Applications for grants through the Women’s Education Coalition (WEC) Fund at Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF) are due May 15.

WEC grants are for unemployed or underemployed women that have had a significant break in their formal education. They may enroll, either part or full-time, in any educational curriculum, program or professional development opportunity that will lead to employment or improved employment.

A priority for the awards is to working mothers and those enrolled in nonprofit educational institutions. The grants are based on financial need, are renewable, and available to residents of Kalamazoo, Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, St. Joseph, and Van Buren Counties. Typical award amounts range from $500 to $3,000.

"This innovative program helps women and their families reach their full potential," says Nancy Timmons, scholarship manager at KZCF. "WEC grants may be used to pay for tuition, fees, books, child care, transportation, and other educational expenses."

According to Timmons, "Our experience shows that having access to a variety of post-high school education, school or training, really helps recipients reach their goals of increased financial independence."

Established at KZCF in 1995, WEC Fund is a cooperative venture of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, YWCA of Kalamazoo, and the former Kalamazoo Network. Initially established with a $1 million endowment, the fund has now grown to more than $2 million and has invested more than $1.2 million through grants.

Information in both English and Spanish is available online at For those without computer access, the application can be mailed or arrangements can be made to visit KZCF to use a computer. Call (269) 381-4416 for more information.