AARP Eye Center
AARP Kentucky is pleased to fund a Bluegrass Alliance for Women (BAW) Lifelong Learning Scholarship presented to Vera Soules Mabson. A 1978 graduate of Allen County – Scottsville High School, Vera says she wasn’t ready when she first went to college. “I came from a family that didn’t have the opportunities that many families did. We were very poor. I came from a family of six and was raised by a single mother. We struggled a lot. So, I wasn’t prepared the first time I went to college.”
After gaining some life experience and working in jobs she knew weren’t for her, Vera enrolled in Lexington Community College. While attending school, Vera worked for many years at Kentucky Educational Television with the Enterprise division’s GED program, and later at the Kentucky Childcare Network and the Bluegrass Community Foundation. These experiences inspired her to become an elementary teacher.
Vera is currently enrolled in the University of Kentucky majoring in elementary education with a minor in music history. She is one of eight students chosen by the University of Kentucky to conduct undergraduate research for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research. Her research analyzes pre-service teachers to see if they really understand the concepts of science and how to teach it.
Vera places a great value on lifelong learning, “At no point in anyone’s life does information stop. It’s infinite. Technology is constantly changing, methods are constantly changing, standards are constantly changing,” she says. “We need to update our skills accordingly. I will never stop going to classes, I will be a lifelong learner just to keep up with the times.”
Vera also volunteers her time with FLY GIRLS (First Love Yourself Girls), where she mentors female youth at Winburn Middle School in Lexington.
In addition to studying, teaching and volunteering, Vera is a singer/songwriter who specializes in Jazz and Gospel Motown music. She was invited to sing at the Kentucky Ball for President Obama’s first inauguration. She will also perform at the President’s Scholarship Gala at Kentucky State University.
The $500 scholarship is awarded to a woman 50 years-of age or older who will be attending college as a full-time student or a part-time student carrying at least nine credit hours. Vera plans to use her scholarship to help pay for books and other school supplies.
“This is the third year that AARP has been able to support this effort that celebrates lifelong learners like Vera,” said Scott Wegenast, AARP KY Associate State Director for Outreach and Engagement. “And we're delighted that Vera’s daughter was here today to see her Mom receive the award. This helps carry the message that we never stop learning to another generation.”