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Community Foundation’s 2020 Scholarship Cycle Looked Different This Year

Managing the Community Foundation's scholarship program is always an intense and rewarding annual focus of work from February to July.

This year was as inspiring as ever, though the process looked a bit different. Students still submitted their applications online to apply for one or more of the 30 unique scholarships offered through the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, but due to COVID-19 safety protocols, scholarship selection committee meetings were held via Zoom and, unfortunately, we were unable to gather for the Community Foundation’s 10th annual Scholarship Ice Cream Social.

Also, different this year were the number of scholarship awards made and the total amount distributed. The Community Foundation awarded 230 students scholarships totaling $515,415, exceeding all previous years!

Although the 2020 scholarship cycle occurred in the midst of a global pandemic, a time when uncertainly was (and is) at an all-time high, scholarship fundholders/donors, committee members, and Community Foundation staff continued to work, albeit virtually, to ensure students would have the funds necessary to attend college.

In their applications, students shared stories of their families’ hardships: job loss due to the pandemic, illness, and remote learning for their senior year.

I was inspired to see that the students persevered and applied for (sometimes several) scholarships to make certain their dreams of higher education were still attainable. While we don’t know what the Fall will bring, we do know that 230 young people - preschoolers, graduating seniors, college students, and medical school students - will be pursuing their educational goals with the help of Community Foundation scholarships. Because we were unable to gather in-person to celebrate the 2020 scholarship awardees, fundholders, and selection committee members, I put together a short slideshow to highlight this year’s recipients. Please take a moment to enjoy the smiles and the faces of students that Community Foundation fundholders have helped. Congratulations to all the 2020 scholarship awardees and a big thank you to the donors and fundholders who make these generous gifts possible! Scholarships are meaningful to donors and life-changing to students. This connection can be a healing and a long-lasting tribute I am honored to facilitate. The Community Foundation has added three new scholarship funds this year, the Mary J. Yamamoto Memorial Scholarship, the Jean Bear Mullins Memorial Scholarship, and the Otto A. Huth Scholarship, all of which will make their first awards in 2021.

If you are interested in learning more about our scholarship process and how to establish a scholarship that reflects your values and passions or honors a loved-one, please give me a call.

Lauren Renda, Program Officer 775-333-5499