NOVA’s Educational Foundation Raises $3.675 Million to Help Students Succeed

February 20, 2023

Alexandria, Va., February 20, 2023 – Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and the NOVA Educational Foundation (NOVA Foundation) have raised $3.675 million to launch the NOVA Student Success Fund. Last week, NOVA and the NOVA Foundation brought together donors, students and the wider community to celebrate this milestone at a launch event, which featured a panel where guests could hear directly from NOVA students about how much NOVA has changed the trajectory of their lives.


NOVA serves students from all different paths of life, and more than 50% of NOVA students struggle with financial instability; many also attend classes while supporting their families and working full-time. Understanding these challenges, the NOVA Foundation launched the Student Success Fund to help more students achieve their educational goals.

“NOVA is a beacon of opportunity for our students. It’s also a beacon of opportunity for our community,” said Anne M. Kress, president of NOVA. “As we can see across our region, those needs are not going away. We’ve heard from our students that the impact of inflation has been devastating for some of them. The impact of raised rent has been devastating for some of them. These are the funds that help them move forward.”

The NOVA Foundation’s Student Success Fund offers just-in-time emergency grants and scholarships to students who need timely financial support to continue their education. Beginning in Fall 2023, funding will be widely available to address student needs including tuition, fees, and books, as well as transportation, food, housing, childcare, and unforeseen financial emergencies.

“We are fortunate to be a part of a community of individuals, foundations and corporations that understand the critical role of the Student Success Fund in keeping our students on the path to completion,” said Kelly Persons, executive director of the NOVA Educational Foundation.

NOVA Nighthawks Jim Carlisle and Sundus Shah discussed their journeys on a panel moderated by La’Tonia White, director of financial stability and advocacy. Carlisle is an Air Force veteran who returned to college and plans to pursue a psychology degree at the University of Virginia after graduating from NOVA. Shah is a mother who recently immigrated to the U.S. and is working hard to obtain a cybersecurity degree that will lead to a family-sustaining career. These two students are just a snapshot of NOVA’s incredibly talented students who will soon make their way into the Northern Virginia workforce. For them, it all started here at NOVA.

The NOVA Foundation wants to thank the lead sponsors and members of the ‘Student Success Collective’ who make it possible for NOVA Nighthawks to achieve their dreams of a college education: Compu Dynamics, Dominion Energy, Micron, Northrop Grumman, the O'Shaughnessy Hurst Memorial Foundation, the deLaski Family Foundation, Jennifer and Tim McGarey, Transurban, Verizon and the family of Harriet "Cammy" White.

To contribute to the Student Success Fund and join many notable and impactful advocates, please click here. For media inquiries, please contact Hoang Nguyen, associate director of external communications at For inquiries regarding the Student Success Fund, please contact Kelly Persons, executive director of the NOVA Foundation at

About the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation (NOVA Foundation):
Founded in 1979, the NOVA Educational Foundation is dedicated to supporting Northern Virginia Community College’s goal of providing all students with a high-quality, life-changing education. By connecting donors to NOVA programs, the Foundation raises funds, increases visibility and strengthens partnerships among the College, individual donors, businesses and state and local communities. The Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, governed by a Board of Directors. At NOVA, every student succeeds, every program achieves, and every community prospers. Make a gift. Make a difference.

Topics: press release, scholarship and research, work in the community, student success