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Sanibel chapter of P.E.O. awards education grant to Garber

By Staff | Jul 27, 2011

Sherry Vartdal, left, president of the Sanibel chapter of P.E.O., with Kari Garber.

The Sanibel chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) has secured a Program For Continuing Education grant in the amount of $3,000 for Kari Garber, who is studying to become a Registered Nurse and currently works as a Licensed Practical Nurse at Shell Point Retirement Community.

Garber is enrolled in Edison State College and was accepted into the Advanced Placement RN program in January. She completed the first semester with a Grade Point Average of 3.85 and plans to graduate in May 2012.

One of the Sanibel P.E.O. chapter’s founding members who resides at Shell Point, Rachel Nottelmann, recommended Kari for the scholarship.

“Kari is very deserving of this grant,” said Nottelmann. “She always has a smile for everyone and she is very caring and very skilled, just a wonderful person.”

The grant will go toward helping pay for tuition, books, uniforms and other necessary clinical supplies.

“It will also be an immense help towards my childcare costs while I’m attending school and doing my clinical work,” said Garber, a single mom with two boys who lives in Fort Myers.

Garber also said that she is motivated by wanting to grow personally, to achieve at a higher level, and — at the same time — be able to provide a secure future for herself and her family.

“I really want to thank the women of P.E.O. I hope to make them proud in continuing my education as an RN and touch as many lives as I can,” she added.

Continuing Education grants are awarded to women who are returning to school following an absence of two years or more. P.E.O. also offers the Star Scholarship to graduating high school seniors who will be full or part-time students. In addition, there is an Educational Loan Fund for those within two years of completing their degree as well as additional higher education grants.

P.E.O. was established in 1869 by seven women at Iowa Wesleyan College. Their motto is “Women helping women reach for the stars.” Today, P.E.O. has almost a quarter of a million members in chapters located in the United States and Canada. Sanibel’s chapter was chartered in 1983.

“We try to find a candidate every year, and we usually do, “ said Sanibel P.E.O. chapter president Sherry Vartdal, who explained that qualified submissions for education grants are gathered from chapters across the state. “We were so delighted when we learned that Kari had been selected. It’s just a great thrill for all of us.”

To learn more about P.E.O., visit www.peointernational.org. Anyone interested in applying for or learning more about their eligibility for a loan or scholarship should contact Sherry Vartdal at 472-1267.