Published on April 04, 2012

Our Partners: Mary Woods Scholarship

The Mary E. Wood Scholarship assists African-American students in financing their education at a university, college or trade school.

Eligible students must have received either a high school diploma or a high school equivalency general education diploma.

Applications are available in the spring.

Ms. Mary E. Wood’s Bio

Mary E. Wood was born August 28, 1902, in Des Moines, Iowa.  She attended Des Moines Public Schools and graduated from East High School.  In 1924, she received her Bachelors Degree from Drake University and continued her education at New York University in New York City, receiving a Master of Arts in Education.  Forty years later she received her certification as a social worker for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Wood was the first African-American woman in the United States to be named executive director of a greater metropolitan YWCA and held that position in several states.  After retiring, she served as a consultant for the National Board of the YWCA and implemented its imperative to eliminate racism.

During her 96 years, Mary Wood dedicated herself to helping others, ending racism and bigotry and making the world a better place to live.  It was her goal to provide resources to African-American students to continue their education.  The Mary E. Wood Scholarship at the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines is dedicated to fulfilling her dream.


For more information about the Mary E. Wood Scholarship contact the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines at (515) 833-2626.  The Community Foundation is a donor-driven public foundation whose purpose is to improve the quality of life in Greater Des Moines through philanthropy.

The Community Foundation administers the Mary E. Wood Scholarship Fund.

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