Across the country, NAWBO provides the foundation necessary for women entrepreneurs to build economically strong businesses and to develop powerful social and political networks. That is evident in the Buffalo Niagara region. Scholarship winner Sabina Ramsey said “I credit my business development to NAWBO members. I am forever grateful for the supportive friendships I have developed and will work hard to pay it forward to other female entrepreneurs.” While Sabina contributes much of her success to NAWBO, she intends to use the scholarship money to further develop her skills at the UB Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, describing it as a “profound learning experience.”
The spirit of NAWBO as an organization committed to the success of women is not lost on the scholarship recipients. “I am ever-grateful to the wonderful womenfolk of NAWBO for awarding me scholarship monies to further my studies in neuroscience,” said Nancy Rizzo. She continued, “Understanding the neurochemical response of the brain in conversations will improve my ability to serve my coaching clients.” Nancy primarily coaches women business owners, acknowledging that while woman entrepreneurs seek the skills necessary to make transformative decisions both personally and professionally, the nature of their busy lives requires her to keep it simple.
The third scholarship is awarded to Amy Brackenridge, founder of DATA Lab (previously known as Generational Leadership). After nearly two decades serving at-risk youth in urban education, she founded an educational research and consulting company, providing mentorship and professional development to education professionals. Amy’s mission is to transform schools into safe and inclusive environments, supporting healthy social-emotional development and academic achievement for all students including those most at-risk and vulnerable to bullying, rejection, stereotyping, abuse, and suicide. Amy’s scholarship will be applied to her doctorate in educational leadership. Her dissertation focus is the persistent issues of inequality in educational policy and practice: perceptions of school safety and climate toward LGBTQ+ children and teens in urban K-12 schools. Amy recognizes the impact NAWBO has had on her decision to pursue this degree, stating “There is nothing more powerful than a room full of women committed to lifting each other up. Any fear or doubt quickly dissolves and is replaced by a belief in yourself and your ability to make a difference in your life and the lives of others. I walked into a meeting questioning my decision and walked out firmly believing that this was the best decision for me and my community.”
NAWBO member scholarships can be applied to professional memberships, certification programs, continued education, or other programs proven to advance a scholarship winner’s business acumen. Prior awards have been used to participate in the UB School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), Leadership Buffalo, Leadership Niagara, and the Canisius College Women’s Business Center.