The American Business Women’s Association has been alive and well in our neighborhood for the past 34 years.

The nationwide organization evolved shortly after World War II, when women first entered the American work force in large numbers.

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Kansas City businessman Hilary A. Bufton Jr. saw the need for an organization to help women reach their career goals and make the most of their potential.

On Sept. 22, 1949, the American Business Women’s Association was founded in Kansas City, Mo. Currently, there are 1,600 chapters nationwide.

The organization is dedicated to women’s education and provides workplace skills and career-development training for more than 545,000 members throughout the country. It has also awarded more than $43 million in women’s scholarships.

The Vanguard Chapter, which encompasses East Dallas, Lake Highlands, Garland and Mesquite, granted $3,000 in scholarships last year. Recipients were neighborhood high school students, junior college students and women who wanted to return to the work force after years of working as homemakers.

We are a nonprofit and nonpolitical organization.

The American Business Women’s Association’s mission is to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and provide opportunities to grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support and national recognition.

The 69-member Vanguard Chapter meets at Raymond’s BBQ Restaurant, 10920 Garland, at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

For information, call 214-681-7064.