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This month we have a contribution from fellow Nevadan, Erica Mosca, whose non-profit is making a difference in east Las Vegas.  It is programs like those highlighted below that will change the profile of Nevada!

According to Complete College America, only 15 out of every 100 Nevada students will earn a Bachelors degree. Additionally, according to the latest Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Report and Education Week’s Quality Counts Report, Nevada ranks last in education.

I started and run a college access and community empowerment non-profit organization in east Las Vegas called Leaders in Training (leaders-in-training.org). We know and believe our students are more than last in the nation. With equitable opportunity, we know and believe all students can and will become transformational leaders of their own community.

In Nevada, we have the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship, Nevada College Kick Start and when it comes to four year colleges we have University of Nevada, Reno up north and University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Nevada State College down south.

It’s true our Battle Born state — just celebrated its 150th birthday—used to be a place where students could drop out of high school, work on the street we are most known for and live a solid working class and maybe even middle-income life.

The truth is our students and families want more for themselves and their communities.

Students at Leaders in Training” tutor their younger peers, serve food to the homeless on their New Year’s Eve and practice for their SATs past 7:00pm in a portable of their former elementary school simply to create equitable opportunities for themselves.

Students at Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas board busses at 2am to attend college access events such as Destination College, a day-long college preparation event including grade-level preparation workshops and a special college fair, simply to create equitable opportunities for themselves.

Students at other college access programs from the I Have a Dream Foundation of Southern Nevada to AVIDs, Gear Ups and the many other Nevada organizations working tirelessly to create equitable opportunities for students, have thousands of underrepresented students ready and eager to excel in higher education.

The talent and potential is here.

As a first-generation college graduate from a low-income background who is an alum of a college access program the Marin Education Fund now known as 10,000 Degrees myself, I was able to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Boston University and earn Masters degrees from both the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Harvard’s Graduate School of Education only because of the equitable opportunities that were provided for me.

Our students are much more than last in the nation.

Come check us out and give our students the equitable opportunities to succeed.

By Erica Mosca