January 12, 2023
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia's Business Women's Giving Circle recently announced the winners of its annual grants cycle. A total of $50,000 has been awarded to three local nonprofit organizations that provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Mentorship programs to girls and young women in Northern Virginia in 2022. To date, BWGC has awarded more than $465,000 in grants that have impacted the lives of over 3,250 young people.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia launched its Business Women’s Giving Circle in 2014, the first group of its kind in the region composed of women who are looking to empower girls and women of all ages through philanthropy in the Northern Virginia region. “Joining and participating in our giving circle means connecting with other successful women who support STEM-related learning opportunities and positive change for girls and young women in our community. Our members are accomplished leaders drawn together by a passion to empower girls and women of all ages through collective philanthropy. We enjoy the professional and personal connections with other giving circle members from many industries and diverse backgrounds. Learn about the benefits of becoming a member,” says Judy Redpath, Chair, Business Women’s Giving Circle. Here's how the grantees reacted to the awards:

Sari Carp, Executive Director of Sustainability Matters, said, “With this work, the girls will be connected with a mentorship ecosystem of female environmental professionals ranging from conservation science majors, to leaders in environmental engineering, scientific research, environmental agency and nonprofit management, and eco-entrepreneurship. This will give dozens of high school girls in Northern Virginia crucial real-world experience and networks.”

Brian Moran, Founder of Boolean Girl, said "Boolean Girl is pleased to receive the BWGC grant from the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia to fund the operation of our Clubhouse for 2023. Clubhouse is a creative space for girls grades 3-8 to explore Coding, Engineering and other Technology related interests. Girls participate in hands on STEM activities, create connections outside school, build their digital citizenship skills and express their creativity. Registration for the winter clubhouse is open now at booleangirl.org/clubhouse."

“BlackGirlsHack is excited for this BWGC grant, which will deliver quality ethical hacking and STEM education to children in Northern Virginia through our We Got Next Cyber Cohort. BlackGirlsHack is using ethical hacking, Capture the Flag, and CompTIA Security+ training to help get more girls and members of underserved communities certified and eligible for careers in Cybersecurity.” Tennisha Martin, Executive Director of BlackGirlsHack.

The following organizations received grants:

Sustainability Matters: Ecologigals ($20,000) Ecologigals is a new, girls-focused program for Sustainability Matters, engaging 60 girls in grades 9-12 within Fairfax County Public Schools (with outreach targeted to girls and young women of color living in low-income homes) in ecology/environmental science fieldwork at their 1-66 landfill Making Trash Bloom site. The Grants Committee was impressed with their clear topical focus, the opportunity for girls to engage with the innovative Making Trash Bloom program, their mentorship network (including engaging Smithsonian-Mason undergraduates as mentors for the Ecologigals), and the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new program for this rapidly growing organization. 
cropSustainability Matters BWGC grant cover

Boolean Girl: Boolean Girl Clubhouse ($15,000) Boolean Girl's Clubhouse teaches Northern Virginia-based 3rd to 8th-grade girls (about 20 percent of whom are living in low-income homes) coding and engineering in a fun environment, while fostering a supportive community of girls with similar interests and providing them with role models in the older girls who serve as instructors and assistants. The Clubhouse meets 14 times during the school year for 3-hour sessions (about 20 girls at each session). It's hosted in partnership with Marymount University at their Arlington location. The Grants Committee was impressed with the focus on peer and mentor support, the coding/engineering projects the girls engage in, and the partnership with Marymount University.
 boolean girl computer engineering

Black Girls Hack: We Got Next Cyber Training Program ($15,000) Black Girls Hack, established in 2020, seeks to increase diversity and representation within cybersecurity by upskilling Black women and girls in ethical hacking. The We Got Next Cyber program is an 18-week-long, virtual Saturday program providing girls with a customized ethical hacking lesson plan based on the cyber.org curriculum. The program will engage 30 high school girls in Northern Virginia, targeting historically underserved students, and students of color. The program will provide participants with vouchers for their Security+ certification. The Grants Committee was impressed with the focus on cybersecurity and certification.
 IMG 2772

The Business Women’s Giving Circle will celebrate these 2022 grantees in February 2023 at its Annual Kickoff Meeting and Grantee Celebration.