women speak is proud to announce its 2017 scholarship program:

the unsung heroine award


This year, Women SPEAK wants to recognize the contributions of under-recognized women who do incredible work in helping create, maintain, and sustain the communities of our world. Women SPEAK will award up to 6 scholarship awards in the amount of $250 USD to women of any age who are “unsung heroines” in their schools and/or communities.

Our favorite definition of an “unsung heroine” is by the Massachusetts Commission of Women who defines it as: “women who don’t always make the news, but truly make the difference. They are the women who use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities, [schools], and towns. They are mentors, volunteers and innovators who do what needs to be done without expectations of recognition or gratitude. These women are the glue that keeps a community together and every community has them.” 

2017 unsung heroine scholarship Winners



 Bryanna was nominated through an awesome appreciation video of Bryanna's heroic work compiled by her colorguard team at Damien HS in La Verne, CA.

"When I envision my future, I envision myself sitting somewhere out in the middle of a nature reserve or wildlife sanctuary, leading a group of young individuals in the research of endangered wildlife. Nature and wildlife have always been a crucial part of my life and I hope to be able to one day educate and show people the importance and beauty of protecting our natural world. I was recently selected to accompany one of my professors to Hong Kong in partnership with World Wildlife Fund to study invasive species at Mai Po nature reserve. While there we got to speak with some of the top scientist in the field of conservation biology and environmental science, most of whom are men. I hope to one day be sitting at that same table discussing the newest developments about conservation, invasive species, and wildlife protection- only this time I hope to be surrounded by women who have the same values I work so hard to imprint on the girls I have the privilege of working with."



Lauren is co-facilitator of the Women's Health Group at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

"My three core values include listening, diversity and creating space. As a multiethnic young woman, I have been part of communities including my own home Orange County's Little Saigon, where I would help my grandmother Ba'Ngoai shop for vegetables. Her hands, creased with old age and lifelong labor, have come to know the market well after my maternal family evacuated as refugees from the Vietnam War. Reconciling my own identity as a First and Second generation American has entailed listening to her and my Ma's stories of single motherhood in a society that did not initially welcome 'their kind'. Understanding intergenerational trauma that these strong women have experienced (and continue to) moves me to help create platforms for women to connect and share their stories."



HANNAH thompson

Hannah is a student of University of Kentucky and is also founder of #IAmAWomenInSTEM’s Woman of the Week Campaign.

"#IAmAWomanInSTEM is an organization at the University of Kentucky that supports undergraduate women who are pursuing a STEM major/minor. The organization matches students with mentors in their field of interest. My mentor, Dr. Jagriti Chadha, has provided me with invaluable advice for pursuing medicine."

Her nominee, Matthew, writes: "Hannah aspires to be a doctor, yet ultimately much more than that. She wants to be a role model for young women still trying to figure out what they want to do in life. Unbeknownst to her, she is already becoming a role model through her extensive community involvement, especially through IAmAWomanInSTEM—she is truly an “unsung heroine”. She has already started inspiring young women to join the field she loves so much, and she will continue to do so throughout the rest of her life."


cathy sun

Cathy is founder of a Youth Advisory Board in the 74th California District.

"In rooms of policymakers and elected officials, I found myself being the only person under 20 years old, let alone in high school. While I could fight for public support and greater representation, I often would not be taken seriously. There were no avenues for young people to advocate for themselves. To get young girls—more broadly, even young people—engaged and confident in their ability to be change-makers, they needed a platform. I founded a Youth Advisory Board in the 74th District to elevate legislative priorities youth had. By connecting youth to policymakers, policymakers began to see and value our role in the community and the validity of the issues we care about. In such a way, local problems have been translated into tangible proposals with a statewide impact."