One step students often overlook on the path to become college ready is that of applying for scholarships.

Scholarships provide free money for students to pursue a higher education. They are awarded based on a variety of factors including merit, need, hobbies, traits, location, and more. Similarly, scholarship applications have different requirements. Most times, scholarships require a personal statement or an essay on a specific topic. As a result, students can feel overwhelmed by the amount of work needed to apply.

This is why we highly encourage students to apply for scholarships on their downtime. And what better timing than a holiday break?

Consider applying for scholarships this winter break! There are many scholarship opportunities available to students in Southern Nevada.
Here are some options to get you started:

Fall is the season for becoming financially ready to pursue a higher education. This starts with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which opens every year on October 1st.

Upon completion, students will learn about their financial aid options to pay for college, including FREE grants and scholarship opportunities. Students must complete this application every year beginning their senior year in high school. The sooner you complete this application, the more money you can potentially receive.

Here are the 5 items you need to complete the FAFSA:

  1. WiFi Connection

    To create and submit the FAFSA you will need a stable WiFi connection.

  2. Email Address

    Make sure that you have a valid email address that you intend to check often.

  3. FSA ID

    You will create an FSA ID once when you visit the FAFSA website.

  4. Social Security Number (SSN) *

    This includes your SSN and your parent or guardian’s SSN.

    *If you are an eligible non-citizen (permanent resident, individual seeking asylum or refuge) then your Alien Registration Number will be accepted.

  5. Federal Income Tax Returns

    You will need to submit information regarding how much money your parent(s)/guardians(s) have earned for the past two years.

    The FASA offers a data retrieval tool connected to the IRS that will easily allow you to populate this information.

Watch this video for a step-by-step on how to complete the FAFSA.

The class of 2020 is a resilient group of students! They finished their senior year at the start of a pandemic, which delayed high school graduation. Not to mention, most of them are beginning their freshman year of college virtually. It is important for us to celebrate and recognize our students for their efforts, so we took our celebration virtually. On July 30, 2020 FFLV hosted our first Scholarship Celebration via Facebook Live.

During the event we recognized all 153 of our recipients by highlighting the college or university they will be attending. There were a total of 80 people in attendance during the livestream and over 150 scholarship recipients announced. If you missed the live stream or wish to watch it again, you can view the celebration here: FFLV Scholarship Celebration

The 2020 cohort has been awarded a total of $204,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year. The FFLV scholarship is renewable and recipients can receive a maximum of $6,000 in total.  

Dreylon Madison was also announced as the inaugural Scott Carlovsky Scholarship recipient. The scholarship is in partnership with Outdoor Solutions to honor its former owner and will be awarding a $25,000 scholarship to Dreylon who will be attending University of Nevada, Reno in the fall. 

All of the scholarship recipients will continue to receive post-secondary resources including access to College Success Advisors, skill building and networking events hosted by FFLV. 

Congratulations FFLV scholars and thank you to all of our sponsors for making moments like this possible!

How to have a socially distanced graduation 2020

Graduating from high school is a big deal! You’ve probably had dreams of walking across the stage and parties with your friends and family to celebrate. Unfortunately, those plans were crushed for 2020 graduates as the COVID-19 pandemic canceled graduation celebrations around the world. 

You can still celebrate your graduation even though you can’t throw your cap with your friends or have a party! Here are a few ways to celebrate this milestone while keeping a safe social distance. 

Have a virtual video party

Were your family members planning to come in town to see you walk across the stage? Put together a video party where you can be celebrated and have a good time. If these family members sent gifts in the mail or helped you get to graduation, then make sure you take this time to thank them for their help. Graduation is all about your accomplishment, but it’s nice to acknowledge the people who helped you get there. 

Get dressed up and wear your cap and gown if you want! Why not? You only graduate high school once, so you get to choose how you celebrate. 

Have a mini phone photoshoot 

Yeah, you can’t take pictures at your graduation ceremony with your friends, but you should still document this time. Even if it’s just for Instagram to see! 

Put on your cap and gown, head to a park or to a spot that is meaningful for you, and have a family member or friend snap some pictures on their phone. You can get quality shots on phones these days, and they’re perfect to share with grandparents, parents/guardians, and friends. Go all out! 

Thank your teachers

One of the high points of graduation is being able to hug, thank, and celebrate with the teachers who helped get you to this point. A quick email to say thanks is a great way to cap off your high school years. Your teachers are probably disappointed they don’t get to celebrate with you as well, so sending them a note is a good way to let them know they made a difference in your life. 

The same goes for any tutors, aids, and mentors who helped push you toward graduation. A nice note is always a good idea. 

