2021 Applications are now closed.
Please check back for the 2022 scholarship program.  

Meet our 2021 Scholarship Applicant Reviewers

Rudy Padilla

Rudy Padilla

Rudy Padilla is a 2007 AAF Scholarship Recipient and a current Board Member and Scholarship Committee Chair. 

JRR headshot-2.png

Dakota Kirk

Dakota Kirk is a freshman at the University of Arizona Honor's College majoring in veterinary science and biology. She hopes to become an exotic, avian, and wildlife veterinarian and the 2020 Alisa's Angels scholarship is helping her achieve her dream. Dakota volunteered to be a part of the 2021 Alisa's Angels Scholarship Committee to help support other outstanding students working towards their dreams.


Sue Schmelz

Sue Schmelz has been involved with Alisa's Angels almost from the beginning.   She is a past board member and former Chair of the Scholarship Committee.  Sue is a retired social worker who dedicated many years to helping children with the Department of Child Services.

Katherine Gayle

Katherine Gayle is an attorney who has spent the last 30 years living overseas working as a human rights consultant while her husband served as a US diplomat. She has lived in Pakistan, Panama, Japan, UK, Egypt and Haiti. She returned to the US in 2017. She is pleased to be helping the next generation prepare to engage in service and to be a part of Alisa's legacy of caring.

Les (2).jpg

Leslie Shultz Crist

Leslie Shultz Crist is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Earn to Learn overseeing the day to day operations. Earn to Learn is the largest college matched-savings program in the country serving underserved students. For every $1 a student contributes to their education an additional $8 is contributed by a public/private match up to $4,000 a year (8:1) to be used at a partnering college or university.  Earn to Learn scholars’ graduates have a first-year retention rate that approaches 90% and are twice as likely to graduate complete a degree or certification within six years as Pell grant recipients. The majority of Earn to Learn scholars’ graduate with little to no student loan debt. Leslie was the Director of Assessment and College Readiness for Girls Leadership Academy, the only all girls charter in the state of Arizona. She oversaw all assessments, supported the seniors in the college and scholarship application process and was tasked with oversight and acquisition of grants (Federal, State, Private). She also served as the CEO/President of San Miguel High School, a Cristo Rey Network school and other positions of leadership in education in the Diocese of Tucson. She has extensive experience in teaching and curriculum development and as a teacher and principal She has a BA from the University of Arizona in Early Childhood Development and Family Resources, a Master’s in Supervision and Administration from the University of Phoenix and an Executive Certificate from Northwestern University in Nonprofit Management.  She has been married to husband, Clark, for over 40 years.  They have two children and one grandson - George who is 2 1/2 years old.

Scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors who are involved in service to others. Alisa's Angels was founded in memory of Alisa, who was committed to helping others because, "that is what we were put on earth to do”. 



  • Alisa's Angels will award $5000 scholarships to up to 8 graduating seniors who are committed to service to others.

  • As of May 2021, one recipient with a focus in a STEM career field will also be awarded the Dinesh Memorial Scholarship

  • $2500 will be available the first year of school. The remainder will be available in following years if student is in good standing. The scholarship funds can only be used for books, and tuition, and will be issued directly to the school.

WHo is


  • Graduating high school seniors from Arizona

  • Graduating high school seniors from the Colorado Springs, Colorado area (see note below)

  • Students must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher

  • The scholarship may be used for any college, university, community college, or qualified trade school.


How to


  • Detailed instructions are available here

  • Applicants must use the online application form

  • Applicants must also submit a 750-word essay that details their service to others

  • Applicants must submit an unofficial transcript through the 7th semester of high school as part of the application

  • Applicants may also submit an optional video (see the instructions for details).

  • Applicants must also have a reference

How to Complete a Reference


When are

Scholarships Awarded?

Application packages are reviewed by a selection committee. Applicants will be notified March, 2021 of the results.

*NOTE for

Colorado Applicants

Graduating high school seniors from the Colorado Springs area - El Paso and Teller Counties - are eligible to apply. Up to 2 scholarships will be awarded to Colorado students. There will be a separate awards celebration for Colorado Springs area recipients.

Alisa's Angels is an equal opportunity organization: 

The Alisa’s Angels Foundation embraces inclusiveness, diversity, and equal opportunity as core values. We understand that the community is stronger when the gifts of all people are respected, embraced and maximized.

Accordingly, Alisa’s Angels Foundation does not discriminate in awarding scholarships, employment, or any other matters based upon race, creed, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Consistent with this policy, Alisa’s Angels Foundation will assist students, hire employees, administrator programs and activities, grant scholarships and loans, and otherwise afford all persons with every right or privilege granted by Alisa’s Angels Foundation without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.

Thank You Partners & Sponsors