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Make A Donation to the Scholarship Fund

NCBWL was established in 1950 and is the Diocese of Nashville’s oldest business organization. Since the League’s founding, it has donated more than $454,500 toward girls’ scholarships to date. 

Aurelia Varallo Mariani Scholarship

Named in memory of Aurelia Varallo Mariani, a 1951 graduate of St. Cecilia Academy, NCBWL funds scholarships for young Catholic women at all three area Catholic high schools: St. Cecilia Academy, Father Ryan High School, and Pope John Paul II Preparatory School. The scholarship is funded mainly through the proceeds and patron donations of the annual Pearls of Wisdom event held in September.

Meet Our Scholars


The Nashville Catholic Business Women's League is proud to help support the education of these fine young women whose lives reflect Catholic teachings and good works.

Carmen Shick is a member of the Class of 2027 at Pope John Paul II Preparatory School. She attended St. Joseph School and is a parishioner at St. Joseph Church and sings in the Mass choir. Carmen is also part of JPII's a capella choir, Voices uKnighted. Carmen is taking several honors and AP courses while playing on the varsity softball team. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing novels. Carmen plans to pursue a career in secondary education. She has a younger sister who also attends JPII and a toddler brother. 
Bersabell Mikael of St. Cecilia Academy is a member of the Class of 2027 and was in the inaugural SCA eighth grade class. She attended St. Edward School and is a parishioner of St. Edward Catholic Church with her parents and sister. She is an active student athlete and leader, being involved with Student Council, Model United Nations, Robotics, Varsity Bowling, and Junior Varsity Tennis to name just a few. The all-girl environment is one of her favorite aspects of St. Cecilia as her fellow students are supportive and helpful. She said, “I love how SCA is a small community because you know everybody’s name, and you can spend one-on-one time with teachers. Thank you to NCBWL for helping me attend SCA.”
2023 Bersabell Mikael 1.jpg
Isabella Mathew is a member of the Class of 2026 at Father Ryan High School and a graduate of Christ the King school. She is part of the centennial class of Father Ryan. Her family has also attended the high school for 3 generations. Though only in her freshman year, she has already met numerous personal goals. She is taking Honors Biology and Algebra and is part of several clubs: Theater, American Sign Language and Dungeons & Dragons. She looks forward to a high school experience filled with spiritual reflection, social growth and academic success.
NCBWL Scholarship History

Our Scholarship History

by Briana Grzybowski

originally printed in Tennessee Register


The Nashville Catholic Women’s Business League, which seeks to bring Catholic women professionals together for fellowship, networking, and faith sharing,was established in 1949.

“When the League first began, it was a small group of Catholic working women, primarily teachers and nurses, who wanted to get together to share their faith and support each other in their professional lives,” said Diana Miller, a retired Social Security Administration tech expert and Church of the Assumption parishioner.


“They could only meet at night because lay groups in different parishes met during the day, and most women in the diocese were heavily involved in those groups.”


When member and 1951 SCA graduate Aurelia Varallo Mariani died in 1998, the League set up a memorial scholarship fund in her honor to support a deserving and financially needy student at St. Cecilia through all four years of her high school education. Since then, proceeds from the annual fashion show have supported the scholarship fund. The scholarship program has also expanded to include one female Father Ryan student and one female student at JPII.

“Principals at the high schools nominate students who they think are deserving,” said Frances Varallo, a parishioner at St. Henry Church and sister of Aurelia Varallo Mariani.

Nominees must have a track record of outstanding academic achievement and community involvement, as well as demonstrated financial need. The Catholic schools select the scholarship recipients.

“We’ve been overwhelmingly blessed every year with the support for the silent auction,” said former President Beth Lance, a St. Henry parishioner and retired healthcare administrator.

"The League has always recognized the value of a Catholic education,” former President Debbie Lassiter said. “Because of this, we really want to make that accessible to young women whose families would otherwise be unable to afford it. Tuition has gone up a lot over the years, and these scholarships cover a significant portion of that cost for those families.”

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