Get together for a social distanced hangout with friends

Friends are a high part of high school for most students. You might feel like you missed out on some good memories with your friends. It’s not too late to make more memories, though!

Parks are opening back up in most areas. Get together with friends to have fun and wrap up your high school years. Just be sure to keep a safe social distance and follow your city’s guidelines.

This is your day! Make it what you want. 

Spend the day with your immediate family if that’s what will make you feel special. Or if you want, then get friends and family on a group video call and make it a big celebration. You get to choose how the day goes. 

It’s okay to mourn the experiences you missed because of COVID-19. Try to make your high school graduation special and it can still be an experience you enjoy and remember.

The summer months offer a great opportunity for Las Vegas high school students to improve their knowledge and boost college readiness. Specifically, online educational resources can help you learn new things and stay competitive for college.

high school resources

Educational Smartphone Apps

Screen time doesn’t have to be a distraction from learning. Whether you want to adopt a new language or improve your memory, these free smartphone apps can sharpen your skills and keep you busy before heading back to school.

  • Duolingo is a fun and free way to learn a new language. Complete levels and earn points as the friendly owl Duo guides you on your linguistic journey. 
  • iNaturalist is an online network of citizen scientists and biologists who map and share observations of biodiversity around the world. Contribute to scientific discovery by using the app to record your sightings and share them with fellow naturalists.
  • Libby gives you access to ebooks and audiobooks from your local public library. All you need is your library card number!
  • Lumosity offers a free brain training program that improves your memory and focus through games. Consider it a daily workout for your mind.
  • Tinycards is a fun flashcards app that allows you to create or browse decks in a variety of subjects. Hone your retention capabilities and learn new facts about geography, history, and more. 

Online Learning Courses

From coding to cultural awareness, these online learning resources are perfect to help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to prepare for college.

  • is a nonprofit that expands access to computer science in schools, especially among women and underrepresented youth. Browse their full course catalog or complete projects to make your own digital creations.
  • edX offers free online courses from leading institutions worldwide. Work at your own pace to develop skills and knowledge in a wide range of disciplines. 
  • Google Applied Digital Skills teaches problem-solving for a digital world.
  • Google Arts & Culture allows you to explore cultural institutions and collections from around the world. You can browse artists, media, art movements, historical events, and prominent figures.
  • iCivics games challenge you to navigate the court system, understand the branches of power, and run your own presidential campaign. You’ll learn about the United States government and civic engagement—all while having a great time. 
  • Instructables teaches you how to do anything. It’s an online community of innovators and DIY-ers who have knowledge and expertise to share. Master craft projects, cook a new recipe, or build science experiments.
  • Khan Academy offers free and personalized learning with trusted content created by experts. Explore lessons in math, grammar, science, history, test prep, and more.
  • Open Culture is a vast online repository of free cultural and educational media. You can find audio books, online courses, massive open online courses (MOOCs), movies, textbooks, and language lessons. 
  • PBS Nova Labs are interactive games that teach you more about topics such as climate science, evolution, cybersecurity, RNA, and energy. 
  • Scratch is a free project from the MIT Media Lab that allows you to create your own interactive stories, games, and animations, then share your creations with others in its online community. 
  • TED-Ed offers engaging lessons that cover a wide range of subjects, from the Salem witch trials to how vaccines work. Sign up for their email and discover something new every day!

Summer Learning for Success

No matter where you are this summer, take advantage of free online apps and websites to sharpen your skills and set yourself up for success in the fall. As always, your Fulfillment Fund counselors and advisors are here to help, all year. Reach out if you need assistance!

For high school juniors, getting ready for college is already stressful. Add a global pandemic into the mix, and the process can put a lot of strain on students and their families. Fortunately, there are resources you can access from home to make the most of this uncertain time.

High School Surviving Social Distancing

Strategies for College Prep at Home

Stay Focused on School

Junior year grades are often the most impactful for college admission counselors reviewing your transcripts. Make a list of the challenges you are facing in completing schoolwork and, next to each challenge, pencil in a possible solution. Fulfillment Fund offers a list of helpful resources for navigating COVID-19, including food assistance and free internet access so that you can focus as much of your energy on school as possible. 

Choose Challenging Courses for Senior Year

Colleges want to see that you are continuing to challenge yourself and not developing a case of “senioritis.” With all of the uncertainty right now, it might be tempting to look for an easy “A,” but you should make up your senior schedule with courses that will help you learn and prepare for college work. Be sure to take advantage of Fulfillment Fund’s guide to online learning resources for high school students to keep your skills sharp. 

