Women's Club of Great Falls
Scholarship Fund, Inc.
Women Helping Students Succeed
Women Helping Students Succeed
The Scholarship Fund, Inc. was established in 1982, when the Great Falls Woman’s Club (also formerly known as Great Falls Friends & Neighbors) recognized the need to provide financial assistance to students pursuing degrees in higher education.
Scholarships are awarded to deserving students who are residents of Northern Virginia, attending George Mason University or Northern Virginia Community College (Advance Program).
By promoting higher education in these students, with our financial support, we are helping them reach their full potential and significantly improve the quality of their lives and that of our community.
The Women's Club of Great Falls Scholarship Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, served by a seven member Board of Directors.
Learn more about our founder Doris Fisher Irwin.
2022-23 Scholarship Awardees
This academic year we have granted scholarships to 14 deserving students at
George Mason University.
My name is Iqra and I am a Registered Nurse working in the Northern Virginia area. I am currently pursuing my master's to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.
I hope to one day positively improve the number of vaccinated individuals in lesser developed countries and serve patients of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
As a child of immigrant parents, this scholarship will help alleviate the financial stress and allow me to focus on my academic goals. I am so grateful for the opportunity to further my career with the help of the Women's Club of Great Falls Scholarship.
The engineering and technology field has always caught my attention since growing up in Bangladesh and especially when I immigrated to the United States. During high school, I was involved in multiple STEM-related groups and projects that helped me narrow down my interest to computer science and hardware.
I've studied at both George Mason and NOVA as a computer science major and hope to complete my bachelor's at Virginia Tech with a minor in mathematics. In the future I want to be involved in the software development space with an influential tech company.
Amanda Torres Ogisi
Amanda Torres Ogisi received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish with a minor in French from the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, South Carolina and her Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University, in Miami, Florida. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Education with a specialization in Higher Education Administration.
Her research interests include college student conduct and disciplinary processes, Hispanic / Latino students and the impact of social, cultural, and family capital on their college choice and college experiences, and increasing support for student parents. Amanda is also a proud mom to a beautiful 2 year old daughter.
I am a student at Northern Virginia Community College and my major is Social Science, at the same time I am part of the Advance program which means I am also a student at George Mason University and my major is Government and International Politics. I am the first one in my whole family that is graduating from a college in the U.S. I was born in the United States, but lived my whole childhood in Aleppo, Syria.
When the war started me and my family came back to the U.S. I didn’t know any English at that time and I thought I will never learn it. I attended my 8th grade here and my whole high school here and it was T.C.Williams in Alexandria Virginia. I have been on the dean’s list for almost every semester. I never thought that I will be able to finish my studies here in the United States. I want to have my Bachelor’s degree in Government and International Political and my masters too. I want my future job to in the U.S. embassy and work there as an Americans ambassador. I am graduating this fall semester from NOVA. Spring 2023 will be my first semester at George Mason University.
Government & Policy
Sara Michels is in the process of completing a Master of Arts in International Security at George Mason University.
She graduated with a BA in Integrative Studies, concentrated around International Relations. Currently, she is an intern for GlobalTies U.S., working towards facilitating public diplomacy through the International Visitor Leadership Program. After graduation, Sara plans to work for the Department of Defense towards encouraging universal diplomacy and peace operations.
As an immigrant, past 10 years, I've taken care of my kids and family. After that, during the pandemic, I participated in several ESL programs and prerequisites for the healthcare program at NVCC. I was accepted for the OTA program 2021spring semester. Now, I am a student Occupational therapy assistant program at Northern Virginia community college. After completing this program in May 2023, I will provide therapy to patients to recover, improve, and maintain the skills needed for daily living and working independently. It is challenging to balance both studies with a lack of English skills and parenting. However, the Women's Club of Great Falls Scholarship was one of the great motivations to achieve my goal.
Faith is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She chose to pursue social work because she wants to go into a field that feels meaningful. She enjoys work that enhances the lives of others on a personal level.
In her spare time, she can be found crocheting dolls for her nephews and niece or volunteering around her community. Although she has graduated with her Associate’s degree in Social Sciences, she is excited to continue her educational journey at George Mason University. Once she finishes herBachelor's degree, she plans on pursuing her Master's in Social Work.
Mónica del Rosario Castillo Rodas
Degree in International Business in Perú. Diploma in Logistics and export processes. Computer training in office automation, finance and google drive. Experience of two years in Foreign Trade. Current student in Administration Business and Political Science at NOVA. She was born in Chepen–La Libertad, Peru. Speaker of three languages Spanish, English and Portuguese. Through her perseverance and hard work, she was awarded a scholarship at the Cesar Vallejo University in Peru (2012–2017) and her curiosity to learn about other cultural diversities led her to get her second scholarship at the Autonoma University of Mexico (2014). A year of education in teaching English to children in USA(2020–2021) helped her to develop her patience and empathy. Participated actively in social volunteer activities and leadership programs, export and import projects during her life at the university.When people ask Mónica to describe herself, she says humility, faith, initiative, courage, passion and focus helped me to be where I am now.
