THE INTER-MOUNTAIN - The Elkins Branch of the American Association of University Women recently awarded the Emily Opel Scholarship of $500 to Kaylee Rosencrance, a local Davis & Elkins College junior.
In 1947, five Elkins women met to discuss organizing an Elkins Branch of AAUW. For 135 years, AAUW has advanced equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.
The first elected president was Miss Emily Wilmoth. One of the major decisions made by that first group of women was to establish a scholarship fund to give to a deserving D&E College student. In the beginning the money was raised by selling United Nations Cookbooks, AAUW trivets and other special objects as well as hosting book fairs, rummage sales and card parties.
Wilmoth later became Emily Opel. She taught in Randolph County Schools and was an assistant superintendent for many years.
At some point in the branch history, the scholarship fund became known as the Emily Opel Scholarship fund. This award is presented to a student in their junior year in education at D& E College in May, during the final dinner meeting of the year.
As this year’s scholarship winner, Rosencrance is an elementary education major with specialty in early childhood, preschool special needs and reading. She will start her senior year in the fall.
Rosencrance has been on the dean’s list every semester. She is a native of Elkins and graduated from Elkins High School. She has more than 800 hours of practicum experience as a preschool aide. She has worked with Upward Bound, Head Start and the YMCA, and she also has served as a teaching assistant at a local elementary school. She will graduate from D&E next year and hopes to become a preschool teacher.