NCBWL awards $8,000 scholarships to each of the three Nashville Catholic high schools

The Nashville Catholic Business Women's League awarded three $8,000 scholarships to girls at Nashville's three Catholic high schools despite having to cancel its annual fundraiser due to COVID-19. The League instead held a smaller online auction and made appeals to members for direct donations to fund the scholarships.

“We are so thankful to our members and generous friends who helped us raise more than $21,000 for these scholarships. During this pandemic, our recipients need these scholarships more than ever,” said Teri Gordon, NCBWL president.

The online auction raised roughly $3,000 while an additional $18,000 was raised by straight donations from NCBWL members and friends of the organization. The scholarships, which are a centerpiece work for the league, were established more than 20 years ago. The scholarships are named for 1951 SCA graduate Aurelia Varallo Mariani who 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, the scholarships have expanded to include one female Father Ryan student and one female student at JPII. The current recipients are: Tatiany Morales Irizarry from Father Ryan High School, Naomi Nicole Mejia from St. Cecilia Academy and Mia Picchietti from Pope John Paul II High School.

NCBWL is the Diocese of Nashville’s oldest business organization and is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2020, though the main even to mark the milestone has been delayed to 2021. The league began with a small group of Catholic women, primarily teachers and nurses, in 1950. NCBWL held its first business meeting at the Hermitage Hotel in late 1949, and in January 1950 officers were chosen to lead the league. By July 1950, the group’s bylaws were established by the women who wanted to share their faith and support each other in their professional lives. A hallmark of the League is its commitment to Catholic education, raising more than $300,000 over its 70 years.

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