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Las Vegas Raiders fan of the year gives back to local student

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Posted at 10:11 AM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 13:11:00-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV)  — Dr. Denean Vaughn was selected as the Las Vegas Raiders first official fan of the year in 2020. Her goal was to use her season tickets to take kids to games who may not have the opportunity to attend on their own.

She and Omar Soto, a student at Mission High met the day of the preseason game. His principal suggested he be the one picked to attend.

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“She called me out to her office and I got super scared,” Soto said. “I thought I was gonna get in trouble or something. And then she asked me, how would you like to go to the Raiders football game? I said would love to.”

Soto is about to graduate from Mission High School which is a campus where students recovering from substance abuse get help. He had trouble coping with the loss of family members at a young age.

“I wanted to get rid of the feelings and I didn't want the feelings to be there,” Soto said. “ I just started like everybody else, I started smoking weed and drinking alcohol. It progressed throughout the years.”

Soto is appreciative of what Vaughn is doing for kids in the valley.

“My mom had to work just to get us food on the table and my dad had to work to pay the rent and we never really had much. I'm glad she takes students to go do stuff and things they probably would have never been able to,” Soto said.

Even though the preseason game is the first time they met, they both say it’s a day they will always remember.

“It was fulfilling to watch the joy that he had just being in the in the stadium,” Vaughn said. “He thought it was beautiful.”