Behind the Scenes with Scholarship

By Anne Evers, FWSF MarCom Co-Chair

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 culling applications to setting up interviews and choosing the winners — a myriad of tasks lead up to the main event, the Scholarship Luncheon on June 7 (register here.

FWSF will award $10,000 for undergraduates and $15,000 for graduates. 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!

Sandra CamachoSandra Camacho, Scholarship Co-Chair 

Tell us about your role this year. This is my second year as co-chair of the FWSF Scholarship program. Given that it’s my second year in the role, I was able to build on what I learned in the first year and add a bit more leadership value.

What’s been the most challenging aspect? I think it was making sure the process stayed fair and equal for all applicants as we moved from over 70 applications to 13 recipients. I believe we did that very successfully by guiding our team leads and interviewers, enforcing our eligibility criteria and keeping accountability.

Has anything surprised you? I think it has to do with the variety of our candidates/recipients’ stories. You may imagine from year to year that you have heard it all, but then there they are with the usual success, but with a unique set of accomplishments under very unique circumstances.

What’s been the most meaningful? My answer here is twofold: I feel great about helping applicants through application uncertainties. I am also very proud to have two of my mentees, Sasha Tsiatsera and Carissa Weir, lead the efforts at UC Berkeley and Mills, respectively. Working with the schools is the heart of making this program work and I just can’t say enough about how they both successfully led the process on their respective campuses.

What have you learned? We definitely have our process improvements in mind, but apart from that, I think that I learn so much from being near current students. Keeps one a bit more in tune with how education is evolving in our fields. For example, I had an opportunity to talk to the Accounting Club at Golden Gate (set up by another mentee :-)) and found out that there is a PhD program in Taxation. Scholarships for PhDs in the future maybe?

Vineetha MummadiVineetha Mummadi, Scholarship Co-Chair 

What was your role this year? I am a scholarship co-chair and a board member this year.

What’s been the most challenging aspect?  The most challenging part of the process is to finalize the second-round applicants. They are such an amazing pool of candidates that it makes the job very tough to choose.

Has anything surprised you? It’s simply amazing to see the amount of time, effort and dedication that my fellow committee members, team leads, interviewers and other volunteers have put in selflessly to make the scholarship process a huge success. I noticed that they are several people who simply come forward offering help without our asking. There are so many personal hours each of them forgoes for this cause. It worked like a well-oiled machine.

What’s been the most meaningful? The entire process brings out its true meaning when we actually get to the point of learning the journeys of these applicants, the challenges they overcame to reach wherever they are today and their aspirations. As a former recipient, it’s simply overwhelming to witness the reaction of winners when the results are announced. I know the value of the scholarship amount and above all, the impact it makes in our lives to be welcomed into this powerful community.

What have you learned? Throughout, I learned to be humble and continue being grounded to my beliefs of making impact on fellow women (“one-at-a-time”) to whatever extent possible to support their progress, especially the ones who are from less fortunate backgrounds.


FWSF has other exciting events coming up, check out our Events Calendar.

Also, we are always looking for attendees who want to provide a summary of the event. If you volunteer, you can attend free of charge. Contact Marianne LaPorte, co-chair of MarComm, if interested:

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