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 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 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 8th grade here and my whole high school at TC Williams in Alexandria, Virginia. I have been on the dean’s list for almost every semester at NOVA in Social Science. 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 American ambassador. I am graduating this fall from NOVA and will start my first semester at George Mason University in Spring 2023.
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 the past 10 years, I've taken care of my kids and family. During the pandemic, I participated in several ESL programs and prerequisites for the healthcare program at NVCC. Now, I am a student in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at NVCC. 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 her Bachelor's degree, she plans on pursuing her Master's in Social Work.
Mónica del Rosario Castillo Rodas
Mónica is a current student in Administration, Business, and Political Science at NOVA. She was born in Chepen–La Libertad, Peru and is a 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 the USA (2020–2021) helped her to develop her patience and empathy. She 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 that 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 was sent to the doctor who cured Lance Armstrong who gave me only a 10% chance of living. During my illness, I experienced a near-death episode from a seizure. Despite 10 nurses working on me, my mom was the one that didn’t give up telling me that I cannot leave her and proceeded to slap me so hard that it caused me to come back to life. Now here I am 3 years later in 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 where she overcame a serious childhood cardiac illness. Later Nadia and her family joined her father in the United States where she enrolled in Garfield High School. After high school she went to 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 in 2014 with a 3.08 GPA while she was a single mother of a 2-year-old and going through a custody battle. After receiving her Bachelors, she worked full time in government contracting for four years. Although she was reasonably happy in her job, her passion for healthcare brought her back to school. Now she’s pursuing a Masters of Special Education with the concentration of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at GMU. She would like to help autistic children grow into productive and happy adults.
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.