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.
Mia Picchietti is a member of the Class of 2024 at Pope John Paul II High School and a graduate of St. Joseph School. She likes to play tennis, run, listen to music, and learn about different parts of the world. She has five older brothers, all of them are over the age of 18. She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, but the family moved to the Nashville area about five years ago. She plans to be an environmental engineer. "I want to partake in restoring God's creation back to health," she said.
Naomi Nicole Mejia of St. Cecilia Academy is a member of the Class of 2023 and a graduate of St. Henry School. She attends Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish with her family. Naomi is one of four children. During her time as a St. Henry Tiger, she pursued both academic and artistic interests with a quiet determination, as described by her former Religion teacher, Sister Mary Barbara Keiser, O.P. She is recognized by multiple members of the St. Henry School community as a positive, hard-working and kind young woman with a pleasant and enjoyable disposition.
Isabella Matthew 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.
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.”