December 19, 2016
2016 Grantee: SHINE For Girls

Five Organizations Awarded Grants for STEAM Education, Leadership and Entrepreneurship Programs

The Business Women's Giving Circle (BWGC), comprised of accomplished women who are community leaders drawn together by a passion to empower girls and young women through collective philanthropy, announced the winners of the third annual grant cycle today.

A total of $45,000 has been awarded to five organizations providing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), Leadership and Entrepreneurship programs to girls in Northern Virginia, making total awards granted to date $125,000. In addition, the group added $1,000 to its endowment for future giving. The group invites all women interested in learning more about being a member to join them for the Grantee Celebration on January 31st at Refraction in Reston, VA.

“Collaborating with the women of the BWGC to review and analyze such impressive programs as were presented in the 2016 grant applications has, once again, been awe-inspiring, humbling and so gratifying,” said Autumn McCullogh, Attorney at McCandlish & Lillard and co-chair of the Grants Committee. “I am honored to have been a part of this process and am so excited to see the impact this year’s grantees will have in our community.”

The winning organizations are as follows:

SHINE For Girls: $15,000
Serving all of Northern Virginia
Funding will help provide innovative, curriculum-based after-school programming for 5th-8th grade girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in Northern Virginia. Utilizing kinesthetic learning, SHINE combines formal dance training with rigorous math instruction to improve girls’ math and confidence scores and spark their interest in STEM.

Hillsboro Charter Academy: $5,000
Serving Loudoun County
Funding will help launch Girls in G.E.A.R. (Guiding Engineering, Aerospace, and Robotics), an exploratory after-school STEAM program where girls become role models and guides to teach all 125 students (K-5) about engineering, aerospace and robotics through hands on lessons and real world application using technology tools.

Kashmir World Foundation: $5,000
Serving all of Northern Virginia
Funding will support the DaVinci Challenge: Build a Drone Workshop for SuperHERo Girls, a hands-on, innovative STEM drone workshop that empowers middle to high school girls with leadership and entrepreneurial skills including critical thinking and collaboration via design, fabrication and operation of a drone with a mission focus to develop solutions for real world challenges.

STEAMd, Inc.: $10,000
Serving Loudoun County
Funding will support STEAMd YOUniversity Girls, a program that will develop underserved girls in grades 3-12 with critical 21st-century skills that will prepare them for post high school education entrance to pursue careers in STEAM fields.

Space of Her Own, Inc. (SOHO): $10,000
Serving Alexandria
Funding will support this creative mentoring organization by providing 6 new fun and engaging STEM projects to 36 vulnerable 5th grade girls in Alexandria and Arlington and developing new STEM-related activities for over 64 girls and their mentors to enjoy throughout their middle school years through the SOHO Club.

“The BWGC grant will allow Hillsboro Charter Academy to provide 4th and 5th grade girls with an increased awareness of the STEAM fields using technology tools to help develop their confidence in these areas,” said Megan Tucker, STEAM Specialist/Gifted Teacher/Technology Resource Teacher at Hillsboro Charter Academy. “The program will spark more school-wide excitement related to the power of STEAM as well as provide motivation for the students to excel in the classrooms and understand the ‘why’ of what is being taught in school, and we are so thankful to have this support of the BWGC to make this dream become a reality!”

The members of the Business Women’s Giving Circle reviewed twenty-one grant applications to select the winners. “This year’s grantees came from a group of diverse, well qualified applicants and we are confident we selected top notch organizations to deliver high quality STEAM, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership programs to the young women of Northern Virginia,” said Mara Desmedt, Senior Regional Sales Director of PlanSource and co-chair of the Grants Committee. “We couldn't be more excited for our grantees and to see the impact the BWGC's grant money will make on all of the lives touched by each of the programs."

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

“The BWGC offers our members the opportunity to work together to leverage knowledge, learning, and funding to create change in the lives of young girls and women,” said Faith Boettger, Community Volunteer and Consultant and Chair of the BWGC. “Over the past three years, our grants have had a ripple effect on our community – directly impacting girls in our programs and indirectly the mentors, teachers, parents, classmates, and our own members.”

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 here.