December 15, 2014
Grant Recipient - George Mason University Foundation – FOCUS: Females of Color Underrepresented in STEM

Supports Three Organizationis with STEM Education and Entrepreneurship Programs for Girls

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Business Women’s Giving Circle announced the winners of its inaugural grant cycle. A total of $40,000 has been awarded to three organizations providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Entrepreneurship programs to girls in Northern Virginia. An additional $2,000 in annual contributions will be used to establish an endowment for future giving. Established earlier this year, this giving circle is the first group of its kind in the region, comprised of women who are successful business leaders looking to empower girls and women in Northern Virginia by preparing them for success through philanthropic support.

“With the launch of the Business Women’s Giving Circle’s inaugural grant cycle, we successfully met our objective – to empower women to innovate, lead and succeed,” said Faith Boettger, founding member of the Giving Circle and co-chair of the Grants Committee. “Our grantees’ programs will create opportunities for young women to build confidence, meet successful mentors and learn valuable and marketable skills to prepare them for STEM and business fields.”

The winning organizations are as follows:

George Mason University Foundation – FOCUS: Females of Color Underrepresented in STEM: $20,000
To support a week-long STEM summer camp program for 100 middle school girls at GMU to pique the interest of females of color by offering exciting hands-on and experiential learning in STEM and to empower them with leadership, entrepreneurial and 21st Century skills including communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.

Marymount University – Empowering Leaders in STEAM “ENLIST”: $10,000
To support a twelve-week STEM/STEAM after school program for 60 5th-6th grade girls through Marymount University’s partnership with Fort Belvoir Elementary School to spark students’ enthusiasm. Activities will be staffed by 15 MU pre-service teachers and supervised by mentor teachers.

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship – NFTE Girls Entrepreneurship Camp: $10,000
To support the creation of a two-week Girls Entrepreneurship Camp in Northern Virginia during the summer of 2015 that will teach a range of business topics, offer field trips to local businesses, and culminate in a business plan competition.

The members of the Business Women’s Giving Circle, including women who are business owners and business leaders, members and leaders of local chambers of commerce and nonprofit boards of directors, and women with similar philanthropic goals in Northern Virginia, reviewed twelve grant applications to select the winners. “Our giving circle members worked collaboratively to identify organizations which will engage young women in STEM and Entrepreneurship, while networking and building a foundation of knowledge about the needs of our community,” said Emily High Daniels, Vice President, Wealth Planning Strategist at Wells Fargo and co-chair of the Grants Committee. “What really makes our relationship with these organizations special is the interest our members have in getting engaged in the programs and working directly with these young women.”

Members of the Business Women’s Giving Circle are looking forward to engaging with these winning organizations as consultants and mentors.

“We are grateful to the Business Women's Giving Circle of the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia for this generous grant and solid endorsement of our efforts to make STEM education accessible regardless of gender or ethnicity,” said Dr. Peggy Agouris, Dean of GMU’s College of Science. “As a woman of science, I am very pleased about this investment in Project FOCUS which will yield a very high return.”

Annual membership in the Business Women’s Giving Circle is $1,100, and includes a vote in the annual competitive grant cycle. All contributions are pooled for a greater collective impact. To learn more about the group, please contact Sari Raskin, Associate Director of Community Investment, at (703) 879-7641 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..