Community Outreach

Betty Sullivan Memorial Library – YWCA Greater Harrisburg

AAUW/Harrisburg Branch established and maintains a library at the YWCA for use by clients, shelter residents and staff. The collection includes adult fiction, large print fiction, adult non-fiction (including material on parenting skills, inspirational literature, and biographies) and a large variety of young children’s story books and non-fiction and a small collection of juvenile chapter books. AAUW updates the collection on a regular basis. The library is located just off the reception area inside the main entrance and is open daily.

AAUW Harrisburg honored Judy Dillen as Harrisburg’s Outstanding Branch Member. Judy has been an active member of the Harrisburg Branch of AAUW for over 45 years. Judy Dillen is a passionate and caring woman who people at the Harrisburg YWCA know as “the Library Lady”. As a retired librarian, Judy has revitalized the Branch’s library program at the YWCA by providing sage expertise, organizing volunteers for a weekly magazine and book drops, and increasing usage by the clients and staff. Congratulations Judy!


2021 Community Woman of the Year

Ms. Jeannine D. Peterson, Chief Executive Officer, Hamilton Health Center is AAUW Harrisburg’s 2021 Community Woman of the Year. Ms. Peterson has enjoyed a distinguished career in the area of public and community health, with an emphasis on underserved minority and low income communities. Under her leadership, Hamilton Health Center has grown to include 160 employees, providing 20,000 residents with medical, dental, and behavioral health services. In addition, she held the position of Deputy Secretary of Health for Pennsylvania for eight years, with responsibilities in areas of drug and alcohol problems, maternal and child health, and disease prevention.

She has over 35 years of experience in public and community health. As preparation for her career, Jeannine graduated with a B.A. from Michigan State University, gained a master’s degree in public administration at Penn State University, and completed UCLA’s Health Care Executive Management Program, an intensive program for leaders of community health programs that expand access to health care to vulnerable populations.

National History Day

AAUW Harrisburg provides awards for the best research in women’s history by local students. The annual regional competition is open to all Pennsylvania students in grades 6-12.  Students who are ranked 1st, 2nd, or 3rdat the regional NHD competition go on to the Pennsylvania State Competition in May. Statewide winners participate in the national competition at the University of Maryland.


In 2021 Addison Barnes and Reagan Fox, seventh grade students at St. Margaret Mary’s School in Harrisburg, won the prize for outstanding research in Women’s History.  Each student received a certificate and a cash prize. The students’ exhibit, “I Have Nothing to Say: Odette Hallowes,” tells the story of a British spy during World War II. Addison’s and Reagan’s topic worked well for the 2021 contest theme, “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.”  Learn more.


The 2020 theme was “Breaking Barriers in History.”  At the Region 8 competition AAUW Harrisburg awarded two prizes for the best research in women’s history. The winners were Eva Melendrez from Holy Name of Jesus School and Lola Gehman from Carlisle Area High School.