Women's Club of Great Falls
Scholarship Fund, Inc.
Women Helping Students Succeed
Women Helping Students Succeed
The Scholarship Fund, Inc. was established in 1983, 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.
2020-21 Scholarship Awardees
This academic year we have granted scholarships to 13 deserving students at
George Mason University.
Natalie Kiesel is in the process of completing her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies she is concentrating in Social Entrepreneurship. Natalie's interests are related to mindfulness, consciousness, and well-being. Natalie plans to do a graduate project related to well-being promotion through utilizing a variety of wellness activities. Natalie's end-goal is to create a nonprofit organization that increases the well-being of the community through facilitating community garden volunteer shifts and group meditations.
Diem is a first-generation college student at George Mason University pursuing a degree in Biology and then a medical degree specializing in Dermatology. Diem has been on the Dean’s list for all of her academic career and is expected to graduate with Summa Cumme Laude this Spring 2022.
Currently she is a volunteer at the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps and a trained listener for mental health and anxiety. In her spare time, she enjoys dashing through the dough by making pastries to give to family and friends. This also led to her work with the Vietnamese Red Cross, which is where she fundraises for underprivileged children and families in Vietnam. As one of four daughters in her family, Diem hopes to serve as a role model for young women who want a career in medicine.
Bita is a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology student at George Mason University. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Virginia and has worked in various sectors of the healthcare industry. During the pandemic she worked at the Fairfax County Health Department as a Case and Contact Interviewer, working to limit the spread of COVID-19 in schools and daycares across the country as well as Fairfax and Falls Church City.
Currently, she is an intern at the EPA and a graduate research assistant at Mason, conducting studies with a focus on environmental exposures, substance use behaviors and epidemiological methods. In her free time, she volunteers with the Virginia Medical Reserve Corp. Bita holds a deep passion for healthcare and hopes that her work will create communities, where every person has the opportunity to be healthy, safe, thriving, and achieving their full potential.
Graduating from college doesn’t just mean a degree to me, it means I can provide a better future for my two kids. Since graduating high school in 2012, college wasn’t the path I chose but instead submerged myself in the Hospitality industry having worked front of the house positions as well and most recently as a private dining assistant. While in this position, I saw the potential in myself to succeed in the world, but I knew that I couldn’t get ahead with just experience. A higher education was the best way to achieve this and as I’m now in my senior year and about to graduate, I feel extremely grateful that I’m able to apply my experience in the Hospitality industry towards my degree in Marketing as a student at George Mason. I’m working hard to be able to accomplish goals that will allow me to rejoin the workforce as a professional with the knowledge of a higher education. I’m very grateful for the help extended to achieve my ambitions. I hope that one day my boys see all my hard work and are proud of me.
My interest in education originates back to India where I completed my master's in journalism and mass communication. In the field of education, I started as a lecturer teaching undergraduates and graduate students. As the years passed I was fascinated with the profession and being an educator gave me immense satisfaction as I felt connected to the community. I am most interested in Special Education-General Curriculum for the students with mild disabilities and have chosen this as my area of focus.
I am very excited to join the Special Education-General Curriculum program at George Mason.
Kellie Rae Arduini
I went on to Westfield High School in Chantilly, VA where I lettered in field hockey, basketball, and baseball (as a manager of the team). During my senior year, I was awarded the title of All District and All Region in field hockey. I graduated Cum Laude in 2008, and continued my athletic career at Christopher Newport University (CNU).
I am now pursuing an associate’s degree in engineering at Northern Virginia Community College. The intent of this associate’s degree is to broaden my skillset, advance my career, and hopefully contribute to the field of engineering for the DoD in overall research, development, and implementation.
I am an undergraduate at George Mason University in Information Technology.
I am from Iran and I have a bachelor’s degree in pure mathematics from my country. I was working at Bu-Ali Sina University as an educational expert in the education department. At the same time, I was a mathematics tutor at the university and a high school teacher. After immigrating to the U.S. I pursued an education at NOVA and graduated from there and shortly after started at George Mason University where I want to complete my education in IT and hopefully find a full-time job.
I am an immigrant from Sierra Leone. In 2019, I graduated from NOVA and transferred to George Mason University. Over the years, I volunteered at a senior center, the emergency department at a hospital and the Medical Reserve Corps while juggling school, work and family life.
In 2020, I was accepted in the GMU nursing program. As I strive to impact people’s lives positively, I learned the essence of being selfless. My goal is to work with the National Health Service Corps, Peace Corps, and other health service organizations that provide care for people with limited access to health care.
My undergraduate degree is in neuroscience with a minor in psychology provided me an understanding of the health and human sciences and has granted me the ability to understand disease and the human condition to a great extent. This passion combined with my experience in healthcare related activities has allowed me to make the decision of pursuing a career in nursing. These activities nurtured a matured sense of gratuity in myself, and a desire to use my privilege to heal others.
The healthcare setting in particular has drawn my attention, as healthcare is a field dedicated to healing. I plan on healing through a career in Nursing, where I can directly participate in the healing process of individuals with physical and health ailments.
I am from Myanmar (Burma). I am currently a MBA student in George Mason University pursuing a masters degree in business administration. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from George Mason University.
I serve in a Myanmar community by volunteering my time at the Mary Yap Charity Foundation. Mary Yap Foundation is a non-profit organization which help orphans get an education and financial support in Myanmar. This scholarship will give me the opportunity not only to pursue higher education but also continue to give back to my country and set good example for youths.
I was born and raised in Cambodia. I immigrated to the U.S. to pursue an education to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology (IT).
I currently attend George Mason University as I’m pursuing a degree in IT with a concentration in cyber security.
My goal is to become a cyber security expert where I can change contribute back to the community to prevent the rise of cyberattacks.
I was born in Morocco. My dream was to immigrate to the U.S. and graduate from one of the best universities. I immigrated to the U.S. in 2012, where I worked full time as a pharmacy technician while attending school.
In 2018, I graduated from Northern Virginia Community College and then transferred to George Mason University where I am pursuing a degree in data science and data analysis.
I am originally from Pakistan. I completed my bachelor’s at George Mason University in 2018. After working in the legal field for about two years, I decided to pursue a Master in Applied Information Technology concentration in IT Management.
I am currently enrolled in a Master's Degree at George Mason University where I also work. I expect to graduate in May 2022 and this scholarship will provide the financial support I need to continue my education.
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.