Program seeks to empower women

Rachel BenDavid, president of the Martha's Vineyard Women's Association, and Sam Hart, executive director of Adult Continuing Education Martha's Vineyard, have announced a new program empowering women through education. — Courtesy Sam Hart

On Thursday, the Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Association (MVWA) and Adult Continuing Education Martha’s Vineyard (ACE MV) announced the launch of a new program, Women Empowered through Continuing Education. The program is aimed at reducing barriers facing women and girls in continuing their education, allowing for ACE MV to offer services such as tuition assistance, supplies, childcare, transportation, and mentoring opportunities.

The creation of this program comes after the announcement that the Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Association will be ceasing operations as of Jan. 1. MVWA’s president, Rachel BenDavid, in announcing the collaborative effort, described ACE MV as a “natural partner” in maintaining the legacy of the decades of hard work of the MVWA. MVWA will launch the initiative with a donation of approximately $100,000 to ACE MV.

ACE MV works to enhance the ability of Vineyard residents to meet career and personal goals, as many Island adult learners are faced with unique barriers to continuing education, such as cost and logistics of off-Island classes. Don Leopold, president of the board of directors for ACE MV, said in a press release that ACE MV is “honored to carry on the mission and legacy of MVWA’s work,” as this initiative will help ACE MV achieve their goal of accessibility to education for so many more Islanders.