P.E.O. District of Columbia Chapter

P.E.O. Projects

P.E.O. International Projects

P.E.O. is making a difference in the lives of women all over the world. Since its inception in 1869, the nonprofit organization has helped more than 122,000 women pursue educational goals by providing nearly $415 million in grants, scholarships, awards, and loans. The Sisterhood also owns and supports Cottey College.

Local P.E.O. Chapters across the United States and Canada raise funds and donate through their state, province, or district (s/p/d) to five P.E.O. International Projects, Cottey College, and other funds including locally-established scholarships through the P.E.O. Foundation. Individuals may make tax deductible donations directly online or or through the individual donation form.

The P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund (ELF) is a revolving loan fund established in 1907 to lend money to qualified women students to assist them in securing a higher education. The current maximum loan is $12,000 for a non-degree accredited program, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree; $15,000 for a master’s degree; and $20,000 for a doctoral degree at 2% interest. Donations to ELF allow the fund to grow and assist ever-increasing numbers of qualified women.

Donate to Support ELF | Learn More About ELF

The P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship (IPS) Fund was established in 1949 to provide scholarships for international women students to pursue graduate study in the U.S. or Canada. The maximum amount awarded to a student is $12,500, or less depending on individual needs. IPS Applicants do not require a chapter recommendation and may apply directly for scholarships.

Donate to Support IPS | Learn More About IPS

Cottey College is an independent liberal arts and sciences women’s college in Nevada, Missouri. For more than 128 years, the college has offered young women the opportunity to learn and grow into leaders, role models, and confident individuals.

Donate to Support Cottey College | Info for P.E.O. Sisters | Learn More About Cottey College

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA) was established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the U.S. and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university.

Donate to Support PSA | Learn More About PSA

The Program for Continuing Education (PCE) was established in 1973 to provide need-based grants to women in the U.S. or Canada whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to support themselves and/or their families.

Donate to Support PCE | Learn More About PCE

The P.E.O. STAR Scholarship (STAR) was established in 2009 to provide scholarships for exceptional women in their final year of high school to attend an accredited postsecondary educational institution in the U.S. or Canada in the next academic year.

Donate to Support STAR | Learn More About STAR


The P.E.O. Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established in 1961 to encourage tax-deductible giving to the educational and charitable projects of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Because it qualifies as a charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, gifts and bequests to the Foundation are deductible for U.S. and state income, estate and gift tax purposes. Gifts to local or state chapter funds are not tax-deductible because these entities are not qualified charities. The P.E.O. Foundation is not a project but is a service to the P.E.O. Sisterhood that benefits all of the projects.

Donate to Support a P.E.O. Foundation Project – select from dropdown menu, e.g., District of Columbia Educational Recognition Award (7521)

Established in 1986 to provide a one-time scholarship to promising young women who are college-bound high school seniors. Applicants must be D.C. residents and attend a D.C. public high school or charter school. Applications are reviewed, and the selection made, by the D.C. ERA Committee and the awards are presented at the D.C. convention each spring. The Jenny Sexton Stathis Scholarship, created in 2021, also makes its awards through the ERA Committee as funds are available.

Donate to Support ERA  | 2024-25 D.C. ERA Application

Established in 1976 to provide scholarships to women, with a preference to those from the D.C. Metro area, to attend Cottey College. The income from this fund is available for an annual award. As with the philanthropies described above, D.C. chapters identify candidates and submit their names; the D.C. Cottey College Committee makes the selection each year.

Donate to Support DCCCSF – District of Columbia Scholarship Trust Fund (7041)  |  2024-25 DCCCSF Application

Louise S. Henderson and Catharine R. Parrett Scholarship: The P.E.O. Sisterhood is a philanthropic and educational organization interested in bringing women increased opportunities for higher education. The Louise S. Henderson Scholarship Fund was established in 1984 and the Catharine R. Parrett Endowment was added in 1999. This project of P.E.O. Chapter Y, Washington, D.C., awards a yearly scholarship to a deserving woman in the metropolitan area.  To learn more, Contact Chapter Y.


Scholarship Recipients

Photo of 2018 D.C. ERA scholarship recipient Kari Coleman, pictured in graduation cap and gown

“As a college graduate now pursuing an MBA, I am so grateful for the D.C. ERA scholarship. It truly provided early financial relief to me and my family."

-Kari Coleman, 2018 D.C. Educational Recognition Award recipient

“I am so grateful for the financial support I received to go to college that turned into a beautiful community of women who support me in so many ways. I am joyful and inspired in the presence of P.E.O. Sisters and know what a difference this organization can make in the world."

-Kinley Koontz, 2018 P.E.O. STAR Scholar (Member, Chapter AG/DC)