Nevada Women’s Fund celebrates its 40th anniversary, scholarship applications are open

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 11:48 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Nevada Women’s Fund (NVF) is celebrating its 40th anniversary by awarding $400,000 in scholarships to women pursuing an education in Nevada.

Since 1983, the Nevada Women’s Fund has awarded $4.9 million in scholarships to northern Nevada women, many who are re-entry women and single mothers who have not had the opportunity to complete their educations due to family issues and/or financial constraints.

One of those recipients is Nayeli Zarazua, who from an early age set the goal of achieving a college education.

“Having the history of immigrants in my family inspired me,” she said. “Knowing that they were coming here to give their family a better future and that’s exactly what I’m hoping to do for our families, give them a better future.”

However, with her parents having her at a young age, saving money for college wasn’t the priority.

“In school, you hear all these other people saying, ‘Oh I’m going out of state, I’m going here, I’m going there’, that wasn’t a choice for me because of the tuition,” said Zarazua.

Luckily, she fell in love with the University of Nevada Reno (UNR), which helped lower the cost.

Another big help arrived when the undergrad received a scholarship from the Nevada Women’s Fund.

“We know when we invest in a woman today, she’s going to reinvest back into our community professionally, financially and civically for decades to come,” said Ila Achtabowski, president & CEO of NVF.

Scholarships are available for women of all ages, whether they’re in high school, getting ready to go to college, or trying to re-enter college to finish a degree.

“Of course, the scholarships helped me with books and so much more,” said Zarazua. “Classes, tuition and everything but it’s definitely that empowerment that they give.”

The now sophomore has been a scholarship recipient three years in a row. She’s pursuing a degree in criminal justice, with the goal to help other immigrant families like hers.

“I don’t think that without the help of Nevada Women’s Fund, I would be where I am today,” said Zarazua.

Applications will remain open until February 28, and the funds go directly to the recipients.

“The advice we give all of our applicants if they reach out to us is take your time on the application, give your time to that application, tell your story,” said Achtabowski.

The NVF relies on sponsors to fulfill its mission. If you would like to donate or apply, call 775-786-2335 or email:, you can also apply here: