Three NOVA Students to Receive Lockheed Martin Vocational Training Scholarships

August 6, 2021

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and Lockheed Martin are proud to announce that three NOVA students have been selected to receive a Lockheed Martin Vocational Training Scholarship. The Vocational Training Scholarship program is the first of its kind within the aerospace and defense industry and awards up to $6,600 to as many as 150 recipients each year. Through the scholarship, Lockheed Martin hopes to encourage students to consider a rewarding career in the technology and advanced manufacturing industries.  

NOVA computer & information sciences students Omar Saaid and Raja Khurram Zilfiqar, and engineering student Wilmot Westreicher were awarded scholarships of $6,600 toward their educational pursuits at NOVA.

Omar Saaid Raja Khurram Zulfiqar Westreicher Wilmot

“Through its innovative vocational scholarship program, Lockheed Martin invests in talented students who could one day develop life-changing, cutting-edge technologies,” said Anne M. Kress, president of NOVA. “Omar, Raja and Wilmot have bright futures ahead of them. I am proud that NOVA is supporting the success of these three students and so many others by providing world-class educational and workforce development programs.”

“Lockheed Martin's STEM and Vocational Scholarships are important ways we prepare for the national security needs of the future, by creating opportunity for students today,” said Lockheed Martin Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Greg Karol. “We are committed to expanding STEM education access for students and creating employment pathways for those with diverse backgrounds, experiences, education levels and perspectives. A future workforce with advanced critical skills will define our national progress. That’s why we’re pleased to partner with Northern Virginia Community College in our mission to inspire a new generation of talent that can help us drive technological innovation forward.”

Read on to learn more about what the Lockheed Martin Vocational Training Scholarship means to NOVA’s scholarship recipients. 

Omar Saaid

What does the scholarship mean to you as you begin your education at NOVA?

It is an honor to have been chosen as a recipient of the Lockheed Martin Vocational Training Scholarship. As I complete my education at Northern Virginia Community College, I am thankful for receiving this generous gift. The scholarship will help ease the financial burden of school and allow me to focus on learning, which is the most important aspect of school.

What is your dream job and how is NOVA helping you work toward your career goals?

My dream job is to work as a software developer. NOVA is introducing me to various events and activities including information sessions and internship opportunities to become a software developer. NOVA is also helping me transfer to a four-year college once I graduate so that I can continue to work toward my career goals. 

Raja Khurram Zilfiqar

What does the scholarship mean to you as you begin your education at NOVA?

The scholarship means a lot to me, due to the fact that I come from an underrepresented community in the United States. As a first-generation college student, the scholarship will help me deal with my expenses, without hindering my education. 

What is your dream job and how is NOVA helping you work toward your career goals?

Starting at NOVA was one of the best decisions I have made; I was able to study and work side by side. In next three to four years, I see myself working as a professional in the cybersecurity field. NOVA is able to provide me with a smooth transition into George Washington University (GWU) where I will be majoring in cybersecurity. 

Wilmot Westreicher

What does the scholarship mean to you as you begin your education at NOVA?

Being selected for the Lockheed Martin Vocational Scholarship has definitely motivated me to be proactive about my education and all pieces of it. It still feels surreal to have been selected, and it's definitely a point of pride for me. Also, it has encouraged me to be excited about the upcoming year. I can't wait to start learning! 

What is your dream job and how is NOVA helping you work toward your career goals?

I would have to say being a "hardware computer engineer" (I'm sure different companies use different titles). NOVA, for me, offers an affordable and good education that is not comparable to really anything else in the Northern Virginia area. Moreover, it is a vital stepping stone toward the University of Virginia (UVA), the university I’d like to attend for my Bachelor’s degree.

Lockheed Martin launched the Vocational Training Scholarship program in January 2020 to support students of all ages who desire to participate in skills-based training in cutting-edge technology and advanced manufacturing fields. The scholarship seeks to fund students pursuing associate degrees, credit-bearing certificates or industry-recognized credentials in specific disciplines at an accredited vocational technical school, trade school or two-year community college.

For questions regarding the Lockheed Martin Vocational Training Scholarship, contact Melanie Stover, NOVA’s director of corporate engagement, at For media inquiries, contact Dawn Selak, NOVA’s director of communications, at

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