Five teenagers, all family members of active duty service members from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases in Southern Nevada, recently received scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.
The scholarships were the result of the teens getting the COVID-19 vaccine under the “Vax Nevada Days” initiative.
“Vax Nevada Days” was part of a public health initiative, put in place by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services launched to encourage Nevadans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Vax Nevada Days project conducted random drawings to identify vaccinated Nevada residents as winners of various prizes, including scholarships.
“The Nellis COVID Mass Vaccination Site is excited to see every person that shows up for vaccination, and I was thrilled to be notified that our members would be included in the Nevada Vax Days Giveaway,” said Lt. Col. Rebekah Mooney, officer in charge, Nellis AFB COVID Vaccine Operations. “Making the notification calls to these parents was the highlight of my COVID vaccination campaign thus far.”
Joshua Aparicio, son of Master Sgt. Gabriel Aparicio, USAF Weapons School first sergeant, was the winner of the $50,000 scholarship. The Aparicio family joined the Nellis community in May and was able to get vaccinated at the USO while they were still at the Temporary Lodging Facility.
“I want to extend my gratitude to the 99th Medical Group for making it extremely easy to get vaccinated,” said Master Sgt. Aparicio. “Getting the COVID-19 vaccination for our family was a personal choice, one that we discussed and decided was right for us. The 99th MDG has been there to educate us, especially through the pandemic.”
Jazmine Sanchez, daughter of Master Sgt. Mark Speakman, 432nd Support Squadron, Creech AFB, and three other local military kids won $5,000 scholarships. Jazmine is a senior in high school and plans on studying nursing during college.
“I’m very grateful for this scholarship, every penny counts when it comes to college,” said Jazmine Sanchez.
Service members can make an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine on base by visiting https://informatics-stage.health.mil/NellisCOVIDApp/. Walk-ins are also available at the USO Building, 324 Rickenbacker Road Monday-Friday from 2-3 p.m. Vaccines are also available within the TRICARE network. Visit https://www.vaccines.gov/ to find a location near you.