Northern New Mexico students receive $419,500 in scholarships
Seventy-three students were selected for the 2014 Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund (LAESF) scholarships. The winner of the Platinum Scholarship (LAESF’s most prestigious award), Raymond Fasano of Bernalillo High School, will receive a total of $30,000 over four years, while the remaining funds were awarded across a variety of additional scholarship titles, such as the Gold and Silver Scholarships.
Pecos High School senior Nicolette Gonzales was selected for one of seven Domenici Scholarships, named after former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici. Gonzales dreams of becoming a neurologist and is off to a good start, graduating May 17 at the top of her class and simultaneously graduating with a General Education Certificate from Luna Community College in Las Vegas.
Gonzales will enter the University of New Mexico’s pre-med program this fall and plans to minor in American Sign Language with an emphasis on medical terms because both of her parents are deaf. “It really is a struggle to get the healthcare a person deserves when there is a language barrier,” she said.
Gonzales already has volunteered at the Pecos Valley Medical Center, shadowing doctors, assisting nurses and working with patients. She selected neurology as her likely field of medical specialization because she recently lost her grandfather and is interested in the potential of stem cell research for saving lives.
Bronze Scholarship helps Peñasco student
Patrick Denne of Peñasco High School will rely on his LAESF Bronze Scholarship while studying mathematics at UNM and minoring in philosophy to “ponder the big questions.” Denne graduates as valedictorian of his class this month and plans to return to northern New Mexico after finishing college. “I was born here,” Denne said, “and I’ve gone to Peñasco schools since kindergarten. I’m very connected to this place.”
Denne is considering a future in engineering or possibly actuarial science, which applies mathematical and statistical methods to assessing risk in insurance, finance and other industries and professions. “I’ve personally always enjoyed math,” Denne noted, “and I think that it would be a great field to find a career in.”
A full list of the 2014 scholarship recipients is available on the LANL Foundation’s 2014 Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund Recipients website. This year’s LAESF scholarship recipients have until May 12 to apply for summer internship positions at the Laboratory as well.
Upcoming LAESF campaign, scholarship application deadlines
Fundraising for the 2015 LAESF scholarship program begins May 19 and ends on June 20, 2014. Monies for the scholarships are largely pledged by Los Alamos National Laboratory employees, with a generous match of up to $250,000 provided by the Laboratory’s management company, Los Alamos National Security, LLC. But the community at large can contribute funds as well by visiting LAESF’s Make a Pledge page.
The application deadlines for the next Regional College/Returning Student LAESF scholarships for two-year degrees and certificates are June 16 and December 1, 2014.