Project 150 started in December 2011, when we learned that the Clark County School District has an overwhelming number of homeless teenagers attending school. The issue was highlighted in a local TV news report that focused on 150 homeless students attending Rancho High School. The shock over this seemingly hidden reality for over 7,500 students in the Las Vegas Valley created a buzz among a network of friends and business colleagues.
We reached out to Angela Urquiaga, Rancho High School’s homeless advocate, who has been providing help to homeless students and their families on a daily basis for the past 5 years. She welcomed our interest in the situation. After seeing up close and personal the needs of our youth and the efforts Angela put into it, it was clear that this was a bigger issue than just a few people could handle. Angela was facing problems that ranged from the simple to lifesaving; locating a cap and gown so that a student could attend graduation in the spring; to finding a young girl and her father an apartment, so that they could get off the streets.
With just a few weeks before Christmas, we knew that the need to provide some sort of Holiday support for these students was paramount. The initial call to action was to help 17 families who had not yet been sponsored. We received a ground swell of support and within a short period of time, we were able to deliver 3 truckloads of supplies to the families. It was an inspiring event.
The success of our first event provided a true vision of what needed to be done. We knew that this could not just be an annual “holiday” endeavor, but rather an EVERYDAY venture to help provide the needs of all Clark County’s homeless high school students.
Within a couple of weeks, a charitable trust was created and Project 150 was born. Buoyed by the additional and continuing support of friends, business associates and community leaders, we’ve been able to extend our attention to homeless high school students throughout Clark County. Even better, we’re able to do this on a year-round basis.
Our Mission is to offer support and services to homeless high school students in the Las Vegas area so they can stay in school through graduation and learn the life skills necessary to be successful.