The Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund (SBMEF) is one of the country’s most highly respected grant and scholarship funds for women.

Education - Lakeland ABWA - Downtown Lakeland Chapter

Krista Rogers

Member of Lakeland Downtown ABWA
Recipient of the Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund
$10,000 National President’s Scholarship

SBMEF has been supporting businesswomen for more than 50 years. The fund assists women pursuing advanced educational goals enabling them to achieve business and professional success.

The National Board of Directors of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) serve as the SBMEF trustee’s, overseeing the funds administration. Each year the trustees strive to maximize funding to provide hundreds of American women with financial assistance to attend college, trade school and professional development.

The Key to SBMEF is the energy and commitment of ABWA members who sponsor applicants, make contributions, and raise money to champion the important mission of this fund. See the SBMEF Scholorship website here.

*More information on the IMPACT SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES for 2017 will be announced.

*Refer to the Business Skills Reimbursement Opportunities available now for continuing education.

Four unique scholarship programs are offered through SBMEF.

Education - Lakeland ABWA - Downtown Lakeland Chapter

1. Outright Grant

Designed to offset the costs of tuition, books and fees for degree-seeking students from institutions that have a minimum baccalaureate degree.

  • There are potentially (3) ORG scholarships awarded per district per Award Year.
  • A sponsoring league may submit only (1) applicant each Award Year
  • All applicants will be pooled by district.
  • The three (3) highest ranked applicants per district will be awarded a $2,000 ORG scholarship.

2. Impact Scholarship

Provides a sponsoring league with a limited opportunity for customizing a scholarship(s)

  • Lakeland Downtown sponsors (1) $2,000 Impact Scholarship to a woman age 25 or older at Polk State with a Minimum 3.00 GPA. Field of study: Business.
Education - Lakeland ABWA - Downtown Lakeland Chapter

3. Business Skills Tuition Reimbursement Scholarship

Specifically targets professional development. BSTR is intended for the non-degree seeking applicant.

  • Lakeland Downtown contributes a minimum of $500 each year for BSTR’s. 50% of the contribution is available to the approved applicants. Minimum BSTR Scholarship awarded is $50 and the maximum amount awarded to an applicant is $500 in the Award year based on chapter funds contributed to SBMEF and available.
  • $500 contributed for the 2017-2018 year with $250 available for reimbursement (s).

4. National Scholarships

Each year the Trustees determine the number and amount to be awarded for each National Scholarship offered. Scholarships range from $2500 to $10,000.

  • Five national scholarships available in 2017-2018.
    • Two (2) x $2,500
    • $2,500 in memory of beloved member, Jane Nicklay
    • $5,000 Women of Vision Scholarship sponsored by ABWA’s Ambassadors
    • $10,000 National President’s Scholarship in honor of 2016-2017 National President, Vanessa Willis
Education - Lakeland ABWA - Downtown Lakeland Chapter

Overview of Policies for all SMBEF Scholarships

  • All scholarship applicants must be female, US citizens and attending a U.S. based institution that is licensed, accredited or state approved.
  • Members and/or non-members can participate in one, two, three, or four of the scholarship programs.
  • No applicant is ever guaranteed a scholarship.
  • All scholarship applications for SMBEF must be completed on-line.
  • All checks must be used for the purpose as designated by the SMBEF (tuition, books, and fees)
  • All checks are made payable to the applicant and to the learning institution with the exception of BSTR.
  • Checks must be cashed within 6 months of issuance.
  • Unused scholarship funds do not “roll-over” to the next year.
  • SBMEF does not offer any reoccurring scholarships.
  • Scholarships not awarded are not rolled over. However, the scholarship funds are returned to the SBMEF.

Do You Have Questions About Our Educational Opportunities?

Contact Education Chair Karen Moore for more help.