The Engelstad Family Foundation was created in 2002 by Ralph & Betty Engelstad for the purpose of partnering to create solutions in medical research, improving day to day living for people with disabilities and raising the possibilities for high risk individuals.
The Engelstad’s relationship with UNLV began in 2009 with the creation of the Engelstad Scholars Program. Students were selected for a full tuition scholarship regardless of their chosen field. They were however; required to accumulate 100 service hours with several chosen non profits in the area. To date, Engelstad Scholars have proudly graduated 65 students with a vision towards an enrollment of 100 students.
In 2016 they also agreed to be one of the founding community members for UNLV’s first accredited Medical School. The goal again is also to have 100 scholarship students.
Three Square is a food bank founded by Eric Hilton to assist the underserved and underfed people in Las Vegas. What started as a basic food bank has turned into a foundation piece for Nevada. The Engelstads originally partnered with Three Square to facilitate the building of a commercial kitchen to enable more efficient food services. Since the original venture the Foundation has gone on to fund the summer backpack projects, summer camp and most recently providing a matching gift to secure Three Squares Endowment.
The Foundation has been central to the University of North Dakota, it’s hockey program and scholarships. Ralph was a proud alum of UND as well as a tireless Fighting Sioux supporter. The Foundation has been responsible for the building of the Ralph Engelstad Hockey Arena more fondly known as “The Ralph. ” It has easily been called the best collegiate hockey facility in the country. Additionally they provide academic support in the form of scholarships to those students who would be unable to attend without assistance.
Andre Agassi Foundation
Andre had a dream to give high level educational opportunities to lower income and at risk students. As life long Las Vegans Andre and the Engelstads shared a vision for quality education. Their most recent collaboration was a matching endowment gift to be used in perpetuity towards educational excellence.
Opportunity Village is the first non-profit that the Engelstad Family partnered with. Ralph hired employees with disabilities through their work training program. The Engelstad’s have been supportive in a variety of vocational as well as cognitive training programs. Most recently they funded a new campus in the northwest part of the Las Vegas Valley as well as preparing for Betty’s Village which will house people with disabilities who need a little extra support.
Nevada did not have a Respiratory Graduate Program until the Engelstad Foundation funded it at Community College of Southern Nevada. They recognized that respiratory diseases were a major concern in the Las Vegas area and they paired this concern with assisting older students to change their career paths.
There was a need among residents in the Las Vegas area for specialized legal assistance. This was the beginning of the Family’s involvement with Legal Aid. They were instrumental as a major donor in overseeing a new building suited to attend to clients who needed public transport to help them in sorting through the legal quagmire of senior, housing, guardianship and citizenship legal issues.