The Public Education Foundation is proud to announce a record-breaking year in college scholarships awarded to students this spring. 

Thanks to the generosity of donors, more than $2.7 million in college scholarships were awarded to more than 600 graduating high school seniors and college-enrolled students for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.

Since 1995, The Public Education Foundation has worked with individual donors and organizations to award more than $18 million in scholarships to more than 6,400 students. Each year, approximately 350 scholarships are available, some that award to multiple students, and opportunities are open for everyone from the resilient student who overcame obstacles to the high school athlete. 

The Foundation’s scholarship program was created to increase post-secondary completion in Nevada, both to improve the lives of college-bound students and to create an educated workforce to drive our economy.

“The Public Education Foundation is proud that our Scholarships PLUS program identifies a broad cross-section of talented students from throughout Southern Nevada,” said Judi Steele, CEO of The Public Education Foundation. “Working with our donors, we are able to give our scholarship recipients the opportunity to pursue their post-secondary education goals.”

Typically, 68 percent of students receiving Foundation scholarships are the first in their family to attend college. Additionally, 81 percent of students receiving a scholarship through The Foundation successfully complete college and earn a degree, compared to 58 percent of students nationally. 

Denises Justo-Soriano, a graduating senior from Rancho High School, wrote of receiving a scholarship through The Foundation:

“I am extremely grateful for receiving the Jeffrey A. Smith scholarship! Receiving the notification that I was awarded this scholarship was a light in the dark days that has followed the [COVID-19] pandemic. I hope to attend Grinnell College and pursue a career in medicine and I believe that this financial aid has facilitated this goal of mine. I believe that receiving this scholarship would help me benefit others as I plan to give back to my community with the education I receive. I will return to Las Vegas with a doctorate degree, ready to work in the healthcare field. Health care professionals in Las Vegas are wanting, and I believe my community needs more diverse clinicians willing to work with underrepresented groups. I believe that this scholarship will benefit my community and me in many positive ways. Thank you.”

Alyssa Marie Lagua, a graduating senior from West Career and Technical Academy, wrote of the significance in receiving a scholarship through The Foundation:

“Scholarships matter because they open up the way to college to those who might have never thought they could get that far. They help promote equality of opportunity, the idea that everyone has the potential to achieve what they want, given they put in hard work to do so. Without scholarships, thousands upon thousands of immigrant, poor, struggling, or simply lost students would not be able to contribute their great minds to the world. These students would have been kept behind a paywall, but education transcends economic class. Knowledge allows people’s voices to be heard, and scholarships do just that.”

And Griffin Becker, a graduating senior at Centennial High School, wrote of receiving a scholarship through The Foundation: 

“Scholarships matter not only because they help to offset the increasingly high costs of a college education, but also because they are a third-party validation. Earning a scholarship means that a standard was set and that I was able to meet and exceed that standard. This in turn makes me want to succeed not just for myself, but also to honor the organizations that have seen fit to generously award me with scholarships.”