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Jeanne Lynch

Founder | Growth Through Learning Organization

Providing accessible education is a cause close to Jeanne Lynch’s heart. She and her late husband, Roger, established an educational scholarship program for girls in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.

Mrs. Lynch enrolled in the nursing program at Quinsigamond Community College in 1973. Her youngest child was in first grade and she wanted to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse specializing in Hospice care.

“Quinsigamond Community College is the perfect school for adults to attend,” she said. It is flexible, affordable, and has a highly qualified teaching staff.”

She was a member of the first team of staff nurses in the Palliative Care Unit at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester in the late 1970s.

She has been an advocate for education all of her life with an emphasis on young women’s need to be educated. In 1996, she and her late husband, Roger Whiting, traveled to Africa on safari. They were both surprised to learn that very few young women in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania were able to attend high school. In fact, they were working hard in the safari lodges to send money home so that their brother’s school fees could be paid.

When they returned home they created a non-profit organization, which they named Growth Through Learning. The mission of Growth Through Learning is to fund scholarships to bright and needy girls In East Africa. The scholarships include all costs associated with the young woman’s education, which can run from four to six to 10 years if they are highly qualified and sent on to college.

In the past 18 years, GTL has supported more than 1,550 young women's secondary education. One hundred percent of donors contributions are sent directly to the scholarship fund. Administrative costs are paid by an endowment fund and the Board of Directors. For the past several years, 340 girls have been supported each year. Find out more through the website www.growththroughlearning.org.

“Although I did not receive any funding from QCC, it gave me the opportunity to reach my potential as a woman. That is what GTL is doing for these young women, and I am immensely proud to have been part of its creation,” Ms. Lynch said.

“Education is so important, and it has to be accessible. That is why we started this organization,” she said. “QCC also serves an important role in Worcester as an affordable school, which is centrally located and offers flexible class schedules.”