Fall Brunch Introduces Fantastic Young Women of the Future
By Kathy Garfinkle

As men and women gathered for the annual Fall Brunch at the Irvington Presbyterian Church on Saturday September 8, 2018, there was a renewed sense of vitality and optimism. So many excellent programs such as Tech Trek and Discovery Day, One Book, One Community Read, and local scholarships were proudly displayed and presented! There was electricity and camaraderie in the air as attendees shared ideas, networked and just plain enjoyed visiting and catching up.

President, Kathy McDonald, welcomed everyone and proceeded with the crucial AAUW business. The Fremont Branch AAUW budget was approved for the 2018/19 year as presented by treasurer Diane Perry. Letha Saldanha spoke about our STEM/Discovery Day program designed to encourage girls to pursue careers in math and science. Meeting the girls that attended our Tech Trek science camp was one of the highlights of the program. Letha spoke from her heart as she introduced each girl and gave them an opportunity to tell how science camp impacted their lives. The Tech Trek girls are: Hansa Atreya, Ishita Bhardwaj, Madeline Fuentes, Ayushi Kashyap, Shruti Kumar and Rachel Zamora-Portales. How refreshing to hear from these bright young women of the future. Iqra Iqbal, recipient of the Fremont Branch Ohlone Scholarship was also recognized. Iqra is passionate about her studies in economics and math and she hopes to pursue law in the future.  Judy Wolf was introduced and recognized for her enduring philanthropic support of Tech Trek. Mary Lynn Pelican introduced and welcomed our new members: Judy Wolf, Tara Flanagan, Shubha Sundar, Hoda Makat, Bridget Uzoew, Jui-Lan Liu, Jenny Kassan and Uthra Srinivasan.

Judge Tara Flanagan

Our keynote speaker, Judge Tara Flanagan, spoke eloquently and passionately about her work and the importance of education for women. Tara attended Cal State North Ridge on an athletic scholarship. She was captain of her basketball team and she played rugby for the United States. These experiences helped her learn leadership skills and become tough and courageous preparing her for the challenging work of a judge.  Tera received a scholarship to attend the American Association of University Women young women’s leadership conference in Washington D.C. and is now a member of the Fremont Branch AAUW. She is currently with the Alameda County Court in Oakland.

Tara believes in women and she believes in education. Her poignant “shout out” to the Tech Trek girls and reminder that they are smart was emphatic. Her message to each girl was very personal and heartfelt. If you want the power to bring about change, education is the key she told the girls.

Tara believes that we must give young women leadership experience. As a judge she helps young women find law internships. Tara Flanagan is honored to serve as a judge and we are honored to have her as a Fremont Branch member and our keynote speaker. 

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