Summerlin Children’s Forum awards scholarships to high school graduates

Richard Kyle Clark, Evan Salcido and Starlyn Thomas are recipients of the 2010 Summerlin Children’s Forum scholarships. Each recipient receives $4,000 from the nonprofit organization, which was established in 1997 by community leaders and The Howard Hughes Corp. to improve the quality of education for Summerlin children and families.

During its 13-year history, the Summerlin Children’s Forum has funded scholarships, enrichment grants and special educational programs totaling more than $520,000. All of Summerlin’s 26 public and private schools are eligible to participate in the Summerlin Children’s Forum.

According to Randy Ecklund, executive director of the Summerlin’s Children Forum, each scholarship recipient is well-deserving of the recognition. “Each student has an impressive history of academic performance and community service,” Ecklund said. “We’re pleased to honor them and provide a little assistance in their pursuit of higher education and an eventual career.”

Clark graduated with a 4.8 weighted grade point average from Palo Verde High School, making him the highest ranked graduate in his class of 740. During his senior year, he participated on the cross country track team, served as the Medical Explorers president, National Honor Society vice president, Forensics Club business manager and Key Club member. He has a long list of community service projects including five mission trips to impoverished areas of Mexico where he built homes, distributed clothing, installed plumbing and served in an orphanage. Clark is pursuing an animal science major at Cornell University with the goal of becoming a veterinarian. “I feel confident that through dedication, service and integrity, I will meet my personal and professional aspirations,” Clark said.

Salcido, also a graduate of Palo Verde High School, wrote in his scholarship application essay, “I have spent my entire 14-year academic career, all in Summerlin, building the framework for my future.” Included on his resume is a long list of service and leadership positions with the Palo Verde High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, three congressional nominations for U.S. Service Academics, National Honor Society membership, A.P. Scholar and Eagle Scout recipient. He’s off to Ohio State University this fall to pursue his undergraduate degrees in chemistry and English with plans to receive a doctorate and become a chemistry professor.

Thomas, a graduate of Cimarron-Memorial High School, will attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas this fall, pursuing a degree in education. “There’s a long line of teachers in my family,” she said. “They have shown me that teaching is one of the most important and rewarding jobs anyone could have.” While at Cimarron-Memorial, Thomas served as the National Honor Society president and student body vice president. She also lettered in tennis, soccer and softball.

According to Ecklund, each student recognized their parents in their scholarship essays, which underscores the vital role parents play in education. “Students excel when they feel encouragement and support,” Ecklund said.

Developed by The Howard Hughes Corp., an affiliate of General Growth Properties Inc., Summerlin is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a year-long celebration that commenced in May 2010.

Located along the western rim of the Las Vegas Valley, Summerlin encompasses 22,500 acres with 7,500 acres still remaining to accommodate future growth within the master plan.

The community is currently home to nearly 100,000 residents with amenities including more than 150 neighborhood and village parks, more than 150 completed miles of the Summerlin trail system, nine golf courses, a dozen houses of worship, shopping centers, medical and cultural facilities, and 75 selling floor plans.

Homes are available in a variety of styles — from single-family homes to townhomes, condominiums and lofts — priced from the high $100,000s to more than $2 million. Custom-home sites in The Ridges are priced from the $500,000s. Luxury apartment homes offer monthly rents starting from the $800s.

For more information, visit summerlin.com, call 791-4500 or become a fan of Summerlin on Facebook.

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