For DonorsFor Applicants

Diana Wagner Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
4 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
Apr 30, 2024
Winners Announced
May 30, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior

Diana Wagner was a leader in her community and a beloved mother.

Diana sadly passed away in 2006 after a battle with breast cancer. She lived in Fernley, Nevada where she was involved in community organizations and volunteering events and was always giving back to her local community. She is remembered as a generous, selfless woman who improved the lives of everyone she came in contact with.

This scholarship aims to honor the legacy of Diana Wagner by supporting students from her local community who share her passion for helping others.

Any high school senior in Nevada may apply for this scholarship, but applicants from Fernley are preferred.

To apply, tell us how you have given back to your community throughout and before your high school years and what your future goals are.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Impact
Published January 27, 2024
Essay Topic

Please describe how you have given back to your community and how community has influenced your future career ambitions.

400–800 words

Winning Applications

Jacob Holmes
Fernley High SchoolFERNLEY, NV
My name is Jacob Holmes. I have grown up in Fernley, NV my entire life. I attended Cottonwood Elementary, Fernley Intermediate, Silverland Middle and now Fernley High School. Throughout all my years from Kindergarten and up I have always been very involved in extracurricular activities, along with boys and girls clubs. In elementary school I was part of the running club, I also won the 4th grade cabbage growing national contest and was awarded a savings bond I am planning on using for college funds. Moreover, I was awarded the Healthy Lifestyles Award through Boys and Girls Club and won top honors for all of Northern Nevada and gave a speech at the Peppermill in front of hundreds of donors and families when I was only 7 years old. I was also recognized as a top AR reader when I attended Cottonwood. I also participated in all the STEM festivals and have been awarded blue ribbons from Kindergarten through middle school. I loved each of my teachers at Cottonwood, I had Mrs. Hoover for Kindergarten and 2nd grade, Mrs. Bunyard for 1st, Mrs. Diffenderfer for 3rd and Mr. Neil for 4th. They each had their own teaching style but were kind and instilled a sense of respect and fun. When I attended Fernley Intermediate I helped out with the Special Olympics, participated in basketball, cross country, and made it into the HEX championship for Lyon county 6th to 8th graders. Additionally, I was very involved in our local BMX track from the age of 5 through 14. I would donate around 5 hours each week on track maintenance and helping out new riders and with the racing days on the weekends. When I entered Silverland Middle school I worked hard and was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society and was elected the Historian. As being the Historian I had to give up many lunches to work with the advisor on many different projects, assist with dances, and assemblies. I also was invited to the 4.0 dinner at Silverland with my parents where we were served a wonderful dinner and had a few motivational guest speakers. I made the 8th grade basketball team where we went to the championship. I was also involved in track and cross country during 7th and 8th. When I entered Fernley High School it was during COVID and so many sports and other programs were not running like they had in the past. I did however get into the Leadership program and stayed in that program for 2 years helping with many events and community service activities such as cleaning up the cemeteries, decorating the town for homecoming, dances and working games like home basketball and football games. Moreover, I have held the same job for four years, working as a golf cart attendant at our local golf course, The Ranch Golf Course. I have learned many skills being employed there including organization, responsibility, communication skills and problem solving. Additionally, my sophomore summer I took part in a mission to Costa Rica to help build a new church and assist with connections with the community and schools. I am most proud of my accomplishments in the Fernley High School Varsity golf team, as this is my true passion. I made the Varsity team as a freshman and have been one of the top golfers on our team and in our league. Last year as a junior our team placed first in league and second overall at state; I was awarded the MVP of 3A North and was second overall at state, with a great final day of the two day tournament with the low score of the day and winning the final match. Our team made history for our small town and for our county. If I were to receive this scholarship I would be beyond grateful. I would use it to further my education and my golf career. It would help with housing, food, travel, tuition and equipment needed to play golf. I am planning on majoring in Business as I feel that will be a great start and is something I have always been interested in. I have been admitted to Bushnell University in Eugene, Oregon and was invited to play on their golf team as well. Receiving this scholarship I can then further my education and possibly go into accounting or finance.
Kiriann Johnson
Fernley High SchoolFERNLEY, NV
Growing up in Fernley, I participated in community youth sports leagues, attended community events, and have been involved in community service. These experiences have shaped me into who I am today and have influenced my future career path. Athletics are a big part of who I am. I grew up playing soccer for Fernely’s AYSO program, dancing for Fernley Performing Arts and playing softball for the Fernley Youth Softball League. The time I spent participating in youth soccer gave me friendships to last a lifetime and the confidence to continue playing sports during my high school career. Playing varsity soccer at FHS for 4 years with the same teammates I grew up playing with in AYSO, strengthened my relationship with teammates both on and off the field. These bonds allowed my team to work well together in games. I have also come to recognize that in Fernley pretty much everyone is friends just like in soccer. The town shows up for eachother and is supportive. This point of support is also evident with Fernley Community Arts. I danced there when the company was just starting, the majority of the dancers were friends with the owner and her kids. My younger siblings dance there now and the number of dancers has increased exponentially since my time there and the attendance of recitals has quadrupled in size. Softball, like dance now, has always had great player and spectator participation. My time in community sports has motivated me to coach youth and high school athletics and to live in a town like Fernley, one full of friendship, support and involvement. Fernley hosts many community events that I have attended and helped put on. The Fourth of July festivities and the Christmas parade are awesome events that unite the city. Another holiday event is the City of Fernleys Spooktacular for Halloween. I have helped decorate and run the Spooktacular at City Hall for the past two years with the high school’s National Honor Society (NHS) chapter. It is so fun to see the young kids enjoy the bounce house, fire truck, police car, and the building's haunted hall. It is also through NHS that I got involved