Since 1999, The University Balloon Race Scholarship Committee has awarded one graduate and one undergraduate University student for their hard work, through academics and extracurricular activities. This year, the committee has awarded Liliana Davalos and Christian Jara, from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Davalos is pursuing a master's degree in public health with an emphasis on socio-behavioral health in the Division of Health Sciences. Davalos is a first-generation college student who is interested in working with disadvantaged Latino populations to increase the human papillomavirus vaccination rate and improve the level of awareness of health care resources for the Latino population. She also wants to work with college students as they become responsible for their own health-related decisions and to make it possible for health care to be available for those students.
Much like Davalos, Jara is also a first-generation college student. Jara is a junior majoring in biology in the College of Science. He is also interested in the medical field, as his goal is to become an oncologist. His volunteering experiences as a translator at the Student Outreach Clinic have given him a greater appreciation of being bilingual, seeing as there is a large need among Spanish-speaking patients to understand the medical terminology as they seek health care.
The Balloon Race Scholarship Committee exists solely to raise money to award the recipients of the scholarship who were each awarded $2,000 dollars this year. Reno business owners donate prizes to the committee in order to sell tickets to raise money for the scholarship. This year, the committee is donating six balloon rides on the University's sponsored balloon to the drawing of prizes. The grand prize is two tickets in the Skybox for the Sept. 16, 2016 Wolf Pack home game against Buffalo, donated by Athletic Director, Doug Knuth and Intercollegiate Athletics. The committee also raises money by creating a new balloon pin each year to sell. This year, the collectable pin is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Balloon Race Scholarship Committee.
The Balloon Race Scholarship Committee will have a hospitality tent set up at Rancho San Rafael Park for the 35th Annual Great Reno Balloon Races Sept. 9-11, 2016. The tent will be staffed with committee members who can answer questions regarding the scholarship.
To learn more about the scholarship, how to buy a pin or ticket, or view the Great Reno Balloon Race activities, visit the Balloon Race Scholarship Committee's website, or contact Scholarship Sub-Committee Chair Tim Wolfe at 775-682-8092.