Finance Planning & Wealth
I am a first generation student who has 2 Bolivian parents, divorced when I was 15 years old. I am currently 31 years old. I had a rough childhood compared to most people who live in the Northern Virginia area. I decided to go back to college in 2017 and worked my back up from academic probation to getting straight A's.
In 2019, I was diagnosed with cancer. I cancelled my classes and my chemotherapy treatments failed here in Virginia. I was sent to the doctor who cured Lance Armstrong. Dr. Einhorn warned me that I only have a 10% chance of living. Unfortunately, before I even started my treatments, I had a seizure which caused me to die for small moment. There was 10 nurses around me trying to get me back. They gave up. The priest started to pray and told my mom that I was gone. Little did they know that my mom didn't give up. My mom walked up to my bedside and cried. She then told me that I cannot leave her and proceeded to wind up the slap of the century. She slapped me so hard that it caused me to come back to life. Now here I am 3 years remission alive. I am still struggling with the symptoms of chemotherapy and radiation but I move forward because I want to finish school and show gratitude for the best mom in the world.
Nadia S. Rizvi
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Nadia S. Rizvi was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1980. She lived in Pakistan with her mother and two sisters.When she was 9-years-old, she was diagnosed with a Patent Ductus Arteriosus(PDA) closure which is a heart condition only fixed through the procedure called cardiac catheterization. Her mother was a high school teacher and a single mother who stayed strong throughout her illness. When Nadia was 16-years-old she re-joined her father in the United States along with her mother and two sisters. After coming to the United States, Nadia and her younger sister were enrolled in Gar-Field high School right away. She started her schooling here as a sophomore.After her high school graduation she went to Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) where she received her associates degree in general studies and social sciences. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Mary Washington (UMW) in 2014. Even though, she was a single mother to her 2-year-olds on and going through a custody battle while trying to earn her bachelors, she completed her bachelors with 3.08GPA. After receiving her bachelors, she worked full time in government contracting for four years. She worked there as a Program Specialist and as a Program Coordinator. There, she supported consulting activities for logistical, technical, and meeting services by processing payments, preparing consultant agreements, tracking schedules of client deliverables, and making travel arrangements forNational Institute of Justice (NIJ),U.S. Department ofJustice (DOJ), and Bureau of JusticeStatistics(BJS) consultants. Although she was reasonably happy in her job, her passion for healthcare, human anatomy and physiology brought her back to school. Now she’s pursuing her career in the masters of Special Education with the concentration ofAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) program.She has just started her master’s program at George Mason University (GMU).She decided to pursue her career as an ASD specialist, so she can learn about autism and how to correct the developmental behavior in children with autism. She would like to help the autistic children deal with their surroundings successfully, so they don’t have togo through frustration, anxiety, and suffering throughout their lives. She believes that it’s imperative that these children have proper guidance and professionals to help them grow into productive and happy adults in this country.
Early Childhood Educator
My name is Helen Agbapuruonwu. Due to my long last name, many prefer to call me Ms. Helen or Mrs. A.I am a mom of four kids with ages ranging from 15, 13, 12, and 10. For the love of children, I have been inspired to earn a career on Early Childhood Development and Education, which I am fortunate to be part of as a student at George Mason University. I am grateful for the scholarship awarded to me by the Women's Club of Great Falls. It will be a tremendous help for me at Mason in pursing my career path. Thank you so much for this opportunity and for all the wonderful job you do in supporting students in their academics. May God bless you!
Holly Ann Kuga Scholarship
The Holly Ann Kuga Scholarship was established in 2021 in memory of Holly Ann Kuga, long time Women's Club of Great Falls (The Women's Club) member and friend. Holly was an active supporter of the Scholarship Fund and is remembered as being warm, generous, wise and thoughtful to all those who worked with her. Her scholarship will ensure that her memory and legacy continues in the years to come.
She was extremely active in the Women's Club, not only hosting many of the club gatherings, but personally involved in many of the club's projects as well. For the Scholarship Fund, she directed and managed our public relations for two of our largest fundraisers, the Bridge Jamboree and the 2016 Fashion Show.
Her tremendous commitment to both the Women's Club and Scholarship Fund led us to the dedication of the 2021 Spring Tea to her memory, as well as the establishment of a Holly Ann Kuga Scholarship which will be awarded annually in the years to come. Our sincerest thanks to all of you who have contributed so far to make this Scholarship possible. Through it, we will be able to carry out the charitable work that she so dearly loved and ensure that her legacy continues in the years to come.