Connect with Counselors and Teachers

Your counselors will be a powerful resource for you to gather information about potential colleges, scholarships, and applications. Your teachers can also help you with coursework and will need to write you letters of recommendation for your applications. Don’t hesitate to send out emails asking for advice, homework help, additional learning resources, and letters of recommendation. 

Study for the SAT/ACT

Many colleges are waiving standardized testing requirements or making them optional. Watch the Princeton Review YouTube channel for updates on testing and college admissions and make sure you’re prepared to sit for the test. Khan Academy offers free test prep online so that you can use your time at home to study. Remember that Fulfillment Fund offers ACT and SAT fee waivers so all you have to worry about is studying. 

Review Your Resume

Start building your resume for college applications by making a list of your accomplishments to date. What clubs and activities are you involved with? What honors and awards have you received? Keep a running list of achievements over the next year and update your resume regularly so you don’t forget anything.

Connect with Colleges Online

You can still get the experience of a campus visit through a college’s website. Many schools offer virtual campus tours and online chat with a student ambassador so you can get an inside scoop on what college life is like. Use CollegeBoard’s search tool to look for colleges that may interest you. 

Research Scholarships

One of the biggest causes of college prep stress is figuring out how to fund your education. CollegeBoard offers a Scholarship Search tool, and your college counselor can help you identify scholarships for which you may be eligible. Fulfillment Fund also offers Scholarship Application Support so you can access all the funds available to you. 

Preview Applications

Many schools use the Common Application, and others post their applications online. Most will ask you to submit a resume, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Others will ask for a writing sample or other examples of your work. Look at how the applications frame these requirements and use your summer to develop drafts that you can easily revise and send off next year. 

Read As Much As You Can

Reading is a great way to manage the anxiety associated with college preparation and COVID-19. It also helps to keep your brain active and expand your vocabulary as you prepare for testing and advanced coursework. Public libraries offer free access to e-books, so you can get lost in a book for a while. 

Take a Breath

Navigating college preparation can be stressful. If your family is experiencing illness, grief, and job loss on top of all of this, you may be feeling understandably overwhelmed. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and there are resources out there to help you, especially through Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas. 

COVID-19 has had an impact on everyone, but as a high school student, you may be feeling the impact more than most. Nevada’s stay-at-home orders can make it difficult to connect with your school, peers, and study groups during a time you would otherwise spend preparing for college and collecting life experiences. Fortunately, there are ways to stay connected even during quarantine. In this guide, we’ll help you brainstorm ways to stay involved during social distancing while continuing to prepare for life after social distancing.

FFLV Stay Involved Social Distancing

Take Advantage of Free Video Chat Apps

One major advantage we have over those who’ve had to quarantine in the past comes from video chat applications that make it easy to see other people when you can’t meet them in person. Many video chat apps are free, allowing you to have face-to-face time with your peers and even your teachers. Some of the best free video chat options include:

Zoom: This app can be downloaded on either your phone or your computer and allows you to video chat with multiple people at the same time.

Marco-Polo: This phone app is great for staying connected with friends throughout the day. It combines the flexibility of texting with the 1:1 connection of video chat.

Facebook Messenger: Anyone with a Facebook account can take advantage of their free video chat features.

Video chats allow you to see your friends, just like you would at school, without running the risk of infecting yourself and others. You can catch up with your friends and even have study parties in a completely virtual setting.

Plan Virtual Group Activities

Just because you can’t meet with your school groups face to face doesn’t mean you can’t participate in group activities. With a little creativity, you and your group can find ways to enjoy your normal activities without being physically together. Some ideas to get you started include:

Have a Movie Night: Pick a movie that you can all watch together and start it at the same time. There are even apps that will allow you to stream movies simultaneously. You can text your reactions and commentary back and forth, allowing you to “talk” during the movie without ruining anyone’s viewing experience.

Study Together Apart: Studying for a school exam or working on an essay? Pick some partners. You can virtually quiz each other while studying, use apps to create and share online flashcards, and even use Google Docs to share and peer review each others’ essays.

Have a Virtual Cook-Off: Cook together and film the results for a Nailed-It style online cooking competition with your friends.

The Opportunity of Social Distancing

In every struggle, there is an opportunity. Social distancing means taking time away from hanging out with your friends and taking part in normal high school activities. However, it can also be a good time to focus on your studies, get ahead on college essays, and research universities and scholarships.

Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas is still running, even during these hard times, and we can help you access lessons and opportunities during your quarantine. By staying driven now, you can get ahead of the game, allowing you to focus even more on friends and fun when things get back to normal.

