Community Partnership Helps Transform Lives through Education

A Rogers State University Foundation Unrestricted Scholarship was recently presented to Lara Sky Courtney as part of a partnership with SheBrews Coffee House. Pictured at the presentation are Tonni Harrald, RSU Director of Development; Dr. Earlene Washburn, SheBrews Board Member; Courtney; and Rhonda Bear, Founder of SheBrews Coffee House.

Pictured at the presentation are Tonni Harrald, RSU Director of Development; Dr. Earlene Washburn, SheBrews Board Member; Courtney; and Rhonda Bear, Founder of SheBrews Coffee House.

The Rogers State University Foundation and SheBrews Coffee House are teaming together to promote scholastic success and transform lives through a college scholarship program that provides second chances for women.

The RSU Foundation is sponsoring college tuition for a second-chance program called Saving Our Daughters, which is part of the non-profit parent organization for the Claremore-based SheBrews Coffee House.

The first scholarship that covered tuition, fees and books was awarded for this spring semester to Lara Sky Courtney, who is an RSU junior studying business administration. A former certified nurse, Courtney works full time while raising two sons and taking classes to help her retrain. During a scholarship presentation in December, Courtney expressed her thanks for the assistance, which she said has made her dream of a college degree more obtainable.

Saving Our Daughters was founded to prevent recidivism and assist at-risk women in becoming productive and skilled employees in the regional workforce. The organization also works to help mothers reunite with their children, gain successful employment, obtain driver’s licenses, practice healthy lifestyles and become productive citizens.

RSU President Dr. Larry Rice and RSU Vice President for Development Maynard Phillips expressed their enthusiastic support for the scholarship, noting that education is a powerful force in positively changing lives and communities.

The scholarship program is affiliated with the SheBrews Coffee House, located at 414 W. Will Rogers Blvd. in Claremore. Known as the “little coffee house with a big mission,” SheBrews promotes success with every cup.

Founder Rhonda Bear knows first-hand how challenging it is to transform one’s life. The business was structured to assist women in making a positive change in their lives and provides the tools to assist them. Through faith, Bear has made the SheBrews Coffee House dream a reality. Supported by a board of directors, many community workers and corporate sponsors, SheBrews provides succulent homemade food, sophisticated coffees and the ladies’ heart-warming testimonies. Patrons often state that they have been physically fed with food for the body and inspiration for the soul.

Since SheBrews first “opened” during Dickens-On-The-Boulevard while selling hot drinks out of Crock Pots, the operation has grown into one of the best lunch spots in town. Best of all, with the help of RSU Foundation scholarships, SheBrews also serves hope to the women it serves, Bear said.

“SheBrews Coffee House is a place where we can all come in for hot soup, a warm meal, and know that we, along with RSU, are providing the tools for women to help themselves,” she said.

RSU alumnus Emily Mahan (Class of 2013) produced this video about SheBrews Coffee House as a student project. Mahan currently serves as Communications Coordinator for the Claremore Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about SheBrews, visit the store at 414 W. Will Rogers Boulevard, call 918-923-6020 or visit www.shebrewscoffeehouse.org.

To support scholarships for deserving students, contact the RSU Foundation at 918-343-7773 or visit www.rsu.edu/foundation.