Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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First Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarship winners

Award recipients are from Santa Clara and Santo Domingo Pueblos
September 1, 2014
Aynjil Baca of Santa Clara Pueblo is one of the first two Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarship recipients.

Aynjil Baca of Santa Clara Pueblo is one of the first two Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarship recipients.

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  • Community Programs Director
  • Kurt Steinhaus
  • Email

Aynjil Baca of Santa Clara Pueblo and Sainie Atencio of Santo Domingo Pueblo are the lucky winners of the first Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarship, a new educational grant that joined the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund’s (LAESF's) suite of scholarships this year. The scholarship was established to help Native American communities enhance their business and economic development opportunities and meet the growing tribal needs for qualified accountants, business administrators, financial analysts and management information system professionals.

Both recipients are pursuing business administration degrees—Aynjil Baca at Northern New Mexico College in Española and Sainie Atencio at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

"I am proud to be a Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarship winner,” said Baca. “Programs like this provide incredible opportunities to Native American students that were not available in the past. Receiving the scholarship gives me the motivation to learn everything I can and use that knowledge to help my tribe.”

“Receiving this inaugural award is such an honor,” Sainie Atencio noted. “I hope and pray that I can affect a positive change in my community after I complete my studies at Fort Lewis. I will try to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s advice to ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ and greatly appreciate the scholarship opportunity.”

Altogether, nine students applied for the first-time grant. “The scholarship is a huge success for Los Alamos National Laboratory and its tribal stakeholders,” explained Kurt Steinhaus, Director of the Laboratory’s Community Programs Office. “It addresses a key need in northern New Mexico and is the culmination of a lot of hard work.”

Scholarship committee members included David Mahooty (Chair, Zuni Pueblo); Kevin Shendo (Vice-Chair, Jemez Pueblo); Denise Thronas (Secretary, Ohkay Owingeh); Ron Lovato (Tsay Corporation, Ohkay Owingeh); Phoebe Suina (Cochiti Pueblo); Tony Fox (LANL Foundation) and Stephanie McReynolds (LAESF advisory board member).

Much of the scholarship’s initial groundwork was laid by Earl Salazar, the Laboratory’s tribal liaison; Barbara Tenorio-Grimes, the Laboratory’s tribal education liaison; and Carole Rutten, Deputy Director of the Laboratory’s Community Programs Office.

“Each scholarship recipient will receive a $1,000 grant toward their educational expenses,” Steinhaus explained, “as well as the recognition and related networking opportunities.”

For additional information on the Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarship, you also might enjoy reading Earl Salazar’s Strengthening northern New Mexico’s tribal economies message in the current edition of Community Connections.

To find out more about the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund, go to the LAESF website.


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