YWCA is on a mission to empower young women. Since 1991, the YWCA of Alton has awarded scholarships to high school senior women attending Madison County schools who demonstrate leadership and a sustained commitment to bettering their community. The Josephine Marley Beckwith Future Leader Scholarships are primarily funded through donations of the Women of Distinction Academy.
This scholarship is named after Mrs. Josephine Marley Beckwith to honor her achievements and dedication to the YWCA mission. Josephine Marley Beckwith holds many ”firsts” in the Riverbend. Area. She was the first employee of African descent at YWCA and the Olin-Matheson Corporation. She was the first president of the local National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). She was recognized for her many efforts as a civil rights pioneer, educator, mentor and a community organizer. As a result of her many contributions, Josephine Marley Beckwith was recognized as YWCA Woman of Distinction in 2002.

The JMBFL Scholarship is awarded each year to two high school senior girls. The young women are selected based on their leadership, volunteerism, community service, and academic achievements with a heavy emphasis on their activities that support the mission of the YWCA. “We are truly proud of our affiliation with Mrs. Beckwith and know she would be pleased that our Women of Distinction Academy members generously support the next generation of female leaders.” said Dorothy Hummel, Executive Director of YWCA.

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Two outstanding women will be honored with a $1,000 renewable award at the YWCA Women of Distinction event on Thursday, September 26, 2021. Scholarship applications are available at the school’s guidance office, www.altonywca.com, and by calling 618.465.7774. Applications must be post marked no later than April 2, 2021.

Established in 1918, YWCA is part of the largest and oldest women’s organization in the world. YWCA tailors our programs to meet the unique needs of our communities, as aligned with three key national platforms: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls.

YWCA is proudly sponsored by Alton Memorial Hospital, Morrissey Contracting Company, Inc., and Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery.

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