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2011-2012 Scholarship Recipients and Donors

B.I.G. has announced the winners of their 2011-2012 annual scholarship to benefit female entrepreneurs. The scholarship recognizes juniors and seniors in high school and college enrolled women who show exemplary entrepreneurial skills, strive to be future leaders in business and seek financial independence, as well as exemplary young entrepreneurs.

"We are pleased to announce these scholarship award winners. Each young woman shows creativity and seriousness well beyond her years. Chosen from a large, diverse applicant pool, our award recipients are truly indicative of the vision for which the B.I.G. Scholarship was created- that young women should never lose sight of their entrepreneurial spirit,” said Rebecca Hull, president and co-founder of B.I.G. "B.I.G. celebrates the value of entrepreneurship and the power of self-sufficiency. By offering this scholarship, we want to emphasize the importance of maintaining financial independence.” Each award recipient will receive monies to help defray the cost of their college education or to assist in running the foundation.

Donations to the Scholarship Fund are sourced from donations from outside sources, from B.I.G. members and from a variety of special events held over the course of the year. Applicants are chosen by a scholarship committee which includes:

Gwen Nagorsky, President, Directions in Design, and Long Valley resident
Angie Newman, Senior Vice President, UBS Wealth Management
Eileen Smith, MA, MFT, Director of Counseling, The Counseling Group and Family Institute, and Basking Ridge resident
Susan Vernicek, founder/owner, Identity Magazine, of Wharton, NJ.

2011-2012 B.I.G. Scholarship Winners

Elise Wardrop

McGill University

Ms. Wardrop received the Janet Cowan Memorial BIG Scholarship which was funded by Ricklin-Echikson Associates (REA) of Millburn, NJ.

Elise presented B.I.G. with her business plan outline for Toasty Bits. "Her business idea was one of the more innovative ideas that we saw,” said Rebecca Hull, scholarship committee member and B.IG. co-founder.  Elise created a product that will lessen the discomfort of a cold bit in a horse’s mouth. Called "Toasty Bits”, the product is basically a handwarmer for the bit. Elise’s plan is to donate all proceeds from the sale of Toasty Bits to horse rescue groups around the country.
Annaiise Diaz

Essex County Vocational Schools
Newark, NJ

Ms. Diaz was awarded the Mike Michalowicz Pumpkin Plan BIG Scholarship. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group and author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and newly published, The Pumpkin Plan. Annaiise presented BIG with her business plan outline for Bar Nul—a concept she created that is an after school program for young adults. Bar Nul targets the latchkey children who are so often left home alone by their working parents. Anaiise describes BAR NUL as a mellow, café environment where kids can do homework, listen to music, get a snack and generally hang out, in a safe, supportive environment. BAR NUL will be managed by young adults as well.

Alexandra Rhea

Fayetteville-Manlius HS
Manlius, NY

Funded by B.I.G.’s Wellesley, MA pod leader, Susan Zimmerman, the B.I.G. Sueb.do Scholarship was awarded to Ms. Alexandra Rhea for her business concept, Nutri-Nuggets. Alexandra’s business idea is to make healthy eating fun and exciting for her generation. The website will include healthy recipes, nutritional tips and will sell advertising to support the cost of operations.
Katie Meyler

Founder, More Than Me Foundation
Bernardsville, NJ

The B.I.G. (Believe, Inspire, Grow) Scholarship, funded by the support of our members, was awarded to Katie Meyler, founder of the More Than Me Foundation. The Mission of More Than Me is to get girls off the street and into school in one of the poorest slums in the world in Liberia, West Africa.

Thanks to Our Donors

A special thank you goes to our 2011-2012 major donors:

Mike Michalowicz

For more than a year and a half, Mike Michalowicz has generously given to BIG his time, his wisdom and his money, fully funding a 2012 B.I.G. scholarship. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group, a business growth consulting company and the author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and The Pumpkin Plan.

Susan Zimmerman

B.I.G. Wellesley MA Pod Leader fully funded one B.I.G. scholarship through her successful retail company Sue B Do. B.I.G. and Sue B Do share a mutual dedication to empowering high school girls to continue their entrepreneurial pursuits. Susan represents the spirit and dedication of many of the wonderful women of B.I.G.

Lorraine Bello, REA Careers

Lorraine Bello, President, Co-Owner, Ricklin-Echikson Associates (REA), funded the Janet Cowan BIG Memorial Scholarship.The scholarship is in memory of a wonderful person, friend and colleague, Janet Cowan. Through the partnership developed between REA and BIG we have together been able to reach out to women across the nation and assist these women in their pursuit of career fulfillment.

Eileen Smith

Eileen Smith, Director of Counseling at The Counseling Group & Family Institute, Greater New York City Area. Eileen has not only generously donated her time to the scholarship committee for the past 3 years offering guidance as we grow, but has been a major contributor to the scholarship fund. The Counseling Group & Family Institute is located in Bernardsville, NJ 07924. Their telephone number is 908-221-9200.

Additional Generous Donations Were Made By:

Yuan Fen Lai

Lynne Willets

Lisa Rangel

Thank you to the many women who supported the Scholarship by attending our fundraising programs!

Montville and Livingston PODs Join Together to Raise Scholarship Funds

B.I.G. Members from the Montville and Livingston pods joined together for a morning of fun and comraderie to raise money for the B.I.G. Scholarship Fund. Special thanks to B.I.G. Montville Member Lauren Eras for an energetic and fun Zumba lesson and to Robin Davis, with help from Montville Pod Leaders Lisa Carver and Aimee Schenkel, for making it all possible. Also joining the fun was B.I.G. Basking Ridge Leader Bobi Commer and B.I.G. Bernardsville Leader Tara Gilvar. A good day was had by all - for a great cause!

Contribute to the B.I.G. Scholarship fund
See the complete Scholarship Winners' News Release
Get a copy of the 2012-2013 Scholarship Application


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