The P.E.O. Record September-October 2022 (public)


GROWING CONNECTIONS WITH IPS STUDENTS— From Recipient TO Sister and Beyond by Karen Neylon, P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Board of Trustees

omen funded through the P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship (IPS) Fund are away from family and friends for several years while pursuing their academic dreams. The Partners in Peace (PIP) program connects them with local P.E.O. chapters to provide support and encouragement during their time as an international student. Some local chapters have taken those connections a step further by initiating their PIP student into their chapters. Embracing them as sisters provides them with a P.E.O. “home” during what could be anywhere from three to 10 years away from their home country. What a wonderful gift! Jedaidah Chilufya, AG, Springfield,

Massachusetts, is a doctoral candidate in plant biology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She came to the U.S. in 2014 to pursue a master’s degree in biology at East Tennessee State University. From there she moved to the University of Massachusetts and received IPS funding for the 2019- 2020 and 2020-2021 academic years. In the meantime, she was paired with several chapters through the PIP program. One of those chapters, AW, Clarkston, Michigan, sent an Introduction of a Woman Who is Not a P.E.O. to chapters near her in Massachusetts. Margaret Maxwell, Chapter AW, wrote, “Jedaidah is an IPS Scholarship recipient. She is very optimistic and energetic and has much to offer to the Sisterhood. She plans to travel back and forth to her home country but wants to connect to women in the States.” Robin Grimes from Chapter AG, Springfield, Massachusetts, said, “As soon as we welcomed her to join us after a meeting, she said, ‘where do I send the check?’” In 2021 Chapter AG initiated Jedaidah into the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Jedaidah currently serves on the IPS and philanthropy committees in the chapter and presented her research work as the IPS speaker at the 2022 Convention of Massachusetts State Chapter. Jedaidah will be in the U.S. and an active member of her chapter until she returns to Zambia. And, thanks to technology and hybrid meetings, she will still be able to participate as time (and time zones) allow. Augustina Osabutey, X, Butte, Montana, is a doctoral student in agriculture, biosystems and mechanical engineering at South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings. She first came to the U.S. in 2017 to study for a master’s degree in environmental engineering at Montana Tech of the University of Montana in Butte. She received funding from IPS for the 2018-2019 academic year, and that is where she connected with Chapter X. As can happen with

IPS students and their PIP chapters, Augustina, and the sisters of Chapter X (aka her “mums”), followed a wide-ranging path from replacing her leaking air mattress with a real mattress and box springs, attending presentations on her research, helping her find housing for a summer internship and participating in a fundraising effort to bring clean drinking water to a city in Ghana. And before she left for South Dakota, they initiated her by affirmation into their chapter. She moved to SDSU to begin a doctoral degree in January 2020. Chapter X reached out to the six chapters in Brookings to help her find housing on short notice. Chapter BS stepped right up and helped her to get situated. In the 2021-2022 academic year, she received a second IPS award and has had the opportunity to connect with more chapters in South Dakota. Chapters BS and CI in Sioux Falls hosted a bridal shower for Augustina before her wedding in June 2022 (and some Montana sisters attended). She also spoke at the 2022 Convention of South Dakota State Chapter, sharing about her research and her nonprofit in Ghana that coaches teens to pursue careers in STEM. Does your local chapter have a connection with an IPS student who could become a P.E.O. sister, take an active role in your chapter and share in the lives of your sisters? Thanks to the advanced communication options used during the pandemic, long after they complete their degree programs and return home, these international sisters would be able to continue connecting their lives and perspectives with your chapter sisters and “Raise the Bar to the Stars.”


September–October 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


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