End of Year Update

December 2023

Note from the Executive Director

To our incredible donors,

We would like to thank all of you for being a part of the efforts to alleviate or minimize financial hardships for the recipients of the Building Opportunities for Sistas to Shine (B.O.S.S.) Scholarship.

It is so wonderful spending my reflective time of the year thinking about everything this small nonprofit has accomplished. Looking back makes me incredibly proud and pushes me to continue thinking of ways to support our recipients and other young Black women just like them. On Giving Tuesday, I received an email from Laila Flores, one of our inaugural B.O.S.S. Scholarship recipients that sent me over the moon. She said “Your organization’s prior investment in my college education has propelled me to sustained academic excellence as a Dean’s List student and a member of various distinguished, academic honor societies.”

That is why we do what we do and why we are so grateful for you help in impacting the lives of these young women. Laila ended her message by saying “I will continue to make you proud.” And I know she and all of our other scholars will do just that! Every single one of our scholars is a change maker. Please see below so you can follow their journey’s too.

Melissa Green, Executive Director



Q. How are your classes going?

“My classes are very interesting, and my professors are intelligent, understanding, and supportive. My favorite part about my classes is that I am learning about things I would have never chosen to learn about had I not gone to a liberal arts school. For example, I am taking a class called “Creative Coding,” where we learn the basics of JavaScript to make and direct computer-based artistic projects. As a student pursuing film, that’s not something I would’ve thought I would enjoy taking, but I enjoy that class!”

Q. What did you wish you knew before starting college that you have learned since arriving?

“I wish I knew how valuable blocking out time/activities could be. Scheduling your days to balance career, education, and fun is complicated but extremely important. You have to give yourself time to eat, sleep, and pursue your ambitions, so it’s important not to bite off more commitments than you can chew. Even class times matter and heavily affect how you spend your time!”

Q. Have you identified your strategies for success?

“My strategies for success are making a to-do list the day before, studying outside of my dorm (in a library or an empty classroom), and having a buddy system with other students to hold each other accountable for studying and completing assignments.”

Q. How did you use your B.O.S.S. Scholarship?

“I used the B.O.S.S. Scholarship to pay for part of my tuition.”


Q. How are your classes?

“Classes at Howard University are like no other. Learning perspectives at this institution are one-of-a-kind. I enjoy that all my classes come from a cultural perspective, even if it’s not in the course name or description. They become challenging at times, but learning from someone who looks like you, surrounded by people who look like you, and about people who relate to your culture makes the hard work worth fighting for.”

Q. What did you wish you knew before starting college that you have learned since arriving?

“Acknowledging that college is challenging is a universal thought, but accepting the lessons that come with it is an aspect I wish I were ready for before arriving at my university. Failure is part of the process of becoming your own person. However, your plan of overcoming these challenges helps you grow, and this is precisely what gets me through each day. As long as you are making any progress, you are growing from the difficulties that come your way.”

Q. Have you identified your strategies for success?

“Identifying my strategies for success has been humbling; however, ensuring I excel at the university level is necessary. I have laid out plans to balance my academic, professional, and social lifestyles with time management skills and respectful boundaries. Planning out time within your day for coursework/studying, clubs/organizations, and family/friends is the first step to ensuring all of these items become complete. From there, immersing yourself in your collegiate experience will follow suit.”

Q. How did you use your B.O.S.S. Scholarship?

“The BOSS Scholarship from The MGAM Scholarship Foundation was directly applied to my cost of attendance at Howard University. Specifically, my tuition as an Arts and Sciences student was deducted by the help of this foundation.”


Two fundraising events were held this year that could not have been successful without donations from our incredibly generous donors. The first fundraiser was the inaugural “Annual Give $20 for ‘20” Day which was launched on October 27, 2023. The purpose of instituting this day was to honor and celebrate the day the MGAM Scholarship Foundation was formed. This year’s fundraising goal was to have 90 donors donate $20 for a total of $1,800 which would cover one of the two scholarships MGAM will give in 2024. Though we fell slightly short of goal, we raised $1,754.43 though the generosity of 28 donors!

The second fundraising effort was “Giving Tuesday 2023”, which took place, on November 28, 2023. The collective goal for Giving Tuesday 2023 was to acquire five recurring donors that were willing to give monthly or quarterly donations of $5 – $10. Recurring donors are integral to small non-profits like MGAM because they provide reliable streams of revenue that can be used to achieve long-term fundraising success and organizational sustainability. We raised $1,545 and found 2 new recurring donors!

MGAM Scholarship Foundation, would like to send a very special THANK YOU to Juha and Kim Tanskanen, co-owners of M.E.G.A. Fun and Fitness, for their very generous donation and support of the B.O.S.S. Scholarship during this years Giving Tuesday. Their generosity will allow this organization to continue to provide resources and support for our scholarship recipients.

As we close out fundraising efforts for 2023, we would like to encourage our donors and other supporters to follow us on all social media platforms (Facebook, IG and LinkedIn), to remain informed of all upcoming events and activities. Please save the date for the March 2024 fundraiser (March 18-22) which will feature a “Dare for Dollars”!

Without our supporters and donors, MGAM Scholarship Foundation would not be able to achieve the desired impact on our community. You don’t have to wait for a fundraiser to donate. Please feel free to donate at any time on the website (www.mgamfoundation.org) or by using a QR Code (see below).


In 2024, applications for the Building Opportunities for Sistas to Shine (B.O.S.S.) scholarship will open on February 1. Applicants will be able to complete and submit their applications in one of two ways:

1. Directly through Kaleidoscope’s website (the third-party platform that hosts our application). The link will be active on February 1

2. Through the “Apply” link on the MGAM Scholarship Foundation’s website (the link to apply is in the main menu)

The deadline for all application submissions is March 31, 2024, at midnight EST. Once the submission window has closed, the Scholarship Review Committee will evaluate all submissions by April 30, 2024. Please note that applications submitted without recommendations will not be considered for round two review by the Board.

Following round one review by the Scholarship Review Committee, applications that meet the minimum scoring requirements will be evaluated by the Board of Directors and the scholarship recipients will be selected no later than May 31, 2024. The selected 2024 B.O.S.S. Scholarship award recipients will be notified via email and can decide if they want to accept the scholarship offer. If accepted, the recipient will need to complete an award acceptance form. Scholarship recipients will receive their checks in early June of 2024.


March 31, 2024

2024 B.O.S.S. Scholarship Deadline

March 18-22, 2024

2024 MGAM Major Fundraiser

October 27, 2024

Give $20 for ’20 Day

December 3, 2024

Giving Tuesday