What is P.E.O.?
The P.E.O. Sisterhood (Philanthropic Educational Organization) is an international women’s organization of about 230,000 members, with a primary focus on providing educational opportunities for female students worldwide. The Sisterhood is organized with over 6000 chapters in each of the 50 United States, District of Columbia and in six Canadian provinces. They are headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa and welcome women of all races, religions, and backgrounds. The sisterhood is based on friendship and mutual respect and is neither a religious nor political action group.
P.E.O. sisters celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College, and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.
How do I become a P.E.O. member?
The best way to find out about P.E.O. and how to join is by talking to P.E.O. members. Ask around in your community to see if anyone you know is a member of P.E.O. or if she knows someone who is. P.E.O. members are proud of their organization and are committed to helping women pursue higher education. Talking to a P.E.O. in your community will give you an opportunity to find out more about their chapter and what P.E.O. means to them.
Before receiving an invitation to join, a woman is sponsored by three members in a local chapter. The sponsorship and invitation process includes getting to know the prospective members well, and explaining P.E.O.’s purposes that come with personal commitment and responsibilities. If a woman is invited to join a local chapter, she may then make her decision based on what she has learned about the local chapter and the international scope of P.E.O. Membership in P.E.O. is by invitation but is not secret. Meetings are opened with prayers and with inspirational readings chosen by members, but P.E.O. meetings and activities do not reference, require or promote any particular religion or religious practice.