By Kit Slack

Trinity Abeng-Allsop, a graduating Northwestern High School senior, received a $1,500 scholarship this summer from the University Park Women’s Club. She’ll use the money to pay tuition at the University of Maryland (UMD), where she plans to study child psychology.

photo of past UP Women's Club scholarship recipients
Dianne Bukoski, UPWC Scholarship Chair; award recipients Eric Montesi (2022), Alice Moller (2022), Dennis Martinez (2021), Trinity Abeng-Allsop (2022), Brooke Holland (2022), Chloe Mentz (222) and Kory Gaines (2017)
Courtesy of Mary Dancy

Abeng-Allsop lived in Hyattsville while she attended Northwestern, and moved to Laurel with her family this summer.

Abeng-Allsop Describes Her Interest at UP Women’s Club Lunch

At a club luncheon on June 6, Abeng-Allsop said that the mental health struggle of a family member sparked her initial interest in psychology. Her studies with Northwestern’s child development program and work at the school’s onsite childcare center helped her discover a love of working with children. She decided to seek a degree that would help her support others, having seen mental health challenges among youth of color in her community, particularly during the pandemic.

Background on the UP Women’s Club scholarship

According to Diane Bukoski, the chair of the club’s scholarship award committee, Allsop’s teachers describe her as a very determined student and a role model.

Prior scholarship recipients at the luncheon included Dennis Martinez, a star debater who graduated from Northwestern in 2021. Despite the cancellation of Northwestern’s debate program his sophomore year, Martinez won a national debate competition, in Spanish, in 2021. He is studying government and politics at UMD, where he has enjoyed reading Emmanual Kant in his freshman classes. “The only problem with UMD,” he said, “is that it’s so big.” He said he misses knowing most of his classmates, the way he did at Northwestern.

Kory Gaines, a 2017 Northwestern graduate, also attended the June 6 luncheon. He used his club scholarship to help fund his undergraduate degree at Stanford, and is now working on a doctorate in politics at Johns Hopkins University, focusing on the diversity of Black political thought.

All three students received scholarships thanks to an endowment established 55 years ago for scholarships for Northwestern students in honor of clubwoman Doris McPhee.

This year, the club awarded four other scholarships out of general funds to University Park residents and students related to club members. 

The criteria for all five scholarships focused on excellence and volunteerism.

New Officers for the UP Women’s Club

Also at the June 6 luncheon, the club elected new officers. Mary Dancy, a longtime volunteer at Northwestern, took over as president from Jeanne Washburn, a former principal of Hyattsville Elementary School, who had served as president the prior four years.

Kitty Cash, the treasurer of the Montgomery County federation of women’s clubs, presided over the installation of the new officers. Each Laurel officer took an oath to uphold certain values: the recording secretary committed to endurance and enthusiasm; the vice president, to imagination and selflessness; and the president, to patience and love for her country. Cash presented each with an American flag.

Cash, who was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, moved to the area in 1962 and was a staffer on Capitol Hill for 33 years, afterwards becoming a leader in area women’s clubs. 

The UP Women’s Club, Part of a Rich History

The Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), with which the University Park Women’s Club is affiliated, was founded in 1890. The clubs focus on volunteerism. According to the GFWC website, federation founder Jane Cunningham Croly, a journalist, first formed a club after being denied entrance, in 1868, to an all-male press club dinner honoring British novelist Charles Dickens.

The University Park club is one of two active women’s clubs in Prince George’s County, according to the Montgomery County GFWC website. The other is in Laurel.