were maybe looking beyond where they normally look for recognition,” Feld said.

As a pre-architecture student, she volunteered as a conversation partner for international students through Memorial Lutheran Church in Ames, Iowa. She was also a member of the International Student Ministry at Memorial Lutheran Church that sent her on two mission trips to North Carolina where she ran summer soccer camps for youth.

If in doubt of whether a contribution is too small, Feld said, “[It] applies, no matter how small of an act they think they’ve done.” 

Feld never had big plans to create waves of change, but her acts of service made her feel good. Taking a step back and looking at the impact one person can make is what she said is important.

The annual Women of Achievement Awards reception will be held on March 7, 2019, a day before International Women’s Day.

Nominations and scholarship applications can be sent to [email protected] by Nov. 30.