When people think of Las Vegas, they usually think of bright lights, a blazing sun, or slot machines. But there’s another face of the city, one very different from the standard narrative about Sin City.
From 1990 – 2010, Clark County (home to Las Vegas) experienced an unprecedented population boom that tripled the student body from 100,000 to more than 300,000, and made Clark County the fifth largest school district in the nation. With it came exciting opportunities, but also large-scale challenges.
Today, more than half of students in Clark County attend Title I schools and qualify for Free ad Reduced Lunch – a proxy for poverty – presenting an additional obstacle for educators. Nevada has the lowest percentage of children enrolled in early childhood programs in the country, and for the past few years has had the lowest or second-lowest high school graduation rate in the nation. These factors have posed a serious threat to our state’s future.
But the Las Vegas Valley also has tremendous support: from community leaders to philanthropists to legislators – all with a vision of seeing our education system become second to none. This is why there are few places in the nation where the potential to make an immediate impact is so possible and so real.
In fact, nearly 900 corps members have joined the cause for educational equity in Las Vegas since the region was founded in 2004, impacting over 50,000 students growing up in poverty. Our alumni have taken on leadership roles in every sector of the community and we’ve partnered with local organizations to enhance our collective impact.
Push past the assumptions you may have about Las Vegas and take a closer look. A lot is going on in our community – and we’re on the brink of massive and meaningful change.