Talbots Fall 2010 lookbook

Talbots has a hip new look for Fall 2010. Photos courtesy of Talbots

We bet some women have a new favorite retailer.

The Talbots Women's Scholarship Foundation awarded eleven women, with lots of life experience, college scholarships. The foundation's goal is to empower women to continue learning by obtaining an education later in life.

One $30,000 Nancy Talbot Scholarship Award, named after the company's founder, was presented to Rachel Mathia of Chicago for "creativity, conviction, and an entrepreneurial spirit," the company stated in a release.

Mathia, who works as a visual merchandising manager in retail, dropped out of school at 19 and plans to take Mandarin lessons and work as a sourcing manager, with the hopes to open a sustainable fashion company utilizing recycled and eco-friendly materials.

Additionally, ten $15,000 scholarships were awarded. These recipients are Deunan Berkeley, Redmond, Wash.; Michelle Brignone, Hooper, Utah; Kate Brown, South Portland, Maine; Lee Aren Brown, Lexington, Ky.; Quinn Graungaard, Toronto, Ont.; Sheila Gray, Gardena, Calif., Tracey Hartley, Marshall, Mo.; Maria Jimenez, Clarksville, Tenn.; Deborah Lockard, Loveland, Colo., and Jeanette Tan, Sebastopol, Calif.

"This year's scholarship recipients stood out in so many ways, from the circumstances they've overcome to their individual aspirations," Talbots Chief Marketing Officer Lori Wagner said in a release. "What do they have in common? A mind that reimagines the world as they know it. Each woman, in her own way, is on a dedicated path to transform tradition."

The finalists were chosen by Scholarship for America and by a panel that included Christa Carone, chief marketing officer for Xerox corporation; Jean Chatzky, financial expert; Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group; Kelly Corrigan, author; Dayle Haddon, L'Oreal spokesperson and author; Dr. Pamela Peeke, Discovery Health TV chief medical correspondent; Lesley Jane Seymour, editor –in-chief of More Magazine; and Trudy Sullivan, president and CEO of The Talbots, Inc.

In related news about inspirational women, read about a new biography of Liz Claiborne.