Nevada Opportunity Scholarship

Nayvi Waite

Dear Governor Sisolak & Members of the Nevada State Legislature:

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. English is my second language, so I hope I can share my thoughts okay with you.

I am a mother of five who immigrated to this country 33 years ago because of the opportunity of a better life. The American Dream. My life here with my family has been a dream, and I want my kids to know all the opportunities America offers. The most important opportunity I want them to have is the Nevada Opportunity Scholarship, and the chance for the best education possible.

My husband and I run a small construction business in town. We are proud of the work we do, and we are grateful for our customers. On its own, our volume does not provide enough for us to have a choice in our children’s education. However, thanks to the Nevada Opportunity Scholarship, our children have been given the most amazing gift. The gift of a great education and a place to fit in and flourish. All because of private schools and the NV Opportunity Scholarship.

We have a story about when our oldest son Tyler went into high school. We knew college was only 4 year away but we had no experience with the college process. It was so intimidating and overwhelming at times. Sierra Lutheran High School personally walked us through the process starting Tyler’s freshman year. Every year there was an important college meeting that gave us instructions on what to do that year. SLHS had Tyler take a practice ACT and SAT starting freshmen year. I didn’t even know that they needed to be taken. I also didn’t know that the more you took it the better you did on it. SLHS was amazing on reviewing score with the parents.

Tyler’s senior year was so stressful BUT SLHS was there the whole time walking us through every college application. They helped Tyler with every personal statement that colleges asked for. He applied to 5 colleges each one requiring a different statement. We had personal meetings with the Dean of Students (now principal) Dr. Seddon who was so encouraging the whole time. All questions and concerns were address especially for me. We did all that was recommended by Dr. Seddon.

Tyler took the first official ACT summer after his sophomore year. He got a good score 28. The next recommendation was to retake ACT summer after your junior year He re-took it, to get another 28. He was very disappointed and wanted to give up and be done. BUT we had our schedule college meeting with Dr. Seddon right before his senior year started. She was amazing in encouraging him to take it again. She also gave some vital suggestion on what he needed to do before the test. Because of her prodding he signed up to take it again in October. He studied more like she suggested and followed all her suggestions for the night before and day of the test. He took it and he got a 31! This was huge! All because she took the time to encourage him personally and give him some good suggestions. He got the presidential scholarship for UNR and (Per her suggestion) he is in the HONORS program for Mechanical Engineering with the presidential scholarship.

I am so grateful for God’s blessing to me and my family, and I know other minority parents who receive the Nevada Opportunity Scholarship feel this way too. What a blessing it is for children from minority homes and are low income to have the best chance for the American Dream. Page three of the 2017-18 Nevada Educational Choice Scholarship Program Report on the Department of Education website shows that 69 percent of the 2,330 scholarship recipients are minorities, which is a blessing for the underrepresented wanting a better life for their children.

I was delighted to hear in your inaugural speech that you want to represent ALL Nevadans. I pray that means our family and others wanting a better opportunity for their children through the Nevada Opportunity Scholarship program

God Bless,

Nayvi Waite,
Carson City