For DonorsFor Applicants

Ms. Sobaski’s Strength and Kindness Memorial Scholarship

1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Jun 8, 2024
Winners Announced
Jul 8, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Must be a junior or senior in high school
Must live in Nevada

Ms. Sobaski was a teacher in Las Vegas who battled stage 4 breast cancer for half of her teaching career.

While fighting breast cancer, Ms. Sobaski taught her students that it’s possible to be strong even when facing the most difficult challenges in life.

This scholarship seeks to help students who honor Ms. Sobaski’s legacy through their strength, bravery, passion, and kindness in the face of difficult circumstances.

Any high school junior or senior in Nevada who has overcome obstacles in life may apply for this scholarship. Students interested in becoming educators or going into social work are strongly encouraged to apply. 

To apply, tell us about a challenge you faced and how you were able to overcome it through strength and kindness.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published November 9, 2023
Essay Topic

Tell us about a difficulty you faced and how strength and kindness helped you make it through.

400–600 words

Winners and Finalists

May 2023

Megan Dwyer
Madison Albertson
Talon Fain
Emma Kalina
Kayla Washington
Alyssa Camargo
Kelly Keo
Ebony Dastrup
Eian Burge
Mikayla Maluyo
Curt Andrews Jr.
Damon Andes
Labella-Ann Kumuhone
Marina Moger
Brianna Brooks
Malorie Schwartz

Winning Application

Johanna Ramirez
Edward C Reed High SchoolSPARKS, NV
Adyson Ruiz
Liberty High SchoolLas Vegas, NV
On my first day of high school in 2019, I was tirelessly trying to calm down my freshman nerves as I walked through the front doors at 7:00 A.M. I made my way to my homeroom, Ms. Sobaski’s room, with music blasting so loud in my headphones it clouded my thinking. I sat in the back of the room in hopes that someone friendly would sit next to me and spark up a conversation —there was no conversation to be had. “Everyone already has their friend groups,” I thought to myself quietly. I turned my music up more, sank into my chair, and waited for the rest of the class to pile in. Growing up in today's age of fast-paced media, it is not surprising that I struggle with anxiety. According to Evolve Treatment Center, 31.9% of American teens struggle with anxiety daily. Throughout my four years of high school, I have been in a constant battle with my thoughts and worries. Now that I am closer to graduation, I look back at my years in high school and realize that many people guided me during times when I was stressed or anxious; my family, teachers, and friends. Although by far one of the most memorable pieces of advice I ever received was from Ms. Sobaski on my very first day at Liberty High School. As I sulked at my desk in Ms.Sobaski’s classroom, she went through the list of students, taking attendance, and passing out schedules. It was very evident on my face that I was anxious. I felt as though I wanted to cry, and I wasn’t even completely sure of the reason. I felt I was the only girl in the entire world that wasn’t fit for high school. As time passed in homeroom, I was hit with the dreadful realization that I had 8 other classes to go to. I was always a student who loved to learn but feared the possibility of not fitting in. The first day of school was something I despised, due to the simple fact that choosing where you sit determines who you will be making friends with. When the bell rang, I got up from my desk and walked over to Ms. Sobaski, a teacher who I had just met, and will never see again as I was not scheduled in any of her classes. I asked her a simple question about my schedule, and through the cracks in my voice and worry shining on my face, she could tell something was wrong. Ms. Sobaski looked at me and said, “Breathe, and just say hi to people,” I responded with a forced smile in an attempt to not let my tears fall. She knew exactly what I needed to hear, and her kind words helped me through my anxiety. I walked into my first-period class with a whole new mindset. I sat down at a table filled with students, and I said hi. I introduced myself; I made improvements. Coincidentally, one of the girls sitting next to me ended up being my best friend for the next four years of high school. I was blessed not only with a real friend for these last four years, but the kind words and encouragement from one of the kindest and strongest teachers to ever teach at Liberty High School. Although I never got to know Ms.Sobaski more after my first day of freshman year, she impacted my life and my thinking; she made me a more outgoing person and I will forever be grateful for that.
Dayanara Saldarriaga
Saint Mary's University of MinnesotaSt Louis Park, MN
Growing up I felt so incredibly tiny. Not physically, I was actually very tall for my age. Elementary is a time when our minds are so pure and innocent. For a while I was too, then 4th grade came along. I could tell popular from nerdy. I was somehow labeled as weird. Too tall, poor clothing, no friends, I was just kind of there. I existed but no one really knew. Why was I treated so crudely? As I kept explaining to my parents that I did not want to go to school, they were confused because I always loved going and learning something new every day. I concluded by just pushing my feelings aside so I would not make them feel bad. They gave me enough and all they could afford and even as a 9-year old I could understand that they were trying. As time passed by it somehow became the middle of the school year. Yes! Halfway done, then one day. On a random Wednesday morning, a new girl appears. Everyone automatically wanted to be her friend. She was taller than the other kids, she had radical clothes and pretty, long, sleeked, curled hair. She sat next to me, I did not think she would even say hi. She just talked and talked to me, making me feel as if I belonged. I couldn't help but smile from ear to ear. She even invited me to play with her in recess. That was one of the happiest days I ever experienced. Such little things can go a long way, even if it sounds corny. A Lot of the time we don't know what someone could be going through and even just with a wave you can make someone smile and brighten their day. I believe that kindness should be taught to all kids as they grow up. School is usually where we start to figure out who we are. How we treat others and if we can humble ourselves enough to make sure everyone feels included. We could all strengthen each other and build up the confidence to make an impact on different lives. Even if it is scary, even if we move in silence. It's one of the most important aspects of the time we have here on this earth. If we keep pushing others down, no one will succeed. Together we are stronger than alone.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 8, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jul 8, 2024.

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