Scholarship Fund

BFF Riya Bhakkad Memorial Scholarship Fund

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI) was created and established by Om and Saraswati
in 1977. A company whose foundation was, from the very beginning, not only built on family-
centered values, but has maintained an enduring diverse culture, which allows SSAI to attract
and retain highly qualified candidates who are experts in the fields of science, engineering,
information technology, and research. In 2012, Om and Saraswati founded the Bahethi Family
Foundation (BFF) to empower people in science and technology. The foundation’s purpose is
to continue to give back to communities to create and enable opportunities for others as it was
created and provided for Om and Saraswati Bahethi In an exemplary union of purpose and passion, SSAI and BFF are partnering to provide equitable opportunities to the STEM community. This collaboration isn’t just about funding scholarships;

it’s a launchpad for dreams. SSAI, in partnership with HBCU and MSI colleges and
universities, has crafted a specialized program that’s a beacon of hope and opportunity. This
immersive experience is designed for ambitious students, eager to expand their horizons.
Selected candidates will embark on a transformative journey, enhancing their knowledge and
skill sets through real-world training with leading experts from prestigious organizations like
NASA, NOAA, USDA, USAID, EPA, and NIH. This is not just education, it’s a fusion of academic
pursuits and practical, hands-on experience, tightly aligned with the student’s degree goals and
personal interests

Complementing this is the BFF Riya Bhakkad Memorial Scholarship Program, a beacon of
inclusivity and diversity in professional development. This initiative is a testament to
commitment to shattering barriers and implicit unconscious bias in recruitment, focused on
empowering underrepresented groups. It’s a step towards creating a diverse workforce,
enriched with highly qualified candidates from various backgrounds. This program does not just
aim to increase visibility for leaders in diversity; it’s about enhancing engagement and attracting talent from underrepresented and disabled communities. Together, SSAI and BFF are not only
shaping futures but are also crafting a more inclusive and diverse professional world

Riya Bhakkad Memorial Scholarship Program

Selected recipients will receive a scholarship award of up to $10,000 and participate in a 12-week program working with a mentor from SSAI in a remote environment for the duration of the program. Recipients will additionally have the opportunity to participate in on-site events at SSAI Headquarters and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD to present their end of program work to leadership.

In addition to technical training within STEM related fields, this program will also offer and support professional development training, fostering:

• Real world experience in a STEM related field
• Professional development-based learning/degree objectives
• Communication skills
• Presentation skills
• Networking and engagement with high-level stakeholders
• Project management and collaboration skills
• Growth mindset

The BFF Riya Bhakkad Memorial Fund in partnership with SSAI offers students the opportunity to collaborate with multiple federal organizations, working with experts who specialize in the fields of science, engineering and technology while building their knowledge and skill-set capacity through real-world professional development training. This program is open to currently enrolled college students at all degree levels who have a passion for increasing their professional skill set, knowledge and experience in STEM related fields.

Program Eligibility Criteria

Must be:

  1. A currently enrolled student at one of the following institutions:                                                                                         

    -University of Nevada Las Vegas

    -University of North Dakota

    -Morgan State University

    -North Caroline A & T

    -Christopher Newport University                                                                                                                    

  2. In good academic standing with their institution
  3. Designated currently enrolled student
  4. Majoring in a field of study that falls under STEM guidelines
  5. Committed to and have the availability to participate in the program

Application Calendar

2024 Season 2123BC Application Window Selections Timeline
Spring Portalion Elitesimo Aenean
Summer Portalion Elitesimo Aenean
Fall Portalion Elitesimo Aenean

Application Requirements

Application documents must be submitted, preferably in one combined PDF or Word document, to {BFF Shared Email} by {deadline}.

All applicants must submit the following:

1. Essay questions listed below, answered concisely on separate pages, with a MAXIMUM 200-500 word answer per question  
   -Provide 3 words that describe you and why.
   -What are your personal goals in the next 5 years? How would this program help to support those goals?
   -What do you think you can contribute to this program? What do you expect to receive?
   -In your opinion, how do STEM careers make a societal difference in communities?|
   -How would this scholarship award help support your financial academic needs?

2. One academic or professional recommendation letter

3. Your most recent unofficial transcripts

4. Current resume


Applications must be submitted to the email provided no later than 11:59 EST on XXXX. Applications submitted after the deadline WILL NOT be accepted or considered.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When is my application due?
    -Please refer to the application page on the BFF website here {link} for application window dates and deadlines.
  2. Will scholarship recipients be required to participate in the program on-site in Maryland?Recipients will work remotely for the duration of the 12-week program, with an opportunity to come on-site for the last week to present their program work to executive leadership and stakeholders.
  3. What can I expect to gain from participating in this program?
    -Participants can expect to gain a unique opportunity to expand their professional skill set and experience, while working closely with a mentor who is an expert within a similar STEM related field.
  4. What does the selection committee look for in their scholarship recipients?
    -Applicants should have a passion for STEM and be able to speak to how STEM related fields impact our society and surrounding communities. Applicants should also be prepared to speak to how this program will impact their own professional development and capacity building goals.
  5. What are the application requirements?
    -Please refer to the application page on the BFF website here {link} for application requirements and deadlines.
  6. Is there a GPA requirement?
    -There are no GPA requirements, however students do need to be in good academic standing with their institution.
  7. Does the program accept international students?
    -Unfortunately, we are unable to accept applicants who are not U.S Citizens at this time.
  8. Will I be paid for participating in this program?
    -Selected recipients will be awarded a scholarship in the amount of $10,000 paid directly to their institution.
  9. Does this program award school credit?
    -School credit will be determined and awarded through the recipient’s institution. Requirements for school credit should be communicated to program leadership prior to the start of the program and worked into the agreement.
  10. Do I need to be a currently enrolled student?
    -All recipients need to be currently enrolled students at an accredited institution.
  11. Who will I be working with during the program?
    -Students will work closely with their selected mentors during the program and will have regular check-ins and performance evaluations with BFF program management and leadership.
  12. When can I expect notification of selection?
    -Please refer to the application page on the BFF website here {link} for selection notification dates and deadlines.