LAS VEGAS -- The dream of attending college came true for hundreds of Clark County students Thursday as they were awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships.
Scholarships were given to more than 330 students thanks to the non-profit Public Education Foundation. The foundation rallies individuals and corporations in the community to be donors. It's the kind of gift that can change a person's life.
Despite hardships, Kayle Knowlton has strived to be successful.
"I'm unstoppable and nothing is going to stop me," she said.
Knowlton has a 4.6 GPA at Foothill High School. She says her circumstances kept the 18-year-old motivated to want more.
"My mom lost her job a few years back and we lost our home, she had to live at a friend's house and I had to -- more or less -- fend for myself and stay with friends."
She had no real home to call her own while she attended high school.
"It's been hard," she said. "I had to work two part-time jobs in high school, above everything else, but it's been worth it."
She received a total of four scholarships. The scholarships were awarded to students for excellence.
"We have wonderful students in this community and those students have great aspirations and many of them don't have the means to make that a reality," said Judi Steele, president of The Public Education Foundation.
"You never know where you will end up, look at me," said newly hired CCSD superintendent Pat Skorkowsky. "You never know where you might end up, and so you work hard, you say, 'I'm going to go to college and you make sure that dream comes true.' "
Kayle has a full-ride scholarship to UNLV and plans to become a registered nurse.
"It's been such a long road for me," said a tearful Kayle. "They are happy tears. I'm so lucky to be where I am."
This is the 14th annual scholarship banquet for The Public Education Foundation. The foundation has awarded around $9 million in scholarships over the years.