December 16, 2019

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Giving Circle Supports Local Women’s Philanthropy

(Oakton, VA) –The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Business Women’s Giving Circle (BWGC) announced the winners of its sixth annual grant cycle today. A total of $69,148 has been awarded to five local nonprofit organizations that provide science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs to girls and young women in Northern Virginia. To date, the BWGC has awarded and established grant funds totaling over $300,000.

rosie riveters photoRosie Riveters is a nonprofit that provides a creative space for girls to develop skills in STEM. Rosie Riveters is a nonprofit that provides a creative space for girls to develop skills in STEM. ABC

“These programs deliver vital opportunities to spark STEM interest and expand STEM skills - - tools that girls and young women need in order to propel scientific and technological advances that benefit all of our region’s diverse communities,” said Amy Kay, Principal at C3G3 – Strategies to Grow the Greater Good, who co-chairs the BWGC Grants Committee with Tessie Wilson. “Now in our sixth year, through this largest cycle of BWGC community grantmaking, our grantees can reach girls spanning critical ages and stretching across Northern Virginia. Their work continues to inspire our dynamic members as we execute our strategic initiatives to empower girls and young women through STEM and, in turn, help enhance thriving communities,” she added.

Launched in 2014 by our Community Foundation, the Business Women’s Giving Circle invests in innovative programs in Northern Virginia that help advance the welfare of women and girls. Today there are more than 76 members of the Circle, including several of our Community Foundation Board members, each of whom contributes $1,100 per year for grant-making to the causes this amazing group of engaged, local donors have decided to support.

“As leaders in our communities and industries, BWGC members know how important positive experiences with science, technology, engineering and/or math are to this next generation of young women,” said Tanya La Force, founder of Mission Focused Consulting, and Chair of the BWGC. “Careers in these fields offer greater financial and job security. With women still underrepresented in most STEM professions, our focus is to give more girls opportunities to grow their confidence in these subjects. As we celebrate 6 Years of Empowering Young Women, we look forward to growing our membership to have an even greater impact in the years ahead.”

The winning organizations are as follows:

Rosie Riveters - $19,148

Serving Arlington County
Rosie Riveters provides a fun space for girls ages 4-14 to imagine, create, and play while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Their goal is to engage and inspire girls in STEM and equip them with an enduring growth mindset.

The House, Inc. - $20,000

Serving Prince William County
Funding will allow The House, Inc. to provide finance and business analytics education programs to middle and high school girls through its EmpowerMEnt® Leadership Institute initiative, a credentialed leadership certificate program in partnership with the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

"The House, Inc. is appreciative to have its EmpowerMEnt® Leadership Institute among those selected by members of the BWGC for its model and programmatic strategy for teen girls,” said Helen McCormick, Founder and President of The House, Inc. “This youth Certificate program backed by our co-curricular partner, The University of Virginia Darden School of Business, advances skills in data gathering and analysis to motivate, interest, and inspire girls to fill the gaps in the ever-evolving STEM spaces."

Children’s Science Center Latina SciGirls - $10,000

Serving Fairfax County
Latina SciGirls provides young Latinas with opportunities to engage with female STEM professionals to foster mentoring relationships and a parent education component designed to support their daughters’ interest and achievement in STEM.

Space of Her Own, Inc. (SOHO): $10,000

Serving Alexandria
The purpose of this grant is to provide fun and engaging STEM projects to vulnerable 5th-grade girls in Alexandria, serving 24 girls total across the SOHO-Del Ray program and with SOHO-West End. This grant will also provide STEM-related activities for up to 90 girls during grades 6-8 with the SOHO Club.

“You are transforming spaces and transforming lives, Business Women's Giving Circle, inspiring girls to build their STEAM and soar to bright futures. You support and inspire us to continuously improve our STEM curriculum and provide first-rate, hands-on learning opportunities for some pretty incredible and very deserving girls. Because of you, this year we will reach our 400th girl!" said Linda Odell, Executive Director.

TrailsforYouth - $10,000

Serving Fairfax County
Funding will support the Girls Rolling and Learning STEM (GRLS) program. This weekly club will use bicycles and physical activity to introduce and educate STEM principles to primarily at-risk girls in grades 5-8. While working on and riding bikes, girls will learn concepts such as hydraulics, ratios, resistance, balance, energy, and movement all while getting exercise.

"Throughout history, the bicycle has enabled women to experience freedoms they have never known before,” said Julie Childers, Executive Director of TrailsforYouth.Org. “With this generous grant from the Business Women's Giving Circle, TYO will provide girls with opportunities to experience STEM principles and concepts while receiving much-needed physical activity in nature."

The BWGC Mission: Invest. Connect. Inspire.

“The girls and young women who will receive this year’s grants reflect diversity in age, experience, and in their application of STEM,” said Catherine F. Schott Murray, Shareholder in the Estate Planning Group of Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C., and incoming Chair of the BWGC for 2020. “Indeed, the techniques by which STEM is introduced, fostered, and allowed to grow within each grantee organization are innovative and exciting. We look forward to seeing the impact each grant will have on its respective community and engaging within each of those communities so that more can be inspired to join the BWGC and further broaden our reach.”

About the Business Women’s Giving Circle

To learn more about the Business Women’s Giving Circle, please visit the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s website, or contact Sari Raskin, Vice President of Grants and Community Leadership, at (703) 879-7641 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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About the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia grows philanthropy to respond to critical need, to seed innovation and to lead and convene the community in the Northern Virginia region. Comprised of donor-advised funds, permanent funds, giving circles, and other charitable endowments, the Community Foundation connects donors to the community, and helps meet community needs with community resources. Last year the Community Foundation awarded more than $5.0 million in grants and scholarships and currently reports more than $70 million in managed philanthropic assets.

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