Graduating seniors are ready to walk the halls for the last time at Virgin Valley High and move on to accomplishments beyond the walls of the school but not before being recognized for the accomplishments within.
Virgin Valley High School senior awards banquet was held on May 21, 2015. Seniors were rewarded generously for their efforts and achievements above and beyond the call of duty. Students received both awards and a generous amount of scholarship money.
Students honored were the ones who made a difference in the time they walked the walls of the school in both their classrooms and their community. “These students made activities successful, led teams to championships, brought powerful discussions to the classroom, represented the school on national levels. They promoted, by example, hard work and self-sacrifice, took responsibilities on and even under its’ heavy weight stood strong and steadfast in the face of judgement, criticism and doubt”, said school counselor Christy Davis in her speech as she welcomed the students and their guests.
Students were awarded with over $300,000 in national scholarships and a very generous $72,150 in local scholarship money from both organizations and private individuals in Mesquite.
The general tone of the local organizations was that their decisions on the recipients were a hard one. David Ballweg was quoted as saying, “It’s not difficult to decide which one is worthy, they all are…the tough part is deciding which one is “most” worthy.” As it ended up he couldn’t decide so he reached into his own pocket to see that each and every one of the 15 worthy applicants received a $500 scholarship from the Mesquite Police Department.
Ballweg and the police weren’t the only local organization or individual who was stumped and decided to find some more money to accommodate the worthy applicants. Virgin Valley Artists Association President Jean Winch said, “This year our board voted to give away a certain amount of money. The money comes from hard working volunteers. We received some scholarship applications and when it was brought back to me, we discussed them and our scholarship committee said, “We can’t choose who to give the more money to or the less money. So I said let’s see what we can do and went back to the board and we found a little more money.” What they managed to find was $2000 for each of the three applicants which Winch presented to Reyna Salazar, Andrea Melchor and Valeria Gasca-Prado.
Five of the VVHS students are the recipients of our armed forces scholarships and include Hector Garcia who will be joining our US Marine Corps, Brandon Haun and Valentina Covarubias who are entering the US Army. Both Haun and Covarubias received over $65,000 for their scholarship awards. Kegan Biasi has joined our US Air Force and will be off soon to training and a bright future. Future Sailor William Scott Douglas will be receiving from the US Navy 100% college tuition, Salary Pay, 30 days a year paid leave, 100% benefits and world travel opportunities.
There is no doubt that these award and scholarship recipients have bright futures ahead of them. The VVHS cafeteria was filled to capacity with students, parents, siblings and faculty that have and will continue to support these rising stars as they go their separate ways to conquer their challenges and share their talents with the world beyond the lockers, hallways, classrooms and community of the VVHS and Mesquite.