For DonorsFor Applicants

Paybotic Women in Finance and Technology Scholarship

Funded by
3 winners, $2,500 each
Application Deadline
May 1, 2022
Winners Announced
Jun 1, 2022
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate or graduate student
Field of Interest:

Technology and finance are central to the proper functioning of modern economies, driving unprecedented innovation across industries. 

Unfortunately, despite making up half of the US workforce, women are still shockingly underrepresented in the tech and finance fields, especially when it comes to leadership roles. Women make up only 26.5% of management and leadership positions in the S&P 500 companies, a trend consistent across FinTech industries. 

This scholarship seeks to boost prosperity and innovation by supporting female students and reducing gender gaps in leadership. 

Any female-identifying undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited US institution who is pursuing a STEM-related field may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us which female leader has brought you the most inspiration and how you hope to become a leader through your career.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published February 8, 2022
Essay Topic

What female leader has inspired you the most and how are you planning to become a leader through your career?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Sherie LaPrade
Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne, FL
A leader and woman in STEM whom I admire greatly is Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA's first female launch director. Blackwell-Thompson graduated with a degree in Computer Science from Clemson University in South Carolina, my previous home state, and began her career working for Boeing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center as a payload flight software engineer in the historic, and very male-dominated, Firing Room 1. During her time with Boeing, she worked on software and systems for multiple Space Shuttle missions until finally joining NASA officially in 2004 as a Test Director. Today, as Launch Director and leader of that firing room, she and her teams oversee launch operations and run simulations preparing for the first missions of the Artemis Program, and to send the very first woman to the moon. As a non-traditional student, my path to a career in engineering differs from Charlie Blackwell-Thompson's, but my goals take me to the very same room that first inspired her. In pursuit of my goals, I returned to school in January 2020, starting with classes at my local technical college. That Summer, I was also accepted to the Florida Institute of Technology, right in the heart of Florida's "Space Coast", for their BS Aerospace Engineering program. My eventual goal is to intern and participate in an engineering co-op program at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. I dream of finding my own place in the Firing Rooms in support of Launch Operations and helping to pave the way for the next generation of women and men who will journey to the moon. In pursuit of my dreams, I have become an active participant in Florida Tech's chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics. I have also joined the Spaceport America Cup rocket competition team serving on the propulsion sub-team. To grow my skills as a leader, I ran for a seat on the executive board of AIAA at Florida Tech in April, and now have the privilege of serving as Secretary of AIAA for the 2022/23 school year. I plan to spend this next year serving alongside and learning from some of the best student leaders on campus as I support the President and Vice President and the mission of AIAA. Upon completion of my degree program, I plan to continue as a member of the local professional chapter of AIAA. I will grow my leadership skills through active participation in STEM engagement programs in the local community, providing mentorship for the next generation of students. I am an avid, driven learner and will also seek growth in my workplace through self-study, workshops, and opportunities to serve with and learn from fellow leaders throughout my career.
Elyana Javaheri
New York UniversityAliso Viejo, CA
Amal Clooney is an excellent example of a contemporary fierce leader whose intelligence, bravery, independence, power, grace, and human-kindness has been an inspiration to me. Similarly an immigrant from a middle eastern country, Mrs. Clooney, a well-known human rights' defender, has set an example of boldness in her field, where I first learned about her work defending the Yazidi women against ISIS in 2016. Bravely not only standing up for, but creating a platform for victims to speak out regrading the horrific events caused by the ISIS, Clooney has been fighting for injustice against women worldwide. Women's rights, an issue that I closely worked with as a teenager in Iran, has been a significant passion that encouraged me to immigrate to the United States alone at the age of seventeen to pursue higher education, and be able to help advocate, empower, and engage women at significant rates in their lives. Although my field may be different from Mrs. Clooney, her consistency, drive, and passion inspires me to continue my work as I embark on a new chapter studying Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, also an alma mater to Mrs. Clooney. As a trained landscape architect, my goal has always been to raise the spirit of a community, especially those underserved through my work. For the past six years, I have held community meetings, cost-free design consultations, and community classes to help