The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) held a Celebration of Scholarships last week. As part of the celebration, DSFederal Chairwoman Sophia Parker was invited to take part in a conversation with USG Executive Director Anne Khademian and DSF-IDEA Foundation Scholarship Recipient Yasmeen Annan-Ahmed. The trio spoke before an audience on how scholarships change lives.

The DSF-IDEA Foundation Scholarship fund covers two full-tuition scholarships each year for students in programs at the USG. One scholarship will go to a student in an information technology program, and one will go to a student in a public health program. One of the scholarship recipients says that the scholarship they received “has paved the way for a bright and promising future.”

When asked about her inspiration for the scholarship, Sophia said that she was inspired to give back to the community after participating in a wonderful three-year program at Harvard Business School called the Owner/President Management Program (OPM). According to Sophia, as an immigrant coming to this country, she not only felt the need to give back to the community but also to make a long-lasting impact, and one of those ways was to invest in education in Montgomery County.

As part of the DSF-IDEA Foundation scholarship, DSFederal is also offering internship opportunities to scholarship recipients. Sophia hopes and encourages more businesses to follow DSFederal’s footsteps and take advantage of the excellent workforce born from the top-notch Montgomery County school system.

USG Executive Director, Anne Khademian echoed this hope, saying that a big part of the plan with USG 2.0 Strategic Plan is to build an ecosystem of support and possibilities for students, and build wealth in Mongomery County by enabling people to get an education, get great jobs, and build their families here.

Sophia Parker is the Chairwoman of DSFederal. Connect with her on LinkedIn and learn more about the DSFederal-IDEA Foundation Scholarship at


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