Current Projects


This year’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders drew nearly 1,000 attendees. Photo courtesy of the AAUW Mission and Action Newsletter

National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) Fundraiser
During the 2013-2014 academic year, the Storm Lake branch hosted two “Ladies Night Out” Bunco and Book Swap events to fund student attendance at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL). NCCWSL is a student conference held annually in Washington D.C. It is co-sponsored by AAUW. The focus is on leadership, but sessions include gender equality, global issues, encouraging girls in STEM, etc. There is also a graduate school fair, opportunities for networking, and free time to explore the city. For the June 2014 conference, the branch was able to fully fund the participation of two Buena Vista University students, Brandy Fowler and Bonnie Keller. You can read more about the conference at The branch will be continuing with this effort for the 2014-2015 year so, if you’re interested in participating in future fundraisers or contributing a monetary donation to this fund, please contact Jennifer McNabb ( for more information.

$tart $mart Salary Negotiation Workshop
AAUW Storm Lake has partnered with the Buena Vista University Gender and Women’s Studies program on several occasions to host a $tart $mart Salary Negotiation Workshop. $tart $mart workshops provide college women who are approaching the job market the knowledge and skills to negotiate salaries and benefits so that they receive fair and realistic compensation. For more information about the workshop, please visit the AAUW website:

Past Projects

Iowa Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies
In the fall of 2012, the Storm Lake Branch of AAUW hosted a Community Conversation for local community leaders to discuss ways in which we can reduce the rates of unintended pregnancies for women between the ages of 18-30. The goal of the Community Conversation was to increase dialogue about this important, yet often overlooked, issue. The Iowa Initiative facilitated this discussion.  For more information about this program, please visit the Iowa Initiative website.

Andreas Barahona, Jake Heitman, Kendall Snyder and Zack Brown participated in an anti-bullying speech contest. Snyder earned a first place award and presented his speech at the state contest in Denison on April 27. Photo by Kaye Otto

Speech Trek
Speech Trek, a program that offers a speech contest, began in 2012-13 offering the contest to all Iowa middle school students, (6th through 8th grade),  enrolled in public middle schools, private middle schools, continuation schools, or home schools. The Storm Lake branch offered Speech Trek to the Storm Lake Middle School and St. Mary’s Middle School in Storm Lake through collaboration with Buena Vista University’s College and University Partnership via the Communication Studies Program. Two junior Communication Studies’ majors mentored students from St. Mary’s sixth grade. A local contest was held in late February naming Kendall Snyder as the winner of the Storm Lake Branch’s competition. Kendall’s speech was submitted via recording for judging with AAUW Iowa’s state competition where he was voted as the top speaker in western Iowa. Kendall presented his award winning speech at the state conference held in Denison in April and received an iPad as his prize.

AAUW Campus Action Project: DREAMS
Following January and February 2011 recruiting efforts at the public and private high schools in Storm Lake, 42 high school women registered for the Feb. 19 AAUW DREAMS Project “Meet and Greet Day” on Buena Vista University (BVU) campus.  Additionally, 20 BVU students indicated interest in becoming college student mentors.  This provided a 2:1 mentorship opportunity for the high school women through social networking, personal contact, and emails with the BVU student mentors.  This mentorship situation was one of the major program accomplishments.  High school students were invited back to campus during Saturdays in March and April to conduct chemistry, physics, biology, and math laboratory investigations.  The BVU students met with high school students outside of the pre-planned monthly laboratory activities and provided guidance on college applications and how to apply for financial assistance.   The culminating DREAMS Project activity was a formal dinner with students and parents of high school participants.  Participants were recognized, and parents were able to view the website photos and video of their daughters participating in the semester-long science programs. For more information, please visit

Summer Sizzle
In the summer of 2010, the Iowa State University – Buena Vista County Extension office sponsored the second year of a  week long program called Summer Sizzle aimed at empowering middle school girls to reach their full potential. This program is provided at no cost to the participants. Funding comes primarily from grants and donations.  After learning about the program, Storm Lake AAUW agreed to provide lunch for one of the days of the Summer Sizzle program.  Sack lunches were provided to approximately 65 participants and their counselors as a way to help Summer Sizzle defray the costs of this program. Meeting the girls and assisting with their week at BVU allowed the Storm Lake chapter to participate in a community need and to achieve a goal of AAUW at the same time.