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Kinnears Contribute $100,000 to Establish CEW Community Counseling Fund
Connie Kinnear's recent gift of $100,000 honors her long-time association with CEW and our shared value in the importance of higher education. "For many years, out of the corner of my eye, I was attuned to CEW," says Connie. "I lived about four dorm rooms from [former CEW director] Carol Hollenshead when we were freshman here at the University of Michigan. Carol was a mover and a shaker even then, and she carried through the ideals of the founders of CEW very strongly and very well."
Several years ago, Carol invited Connie to help select the finalists for the Center's annual scholarship awards. That experience, as well as her membership on CEW's Leadership Council, had a powerful impact on Connie, motivating her and her husband Tom to support CEW with their donations.
"When I hear the life stories of some of the CEW scholars, so different from mine, I realize how fortunate I have been. The strength of women to overcome obstacles that have been put in their lives is inspiring. So, given the opportunity, why wouldn't I give back to CEW as an organization that does so much to change women's lives?"
Connie also supports CEW because of her belief in the social and economic value of education. "Why education?" she says. "Because if we were able to educate our population well, we would solve most of the other problems our country faces. Education, to me, is the foundation for a life that's meaningful, productive, and economically secure." "I feel very strongly," Connie continues, "that all of CEW's programs are drastically needed. They make a most important level of change for each and every individual who's lucky enough to come in contact with CEW."
Connie's current gift is intended to support continuing community outreach in the form of counseling. "A lot of the people who come in for counseling are looking to get back into education," she explains, "or they wouldn't come to an organization attatched to the University of Michigan. Many of them will end up back at the University. We are doing the University a service with community counseling, getting people the right information, getting them the right skill sets to be able to apply and become students or University staff personnel. It's a valuable service. If it can't be done, we all lose."