Local student fights for scholarship

Local student fights for scholarship. 8/07/17 (KSNV)

When Alexandra Gainey heard the news she was overwhelmed. The Las Vegas High School senior on the path to valedictorian had just been awarded a prestigious scholarship.

The US Department of State NSIL scholarship sending her to South Korea to study language. One of just 600 U.S. kids gets the chance to head overseas.

“I was extremely excited. And overwhelmed.” Gainey told us. But that excitement was followed by frustration when she asked the School District how to follow through.

“We contacted CCSD because I wasn’t sure about the process of withdrawing and re-enrolling,” said Gainey. “They told me if I accepted the scholarship I would be a dropout and have to go to adult school.”

For a month Gainey says she and her mom tried to work with CCSD leadership but got nowhere. With no other options on the table, they went to Congress. They asked Senator Catherine Cortez Masto's office to step in.

A representative of that office confirms even they were told Alexandra would have to drop out of school to study abroad. Weeks later with a Senator now involved, the District came to an agreement. Cortez Masto's office sending us this statement: “I am so happy to hear that Alexandra will have the opportunity to study abroad. It's even better to know that my office played a role in making that happen.”

Why was there such pushback?

The District isn’t talking and would not go into detail about what happened.

However, they did send us a statement:

“Immediately upon the situation being brought to the attention of leadership at the school and within CCSD central services, a meeting was scheduled with all parties involved to assist with developing and implementing a plan which would allow the student to complete her coursework prior to May 2018 and remain part of the class of 2018. At the meeting, a plan was mutually agreed upon by all present that allowed the student to complete coursework and other requirements. There has been ongoing contact throughout the summer to make these necessary adjustments and ensure that this student is able to participate in this incredible opportunity.”

Alexandra Gainey will head to South Korea after she finishes her remaining 1.5 credits. She needs to finish those classes in a two week period beginning on August 14-28 before she leaves.

If you would like to help Alexandra, click here.

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