Those harsh words set the path Vanessa Frambes began in 2007, seven months after her son, James was born. The intent may have been to keep Vanessa
down, but the result was the determination to become a college graduate with a
highly specialized and responsible
engineering position and a happy 3-1/2 year son. Vanessa attributes some
of her success to the
scholarship assistance and support she received from the Zonta Foothills Club
of Boulder County.
Vanessa Frambes is a remarkable 27 year old mother who recently graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder. “August 6, 2010,” she says with a big
smile. In fact, she is the first in her family to obtain a four-year
college degree. The pride she exhibits stems from a contagious enthusiasm
for life and for all she does. She is positive and undeterred in her
outlook so it is no surprise to learn that in 2007, with little money, a baby
and not much support, she sat down in her first CU classroom; and three years
later, she graduated with a degree in Distributive Studies. Now, she is
one of the small number of college students with a full time job at the time of
graduation. She is a Consultant for Navigant Consulting’s fifty person
Boulder office where she has worked for 2-1/2 years; first as a part time
Training Project Coordinator and now as a program manager for an East Coast
energy efficiency study involving 600 sites. Her office peers generally
have master degrees, but newly-graduated Vanessa sits shoulder-to-shoulder with
her colleagues. Her drive and intelligence were obvious in high school
where her resume reads like a community service primer with leadership roles in
an anti-violence campaign, mock elections, Williamette River clean-up efforts,
and she even worked the graveyard shift for MESA’s rape hotline.
She credits many people in her life for helping her go back to college at the age of 23, after travelling, holding down five jobs at once, and then finding herself pregnant. Her son is thriving
and she is proud he has always had at home child care or attended classes with
Despite her $45,000 college debt, she credits the scholarships she received to have made all the difference. She applied for thirteen scholarships (all
with individual applications and essays), and won three, including the Zonta
Foothills Club of Boulder County’s Bev Hackbart Scholarship.
Zonta Foothills Club of Boulder County is one of 1200 non profit Zonta International clubs worldwide whose mission is to advance the status of women and girls locally and
internationally through improving their safety, health, education, economic
stability and legal equality. Zonta Foothills consists of about 40
volunteers who give their time and skills to help women in our community and
Through the CU Foundation, Zonta established an annual $1000 scholarship for a single parent attending CU in honor of Bev Hackbart, a Zonta Foothills’ member
who passed away suddenly in 2000. The Club established an endowment in 2004 and
then raised $25,000 in three years to fund it and begin to award
scholarships. Frambes is the first and second recipient in 2008 and
What impact can $1000 have for a working mother and university student?
”The impact of the Bev Hackbart Scholarship is much more than
books, tuition and supplies. The impact was deeply psychological,” Vanessa
says. “Knowing a group of women back you and support you gave me the
drive and determination to stay with my studies when things got tough.
Knowing people were behind me made me know I could do it.”
“Vanessa is a vibrant example for what our club does, says Zonta Foothills Club Board member Janine
Clark. “She reminds us that every dollar we raise makes a
difference in the lives of the women we help as well as in the lives of their
children. Education has a huge impact on their future.”
Vanessa , in her scholarship application essay wrote, “ Without a
college degree I am unable to provide for my son…not…just materialistically,
but also in the ability to…experience life to the fullest.”
Zonta Foothills’ 2010-11 Bev Hackbart Scholarship recipient is Christine Nakwa. Born in Southern Sudan, Christine moved to Boulder two years ago from
Syracuse, New York, to pursue higher education at the University of Colorado at
Boulder. She is a junior at CU majoring in Sociology with a minor in Women and
Gender Studies and a certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies. She has a
four year old daughter, Gabriella.
Zonta Foothills is holding a wine tasting event at the Boulder Creek Winery on November 18, 2010 at 5:30 PM. Jackie and Mike Thompson, the owners of the Boulder Creek Winery are
donating 20% of all wine sales that evening and for each of the two following
weekends to the scholarship fund to kick off the holiday season. The
Boulder Creek Winery is located in Gunbarrel at 6440 Odell Place, Boulder.
To support the Bev Hackbart
Scholarship, send donations to:
University of Colorado Foundation-Zonta Bev Hackbart Scholarship
4740 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO, 80301
Learn more about and donate to Zonta Foothills Club of Boulder County at zontafoothills.org. Donations to the Zonta Foothills Foundation, a 501©(3) non-profit corporation, benefit all of the good work of Zonta Foothills Club and are deductible as allowed by the law.
Zonta Foothills also supports the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowships which are given to doctoral women candidates in the area of aerospace
technology, the Jane B.Klausman Scholarships for women pursuing an undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, and the Young Women in Public Affairs Awards for high school girls committed to leadership in public policy, government and volunteer organizations. This year, six of the thirty five Amelia Earhart Fellowship recipients study at CU Boulder.