Do you know a Mount Holyoke woman who is committed to making a better Mount Holyoke–and a better world?
Elinor (Ellie) Miller Greenberg describes her work as “creating access to opportunity,” especially for women and minorities. Over the past 60 years in Colorado, Ellie has developed innovative programs in speech pathology, higher education, and her community.
As a speech pathologist, she focused on severely brain-injured children and adults in schools and clinics in Denver, Colorado. As the Colorado founding director and national coordinator of the University Without Walls, she developed individualized baccalaureate programs for adults. As the founding director of Pathways to the Future, she assisted the US WEST 14-state workforce of 40,000 non-management employees return to college and initiate new careers. As the regional coordinator of the 16-partner Mountain and Plains Partnership in Colorado and Wyoming, she led the development of the first regional Masters program for rural nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants. She has raised more than $20 million to support these programs.
In the community, she co-founded the Littleton Council for Human Relations, which brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Littleton, Colorado, in 1964, and worked on fair housing legislation. She co-led the development of the Colorado Women’s Leadership Coalition and the Colorado Women’s Economic Development Council in the 1980s. She co-founded the national model public education program, Our Courts Colorado, in 2007. She founded the Colorado Feminist Luncheon in 2008; and has served as President of the Women’s Forum of Colorado and a board member of the International Women’s Forum. She was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010 and serves on its Legacy Committee.
An Indian explorer, athlete and performer, Charu was named a “Power Woman” alongside Oprah Winfrey, Melinda Gates, Sonia Gandhi, Devita Saraf and Krishna Patil by Youth Incorporated magazine in their March 2012 issue. After expeditions to all 7 continents, 5 National Awards, and a whole chapter on her in 9th grade English and 10th grade Hindi textbooks in Maharashtra, she is one of India’s most promising young achievers.
From Youth Incorporated Magazine: “I love what I do and I do what I love. This is what keeps me going. I have developed an attitude to see the silver lining on every cloud. Believe in yourself and follow your heart. If you don’t know what your heart wants, just have faith and remember that the dots will connect in the end!”
What advice do you have for people looking to make a difference?
Mary Elizabeth Cantu ’01 founded Spare Parts, an organization that supplies art materials to schools in Texas—a much needed program when the state legislature chopped $5 billion out of school budgets in 2011.
From an interview with Texas Public Radio:
“By sustaining arts in our schools and supporting our youth in the arts, we are building artists, we are creating patrons and thespians and concert-goers,” Cantu said.
Spare Parts gives materials that could be used to create art for pre-school ages through high school. Cantu said sometimes getting those supplies is as simple as getting a call from someone saying, “I just had a wedding and I have all this extra stuff, or we’re going out of business, or we just had a big convention and we have 200 binders for Spare Parts to pick up. Can you take these items now?”
Spare Parts aligns those with the need with the people who have the stuff.
“What Spare Parts is about is teaching people how to re-use the stuff that’s around them, look at the stuff around them differently” said Cantu. “The truth is there isn’t a lot of landfill space, things don’t disappear when we throw them in the trash can.”
Why is your gift through The Mount Holyoke Fund so important? Because, when you give to MHC, you invest in the future of our world. You invest in the faculty, the ideas and innovation, and in a culture that encourages women to ask the big questions and supports them in finding the answers. The reality is that women outnumber men in the workforce and in higher education, and we control 60% of the wealth. And despite our ever-growing numbers, we continue to face many of the same challenges that have held women back for decades. Statistics show, however, that students who choose women’s colleges are better prepared to overcome these challenges. Mount Holyoke prepares women to become leaders in their communities. Whether through picking up someone else’s trash, helping to restore the wetlands, or fighting for racial equality, MHC women are ready to make the world a better place.