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The 2022 Gupta Values Scholarship Weekend

"This weekend influenced me. And I hope I can similarly influence people around me."
        -Helen Agbapuruonwu, NOVA Student and Gupta Values Scholar

On the weekend of April 8th, eight NOVA students had the opportunity to study integrity, human dignity, and excellence through a series of inspiring discussions and enlightening tours of American landmarks. This highly coveted program, established by local social and political activists Margaret and Shashikant Gupta in 2015, annually awards scholarships to approximately thirty students from Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Northern Virginia Community College. In addition to the scholarship weekend, grant recipients receive a scholarship of $2,000.

The weekend began with a dinner and discussion of the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, the Pulitzer Prize winning study of the hidden hierarchies in American society. The discussion was led by Dr. Glenn Chambers, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and professor of History at Michigan State University, and students were given the opportunity afterward to discuss what they could do to combat inequity, and how the principles of dignity and excellence are necessary to inform their own character.

Saturday morning started with a sobering tour of the Holocaust Museum and a discussion with Norm Eisen, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, former special assistant to President Obama for Ethics and Government Reform, and child of Holocaust survivors. Mr. Eisen discussed the importance of integrity, particularly as it relates to democracy, and the necessity of doing the right thing regardless of circumstance.

Saturday night featured dinner at the Guptas home with discussion of the scholarship’s core values, and Sunday morning was a breakfast discussion with NOVA Associate Professor of History Dr. Nathaniel Green. Professor Green led a talk about consensus, compromise, caste, and what students can do to prevent the darkest times of history from repeating.

"The Gupta Values Scholars program is truly one-of-a-kind," said Kelly Persons, executive director of the NOVA Educational Foundation. "Dynamic and invested donors Margaret and Shashi Gupta not only help their scholars realize educational dreams through financial support, but they also take these young people one step further by providing an impactful life lesson through the annual spring weekend. Through a highly engaging and full agenda, Dr. and Mrs. Gupta inspire students to grow their understanding of and commitment to social justice through conversations and experiences in our Nation’s Capital. This is an exceptional opportunity for students who will one day help to lead our country."

If you’re interested in learning more about the Gupta Values Scholars program, either to apply for the program or to refer a student to the program, please visit https://nvcc.academicworks.com/opportunities/4497.