Resources for High School students

  • CCSD COVID-19 FAQ Sheet: Communication updates from the Clark County School District from the Superintendent, Distant Learning resources and food distribution information.
  • Academic Resources

Resources for College students

Resources for Families

  • Nevada Health Response: This website shares information and resources as it pertains to the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact within the state of Nevada, created by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Governor’s Office 
  • Nevada 211 Health and Human Services: This website offers essential health and human services information and resources for Nothern and Southern Nevada counties 
  • United Way of Southern Nevada COVID-19 Resources: This website lists various resources including a live map of providers that are offering emergency assistance and community services in Southern Nevada 


How to write a personal statement

We want to hear your story! Apply for the Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas scholarship and share your story
with us in your personal statement.

Each year, Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas offers eligible seniors at partner high schools the opportunity to
apply for the Fulfillment Fund scholarship program. The purpose of the program is more than just
providing a scholarship award but to also continue providing college resources and services beyond high
school and throughout your journey in college.

We have provided some helpful tips below on how you can craft your personal statement for your FFLV
scholarship application that can also be used for other scholarships you are applying for.

Tips on How to Create your Personal Statement

(Adapted from

A personal statement is a story, or more precisely, your story. Everyone has a story to tell, but some of
us aren’t natural storytellers. This is when serious self-reflection; conversation with friends, family, and
mentors; and permission to be creative come in handy.

Personal statements offer a unique opportunity for you to showcase who you are, where you come
from, and your dreams for the future. Take some time to brainstorm different experiences that have
shaped who you are today. Provide specific examples that point to the type of person that you are and
what is pulling you to apply for this specific award.

Most importantly, a personal statement is authentic. Don’t make the mistake of trying to guess what the
committee is looking for, and don’t write what you think they want to hear. They want to know you.
An effective personal statement will answer the following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Who do I want to be?
  • What kind of contribution do I want to make, and how?
  • Why does it make sense for me to study my major at the University/College I selected?

Tip: Be sure to proofread your personal statement. You can also have someone else read it such as your
teacher, CAP advisor, or Fulfillment Fund college counselor.
Apply for the FFLV Scholarship Today!

CLICK HERE to apply!

The deadline to apply is April 5, 2020.

What is a First-Generation College Student

The College Board reports that the average annual income for those who have earned a bachelor’s degree is $61,400. The unemployment rate among these graduates is only 3.1 percent—lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 3.7 percent. It’s possible to benefit from these facts, even if you’re the first person to go to college in your family. First-generation college students can have successful higher education outcomes, especially if they are active in high school and college prep programs, have familial support, and—most importantly—have the opportunity to assimilate into college successfully.

Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas is an education and mentoring group that aims to address that final point. By helping first-generation college students with the resources they need before and during college, we hope to steer students onward toward four-year degrees. Regardless of your background, we know each student shares the drive and desire for the lifelong success that higher education can bring.


Who Are First-Generation College Students?


First-generation college students come from families in which neither parent or guardian has received a four-year degree. If this describes you, you have plenty of company. A 2018 study by the Department of Education estimates that almost 20 percent of the US college and university student population has parents that never attended higher education. And the National Center for Education Statistics reports that 33 percent of all freshmen were determined to be first-generation students. First-generation students also often share similar backgrounds. A report on first-generation college students revealed

  • They typically come from less advantaged families.
  • Minority students make up large percentages.
  • A majority have dependents (kids).
  • Many do not speak English as their first language.
  • They are often older than their peers.


What Obstacles Do First-Generation College Students Face?


Unfortunately, there are several challenges that prospective first-generation college students face—and the biggest might be just making it to campus. The more education a student’s parents have, the more likely it is that they’ll enroll in college. In fact, a National Center for Education Statistics study in 2001 found that, of students whose parents had graduated high school, 54 percent went to college after graduation. Meanwhile, only 36 percent of students whose parents had less education than a high school diploma enrolled.

Once a prospective student decides to apply, difficulties unique to their situation show up, ranging from unfamiliarity with the application process to a lack of familial support and general financial instability. After a student is enrolled, other problems may emerge, like low academic self-esteem or difficulty adjusting to college life, both of which contribute to lower graduation rates.

Assistance for First-Generation College Students in Las Vegas

Fortunately, there are many opportunities specifically for Las-Vegas-based first-generation college students, from national scholarships to Nevada-based scholarships and grants. Most importantly, Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas can give first-generation college students the help they need the whole way. From education to mentoring, the mission of Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas is simple: to assist you in preparing for and fulfilling your desire to earn your college degree.