with Project Linus. I spend most Thursday evenings making blankets for children in hospitals while conversing with older, mature women who live in town. These ladies love to sit and tell stories of when they were younger and many of them have lived in Fernley for a long while. It is cool to learn about the town's history from them and to interact and laugh while working to help those in need. My participation in these events and the mentorship of the ladies at Project Linus helped me decide that I want to work in an environment centered around kids. When I joined leadership at Fernley High School, I truly started giving back to the community through service. One of our biggest events every year is our annual homecoming. Two out of my four years in high school we did a homecoming hero. Our heroes were local kids currently battling cancer. As senior class president, I was the head of this past homecoming and loved getting to know our hero throughout the planning process. It was decided that our homecoming would be carnival-themed based on our hero’s desire to attend one. All events throughout the week followed this theme and we hosted a mini carnival at the high school in his honor. For both of our heroes, all money raised at events was donated to their families and we got local businesses involved who donated profits from specific sales. Between the two heroes, we raised about 30,000 dollars which was given to the families to help cover medical bills. Both heroes are now cancer free which is very exciting. Working with these boys solidified my decision to work in the pediatric field. I have always wanted to be a doctor, specifically an anesthesiologist; however, because of my community service I was inspired to enter peds and because of our homecoming hero last fall, I decided to specialize in oncology. His sweet smiles, boundless energy, and positive attitude inspired me to dedicate my life to helping kids in their fight against cancer. I will forever be grateful for the City of Fernley and its impact on my future career ambitions and life goals.
Sadie Spencer
Fernley High SchoolFERNLEY, NV
At a young age, I was introduced to the importance of community involvement with youth sports. My mom, dad and stepmom all volunteered for AYSO while my brothers and I enjoyed and learned the sport alongside them. My mom grew up in Fernley and knew Diana Wagner. She told me about the woman the soccer fields were named after, and the impact Diana and her family has made on our city. She told me stories of the small-town Fernley used to be. I was painted a beautiful picture of when Fernley was not a city, but a very extended family where the community worked together to make things happen. Volunteers now were hard to find, and part of my parents’ job on the board was to make calls and try to convince people to share a little time to make sports possible for the newer generations. It seemed sad to my parents that people today just do not seem to be involved as they used to be. It was not long before I realized that playing the game of soccer may not be the wisest option for me. I was, however, eager to follow my parents by finding a way to stay involved. By 13 I was a certified Jr Area Ref volunteering with my family and keeping the games in play. Understanding the need to be involved in community, I quickly jumped at every opportunity I could. Seeing the impact of just simply giving my time, to make something possible for someone else gave me such pride. Getting to know the other volunteers, meeting the businesses or foundations running the events and seeing the kindness of our community at events touched my heart. You truly see the best of people when you do something for nothing. I was fortunate enough to be in Leadership from eighth grade through Sr. year and have had been able to work at a variety of events. Each event brings a new friend, a new perspective and new knowledge to help me grow into the person I am today. I have painted the town, decorated floats, laid wreaths, worked concessions, watched kids, did school orientations, picked up trash, served community dinners and so much more. No matter what the volunteer task was, it was a collaboration of many that made it a success. The people I have met on my journey have inspired me to just be a better person and continue to give of myself. Someone who has specifically inspired me, and shown so much giving of herself, is my leadership teacher Mrs. Kingston. No matter what the community event, you will find her there selflessly giving her time, her compassion and putting so much of herself into her students and community. She has inspired me to want to become a teacher myself. I hope to be able to someday inspire students the way she does. I want to find volunteer opportunities and continue to show others the importance and impact just a little bit of time can make. Putting a smile on someone's face is never a bad day. Thank you for your consideration.
Emma Woolsey
Fernley High SchoolFERNLEY, NV
I have given back to my community through lengthy dedication to my local 4-H and community service. I have spent 11 years of my life in Fernley 4-H and through that have had many opportunities to help my community. I volunteer annually to help set up for the Lyon County Jr. Livestock show as well as run the concession stand at the Lyon County Fair. I have spent the past year educating both youth and adults across Nevada about the importance of pollinators and pollinator habitats through 4-H. As a Nevada State Pollinator Ambassador, I learned about project planning, event coordinating, public speaking and helped plant Pollinator gardens in my community. Participating in 4-H has also helped me join many local clubs and even start a local community garden. Apart from my 4-H involvement, I volunteer annually for Fernley's Mayor Clean Sweep to help clean up local parks and spaces. I am also a member of Fernley High School's National Honor Society and help plan awards ceremonies, coordinate a recycling initiative at my High School, and make tie blankets to donate to children in hospitals. I also like to volunteer at the Food Bank of Northern Nevada as well as a local church food pantry to help families in need. I participate in the youth group at my church and help plan positive activities for children in the community such as bowling. My future goals consist of going to the University of Nevada, Reno to get a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience, then continuing on to get a PhD in Neuroscience. After my schooling I would like to pursue Neuroscience research either in an academic setting or a non-academic lab, and eventually run my own lab. My community has influenced my future career ambitions by inspiring me to pursue a career in neuroscience research despite coming from an underfunded location for scientific research. My community has also helped me find invaluable role models to look up to and to help pursue my goals. My biggest role model however is my mom. My mom is a woman in Stem and has motivated me throughout my life to become the first person in my family to obtain a PhD. I live in a very tight knit community and I would not be able to pursue such an ambitious career without knowing they have my back. I aspire to show young women from rural areas that despite having less opportunities presented to them it is still possible to be a successful woman in STEM.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 30, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 30, 2024.

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