Helen McAllister presents an historic picture to Mel White as a token of AAUW's appreciation.

Mel White has been recognized by American Association of University Women for what she has done to promote equity and education in the community. At a recent AAUW meeting, Branch President Laura Amstead presented White with a certificate of appreciation.

White began promoting opportunities for art in Tehachapi when she opened The Art Center in November 2004. She offered not just art supplies, but help and encouragement to those who wanted to develop skills. A year later, she opened Cross Roads Gallery where quality works of art were displayed and sold. This business existed until 2012 when she opened Treasure Trove, which most people are acquainted with because of the classes offered or the welcome extended on First Fridays. Her goal is to always promote creativity with positive encouragement for all the arts.

White came to the attention of AAUW because of her ideas about equity and her interest in education. She reveals this not only by her actions, but also through the column she writes in The Loop. A few years ago, she was the featured speaker at an AAUW meeting. As she described her life’s journey and philosophy, she earned the admiration of all who heard her speak.

AAUW member Helen McAllister has participated in White's classes for 15 years and admires her greatly. Being aware of White's interest in history, she presented a rare 1918 photo of the “Dime-a-Dance Girls” to her. White graciously accepted the picture and thanked AAUW for the recognition.

Phyllis Belcher is a longtime Tehachapi resident, and is involved in various volunteer organizations.