Women's Club of Great Falls Scholarship Fund

September 2021


Hello and welcome to our INAUGURAL Scholarship Fund Newsletter!

With so much news to share, after a tremendous year of growth, we are delighted to produce our FIRST newsletter, which we will be sending to you on a quarterly basis. You are receiving this newsletter because you either expressed interest in our Fund, our newsletter, or attended one of our events. Thank you for being among our supporters! We hope you will follow along with us; however if you wish to unsubscribe, please feel free to click on the link at the bottom of this newsletter or any future email.

Each of us on the Board and you, our supporters, share a deeply held common value: EDUCATION. Our first exciting piece of news is that the Scholarship Fund will now be offering ALL students, regardless of gender, an opportunity to receive a scholarship! The impetus of this decision came from the direction and guidance from our partner schools, Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University, both of whom are following current academic trends toward a more strict adherence to Title IX's non-discrimination policies.  We see this as an important step forward, both practically and philosophically  and THANK YOU for your continued investment in our students' growth. We are so gratified to see our community of Scholarship Fund supporters growing and united by shared values.
We have a wonderful update about the Holly Ann Kuga Scholarship Fund, which began with our Spring Tea 2021. Because of your love and generous support, her Fund has reached just over $34,000. This entire amount will be endowed, ensuring that her legacy will continue in perpetuity.  The Kuga family as well as everyone here at the Scholarship Fund is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for her scholarship.  We thank you all!

There is more news to share below, including our 2021 - 2022 student recipients, our NEW Havana Preview Night and Spring Tea dates, so stay glued to your screen a little while longer...we promise not to disappoint!

Best wishes,
Scholarship Fund Board of Directors

Scholarships Awarded 
2021 - 2022

Congratulations to our Scholarship Recipients! Each student has received $1,500 from our Fund for the 2021 - 2022 academic year. We are thrilled to be part of their journeys and invite you to read their stories!

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.

Chansopheak Ly

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 contribute back to the community to prevent the rise of cyberattacks. 


Mariama Swarray

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.

Sumita Chopra

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.


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 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.


Shahrzad Maftoun

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 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 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.


Please join us for our
NEW Havana Night Preview &
Spring Tea 2022

Saturday April 23, 2022 


Cigars, Award Winning Cuban Cuisine & Music


Sunday April 24, 2022

All are Welcome!


Planned Giving

The Scholarship Fund is honored to announce a formal Planned Giving Program.  The Fund has a beautiful history of gifts received from families, which often became endowed so that scholarships can be given in perpetuity. We are now offering a platform of giving in a more structured way for anyone who wishes to remember their loved ones through a donation to the Scholarship Fund.  Please stay tuned for more information about our Program, including our brand new Legacy Society, to be rolled out in late 2021!

We love this photo of some of our founding members whose lives and vision set the path toward where we are today, including our founder (bottom row, second from left) Doris Fisher Irwin, whose bequest was endowed at George Mason University in 2019.

Endowment Update

The Women's Club of Great Falls Scholarship Fund has seen a healthy level of growth in our endowment fund at George Mason University. Our current market value is nearly $90,000. From this investment, we grant scholarships to students in addition to the individual scholarships we award from our own Fund.  GMU selects our recipients on an annual basis, and we will announce these students later in the season!  We strive to grant as many awards as possible, and typically supplement with our own funds in order to meet our scholarship goals for the year.  Stay tuned as we begin the endowment process for the Holly Ann Kuga Scholarship Fund! 

The graphic below is courtesy of the George Mason University Endowment Report 2020, where our endowments are invested:

In The News 
Press Coverage 2020 - 2021


We are excited to announce that we have just over 200 subscribers to our Scholarship Fund communications! Our audience hails predominantly from Great Falls, as well as local supporters in Vienna and Herndon.  We are thrilled to welcome our newest supporters from around the country who connected with us through the 2021 Spring Tea!  We are so happy to have you all.

We wish to extend a very special thank you to the Women's Club of Great Falls, including their board of directors, Philanthropy Committee, and the countless members who have volunteered their time with us over the years!  We could not have achieved our current successes without each and every one of you.  We are truly grateful!

To stay up to date on our latest news and to avoid our emails going to your spam folder, please add our new email address: to your contacts list! 

If you wish to unsubscribe, please feel free to click on the link at the bottom of this newsletter or any email.

If you are reading this Newsletter via Facebook or the Women's Club Newsletter and haven't yet subscribed, please click here to receive our next newsletter direct to your inbox.

Thank you again and welcome!

visit our website
view this email in your browser
Copyright © 2021 Women's Club of Great Falls Scholarship Fund, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
Flyer vector created by pikisuperstar - & Cute photo created by freepik - & Girl photo created by freepik -