Behind the Scenes with Scholarship

By Anne Evers, FWSF VP, MarCom

A lot of work goes into the scholarship process and it’s very exciting when it all comes together. From working with the various schools and reviewing applications to setting up interviews and choosing the winners — a myriad of tasks lead up to the main event, the Scholarship Luncheon on June 8. 

This year FWSF was able to increase the scholarships by $5,000, resulting in $10,000 for undergraduates and $15,000 for graduates. The larger scholarships will be paid for by the excess 2017 funds, which should last between two to three years. We’re proud of our scholarship efforts and the deserving scholarship winners.

Connections asked a couple of people who have been involved in the process to give us some insights. And if you’d like to be involved next year, keep an eye out for when there’s a call for committee members. It’s fun … get involved!

Janeth Medina LariosJaneth Medina Larios, FWSF Scholarship Co-Chair, Scholarship Winner 2013, Bank of the West

Tell us about your role this year. As the 2018 Scholarship Committee Co-Chair, I am responsible for the coordination and execution of the Scholarship Program, which provides undergraduate and graduate candidates with financial and mentorship support.

What’s been the most challenging aspect? The most challenging aspect is narrowing the candidate pool for second-round interviews and recipient list thereafter. All our applicants invest a lot of time and hard work into this rigorous process, and although we would love to give all these amazing women scholarships, we have to do our best to select those who wouldH benefit most from being a part of our FWSF family.

Has anything surprised you? The only surprise is that it gets better every year. Just as you think it can’t get better it becomes more fulfilling and rewarding, especially when our recipients start volunteering their time right away. When you have the ability to learn about these women’s journeys and can be a small part of that, it is very powerful and humbling.

What’s been the most meaningful? The most meaningful part has been meeting and fostering relationships with the future generation of women leaders who are shaping the world of finance in a positive way.

What have you learned? I have learned that we can accomplish a tremendous amount of good work collectively and when we work together the impact we have is much larger than what we could ever accomplish individually. Together we are better.

Mona AhmadiMona Ahmadi, Endowment Co-Chair, Scholarship Winner 2014, Consultant at Sojern

What was your role this year? I had the pleasure of interviewing candidates for round 1 and 2. Prior to the interview process, I reviewed each candidate’s profile, made sure to read her essay and familiarize myself with her story, school performance, activities and engagement in her community. On the day of the interview, I found the majority of the candidates very well spoken, ready to be part of the organization and help empower others. Their stories were heartwarming and inspirational.

Has anything surprised you? Yes, I met several young women who despite the challenges and obstacles, have done marvelously in school and are already giving back to their community. They were very articulate and had a clear plan for future and I’m very happy FWSF is going to be there guiding them along the way.

What’s been the most meaningful? It’s beautiful to watch some of these young women with such high aspirations to challenge status quo and try harder than many others to be present at the table and not only do good for themselves, but also make sure to either widen or create a path for other women to follow. These are the women who will change the male dominant world of finance and to me it is extremely powerful.

In Her Own Words

Ami Thomas“The FWSF scholarship has meant the world to me! Not only did the funds arrive at a crucial point in my education, I was also paired with a mentor who understood the nuances of navigating a career in financial services. While the funds helped as I completed my MBA, it was the mentorship that opened my eyes to a new side of finance and launched me into a network of wonderfully successful women that wholeheartedly love to give back. I’m proud to say that I’ve remained a part of the FWSF organization and I hope to inspire other women to get involved and make a positive impact on the future leaders of the financial industry.”

– Ami Arroyo, Scholarship Winner 2015, Charles Schwab

Earn FREE admission to future events by providing a writeup and photos for our newsletter. Please contact Mickele Sade-Nowden or Susan Mazzetti if you are interested in volunteering.

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