Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2017

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Foundation pledges college scholarships for entire third-grade class

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Courtesy: Rogers Foundation

A parent reacts to the announcement that her child will receive a four-year college scholarship Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015.

How’s this for getting your day off to a good start?

Twenty-five third graders at Reynaldo Martinez Elementary School arrived to school with their parents Wednesday morning only to find out they would all be receiving four-year college scholarships.

The scholarships were a donation from the Rogers Foundation, the education-centered nonprofit group of the late Jim Rogers and his wife, Beverly. The organization is dedicated to improving educational outcomes for students in Southern Nevada, with a particular focus on the arts.

At the announcement, Beverly Rogers said her organization would also start offering three $100,000 grants to schools in the region. The three grants will be awarded annually to K-12 schools offering arts, STEM and general education programs.

“The launch of the Rogers Foundation is a dream for my late husband, Jim, and me,” Rogers said in a statement. “Education and art are a vital part of everyday life, and we believe there is an abundance of talent and potential in Southern Nevada.”

Parents showed up to Dr. Sharon Vuichi’s North Las Vegas classroom not knowing what was going to be announced. When they found out, many were overwhelmed with emotion.

Kylie Powell, 32, was one of them.

“I’ve never been part of a community or school that reaches out like that,” she said.

Powell and her husband, Kevin Sr., had just moved to the neighborhood before the school year started. Her 9-year-old son Kevin Jr. was “ecstatic” when he realized what was happening, she said.

“He is a science fanatic. Any kind of science you can think of, he likes it,” Powell said. “He really loves meteorology and wants to study that.”

As long as Kevin Jr. graduates from high school and keeps his grades up, Powell said, the foundation promised to take care of his tuition. The only catch is that Kevin Jr. has to enroll in a college, trade school or university in Nevada.

“I just thought that was awesome,” she said. “Me and my husband were very emotional.”

Jim Rogers owned local TV station KSNV Channel 3 and previously served as interim chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education. He died in June.

The Rogers Foundation also offers scholarships for high-achieving students, low-income and minority students and students with disabilities.

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