Welcome to the San Luis Obispo (CA) Branch of AAUW!

February Meeting


Sponsored by San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara County Interbranch Councils

Saturday, February 24, 2018

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM

The Madonna Inn – Garden Room

San Luis Obispo

YOU ARE ALL INVITED for an afternoon of great food. dynamic speakers, and energizing conversations with your AAUW friends on the Central Coast!!   Our Keynote Speaker and AAUW Fellowship recipient, Daisy Benitez, will share how our contributions to AAUW Funds have changed her life!   This is not a “members only” event … all guests are welcome!  Just remember to include the name and meal choice of your guests when you RSVP by February 12, 2018.


Menu Choices:  Thyme & Basil Chicken; Roast Pork; or Vegetarian Option

Green salad, dessert, and coffee or tea included with all entrees.

Opening Remarks

Donna Mertens, AAUW CA President

Sharon Westafer, AAUW CA Director, AAUW Funds

Keynote Speaker – Daisy Benitez, AAUW Fellow


More about Keynote Speaker Daisy Benitez: “Work with your mind, not with your hands.” Recent graduate Daisy Benitez grew up hearing these words so often it became her mantra. In fact, her life was shaped by this saying and by the lives of its authors: her parents. As a first-generation college student, Benitez was determined to build a future that her parents once dreamed of. After earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering (’17), she will continue her work in sustainability through the Master in Green Technologies program, with her graduate studies funded by the National GEM Consortium Engineering Fellowship, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowship, and the Switzer Environmental Fellowship.  As the first member of her family to earn an undergraduate degree, Benitez never even considered attending graduate school. For one, she didn’t know if she could afford it coming from a low-income household, and two, not many of her friends gave graduate school much thought. It wasn’t until last year when Benitez was elected the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers student chapter president that the club started encouraging its members to pursue graduate degrees.

The San Luis Obispo branch was organized in 1943 and has been a vital part of the community for over 65 years.

The branch was instrumental in the creation of Mission Plaza and the Art Center of San Luis Obispo.  We also initiated Art Park, a summer arts program for children, and were founding members of the SLO County Women’s Legacy Fund.  We continue to sponsor candidates’ and issue forums.

Today the branch consists of more than 70 women from varied backgrounds who promote the Association’s goals.

Our current community actions include:

    • Tech Trek:  is a math and science camp for middle school girls
    • Adopt-a-Poll: staffing a voting site during elections
    • San Luis Obispo High School Scholarships: our branch raises money to provide scholarships for college-bound high school girls.
    • Scholarship & Loan Committee: was created to assist re-entry students at Cuesta College. The Committee is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.
    • Support for the Educational Foundation: Provides fellowships and grants to women for graduate study and community action
    • Support for Legal Advocacy Fund: Provides support for women seeking judicial redress for sex discrimination in academia and the workplace
    • Friends of the Library/AAUW In-School Reading Program: Volunteers read with children in a classroom setting to provide literacy experiences that encourage, support, and celebrate children’s efforts to learn to read.

Branch meetings are generally held once a month on either Monday evening or Saturday during the day at various locations around town. These monthly programs provide opportunities for members to discuss and learn about critical issues affecting women and the community.  For more details on upcoming programs please see the programs page. All meetings are open to the public. If you would like to talk to a branch representative before attending a meeting, please feel free to contact us.

We also have a variety of special interest groups you may enjoy.  These include two bridge groups, two book clubs, craft group, hiking, and dining out.  Please join us!

Like us on Facebook     social-facebook-box-blue-icon

Follow us on Twitter @AAUWSLO