empower children and women in marginalized areas of cities such as Richmond, Virginia. Simultaneously, my research interests of the meeting point of environmental psychology and landscape architecture has led me to conduct independent studies on children's mental health and the impact of the surrounding environment on them, aiming to showcase that well-designed spaces is a human right and need, not a luxury. My award-winning thesis and followup research project has led me to believe that there is more that can be done with technological advances to bring these benefits to children, especially those within marginalized communities worldwide, which is my reason for returning to university for a second master's degree. My goal is to create platforms and accessible spaces that can ease the burden of mental challenges in children and women, through what I have learned in environmental psychology and elements of landscape architecture, such as healing gardens. Prior to this leap of faith, I had served for a number of years as a selected emerging professional at the American Society of Landscape Architects, and have been a guest speaker as multiple regional conferences, speaking on the significance of landscape design justice on mental wellbeing. Today, I am certain that my studies at NYU will bring us closer to creating environmentally just spaces through technological advances such as AR/VR, interactive surfaces, and permanent installations. Having women such as Amal Clooney, middle-eastern immigrants, to watch succeed in male-dominated fields in unique ways that display their areas of passion, concern, and expertise in brave, confident, and graceful manner is inspirational and encouraging as I embark on a new path, and I hope that one day I can be a display that bravery in a way that is unique to my interest in combining technological advances, landscape architecture, and human psychology, so that it can inspire another person to pursue their interests and passions fully.
Sarah Taha
Cornell UniversityITHACA, NY
With the deafening sounds of sirens blaring all around me, I stood helpless in the hallway as the doctors rushed my “Teta” -Grandmother in Arabic- into the CPR room. That happened mere moments after our anticipated reunion after a year apart while I worked diligently towards my dreams in the United States. For those back home, my status was described as “Ghorbeh” - being away from one’s homeland. Ghorbeh eats away at those who choose to leave home and give up moments with their precious ones. Ghorbeh revisits me when I grieve over my Teta, and I cannot help but wonder— “Was my time away from home worth it?” As a Palestinian-Muslim woman growing up in Jordan, I faced a plethora of backlash when I asked to leave home. Pursuing a degree abroad was not a rational option for girls in my family. Teta, however, managed to change the course of my future. She was my best advocate, especially when it came to education. After endless debates, Teta convinced my family to let me follow my dreams. With her help, I was able to pursue a Biomedical Engineering Degree at Union College. As I prepared for my journey, I packed her passion for education and her dedication to empowering women. She made a difference not only in my life but in the lives of the women around her. She founded a school to provide women teachers with jobs and provide education to those in need. I carry her with me, constantly remembering the values she instilled in me at a young age and hoping to pass on her legacy of supporting and empowering women. She taught me that nothing is impossible. As an Arab woman, I struggled to fit in when I first moved to Union College. With time, I noticed other women undergoing a similar struggle, despite our differences in ethnicity or creed. I vouched to represent those women and fight for their rights on the College Board of Trustees, as the first international and the second woman to hold that student position. I dedicated my time to encouraging women to participate in similar roles. As a result, three of my successors on the board were women. Every day I venture with Teta’s tenacity and passion to lead a life full of purpose. A few weeks before her passing, I called her to share the new initiative I was leading on gender parity through a series of design thinking workshops. Our team’s mission was to construct a strategy to drive equity, inclusion, and economic access for women in the workforce. I adapted business-specific ideation tools to build exercises that allowed women to share stories and communicate needed changes. To create a safe and inclusive environment, I leveraged virtual whiteboard technology to provide real-time collaboration and anonymous participation. It was fulfilling to amplify the voices of these women and empower them to be part of the strategy creation. Reflecting on the past seven years in the US, the impact I created and the success I achieved were worth the sacrifices I had to make, despite the Ghorbeh. Moving forward after graduating from Graduate School, I plan to lead digital product development initiatives to improve healthcare data management and access using AI. In the long term, I envision myself establishing a healthcare venture in the Middle East and pioneering the digital healthcare space. In addition, I want to extend my journey of empowering women and localizing talent in Jordan by launching an innovation center where women are educated and encouraged to pursue careers in technology and STEM.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 1, 2022. Winners will be announced on Jun 1, 2022.

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