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As the 2018 scholarship checks have been mailed, and recipients head off to their chosen school, it is time to acknowledge the generous donors, and the scholarship selection committees for their work they do to help these students in their educational pursuits.

2018 was the best year yet for scholarships!  We reviewed 436 applications and awarded a total of $481,412 to 185 recipients through 31 of our scholarship funds. The Community Foundation offers a broad range of scholarships from pre-school to medical school and everything in between.

Each scholarship fund offered by the Community Foundation has a person and a story behind it. Donors create scholarships to honor a loved one, reward a particular type of academic or service effort, or to support students from a certain school – all as a way of giving back to their community.  Our work at the Community Foundation is to attract applicants that meet the donor selection criteria for each fund.

One such scholarship that supports a specific population studying for a specific career is the Peggy Bowker Women in Engineering Scholarship. This scholarship was created in memory of Peggy Bowker who graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1978 and had the distinction of being the first licensed female civil engineer in the state of Nevada. Its purpose is to carry on her legacy of helping women break the “glass ceiling” and open doors for women for generations to come. Peggy was an inspiring woman and the applicants her scholarship rewards each year are no less impressive.

One of this year’s recipients was Daniela Saldate. Daniela is an only child, born to a single-mother who passed away when she was 3. Daniela was raised by her maternal grandparents. Ever since she was young Daniela was fascinated with space and dreamed of working for NASA. She wanted to become an astronaut one day but abandoned her dream when she began receiving negative criticism. It wasn’t until she wrote a personal essay that she rediscovered her passion for engineering. Daniela realized she can achieve her goals despite other people’s opinions. Daniela graduated from Hug High School with her honors diploma in June and will attend the University of Nevada, Reno where she will study mechanical engineering. Her goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in Aeronautics Engineering and work for NASA.

When Daniela’s story was read aloud at the annual Scholarship Ice Cream Social this summer, the impact of Daniela’s experience could be felt across the room, reverberating from donors, to students, to staff, to committee members. It’s stories like hers that inspire all those who fund and administer scholarships each year to continue to provide educational opportunities for local students.

Call me to learn how you can create a scholarship that will change the future of our local young people.

Chris Askin, President, and CEO  775-333-5499
Connecting people who care with causes that matter

The photo above: Daniela Saldate, Susan Lynn and Barbara Drake (Scholarship Selection Committee members) at 2018 Scholarship Social.

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