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EDITORIAL: Organization helping local kids attend college

There are plenty of agencies and organizations doing great charitable work in Southern Nevada, many of them toiling in relative obscurity. But that doesn’t negate the undeniable impact of their efforts.

One such organization is The Public Education Foundation, which for more than two decades — in just one of its roles — has acted as an administrative clearinghouse for hundreds of college scholarship opportunities to assist Clark County high school students.

The PEF’s scholarship program hit its peak at a Wednesday luncheon in a packed ballroom at the Venetian, where a record $1.3 million was awarded via 660 scholarships — also a record — to 450 students. Scholarships are provided by a plethora of local donors — from businesses to organizations to families and individuals — and are based on a variety of criteria including academic achievement, area of study and financial need. Awards ranged from $500 to $9,000 annually, with some of the scholarships renewable.

Wednesday’s event was a milestone on a long journey from very humble beginnings. The first year of the scholarship program was 1995, when 19 students shared in $16,000 worth of awards. In the 22 years since, The PEF and its ever-expanding list of generous donors have teamed up to give out nearly $12 million in scholarship funds, including $1 million in 2016, a record that was quickly shattered in 2017.

Kudos to The Public Education Foundation for its record-setting efforts and enduring hard work for a noble cause, and to the donors for providing the resources. And of course, congratulations to the incredible array of talented students honored this and every year.

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