Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

$422,500 in scholarships awarded to 78 regional students

Since inception, $5 million in total has benefited more than 1,000 students
May 1, 2015
2015 LAESF Gold Scholar Charlotte Flory from Questa.

2015 LAESF Gold Scholar Charlotte Flory from Questa.


  • Community Programs Director (Acting)
  • Carole Rutten
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Seventy-eight northern New Mexico students have been selected to receive four-year scholarships from the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund (LAESF). Charlotte Flory of Questa High School, Alexander Ortiz of Santa Fe High School and Chloe Keilers of Los Alamos High School each received the top awards of $20,000 over four years as Gold Scholars.

Recipients were selected from over 400 applicants, because they displayed impressive academic rigor, leadership qualities and critical thinking and problem-solving skills in their schools and communities.

Gold Scholar Charlotte Flory

LAESF Gold Scholar Charlotte Flory will graduate from Questa High School this month as valedictorian for her class and in the fall plans to attend the University of New Mexico’s main campus in Albuquerque to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

“I have a very complex medical history,” Flory said, “and because of the countless visits to the doctor’s office, hospitals and pharmacies I became interested in the medical field. I can safely say that without modern medicine I would not be alive today. By going into the medical arena I will have the opportunity to give other people a chance at life.” 

College is no stranger to Flory after already taking dual credit courses through UNM-Taos since her high school sophomore year.

“Receiving the LAESF scholarship has been a blessing,” Flory noted. “The financial burden of a college education was a concern to me after my father was laid off when the mine in Questa shut down.”

When Flory is not busy excelling in school, enjoying the outdoors or playing volleyball and varsity soccer, she loves to give back to her community.

“One of the projects most dear to my heart is the restoration of Questa’s St. Anthony's Catholic Church,” Flory said. “Since the church wall first fell in 2008, I’ve been active in the church’s restoration by helping raise funds and provide meals to volunteers, and I also have assisted with adobe construction. It’s been incredible to see our community come together like it has, and our hard work and dedication will be an inspiration to me as I head off to college.”

The full list of this year's LAESF recipients is available on the LANL Foundation’s website.

LAESF donor Larry Cox

Laboratory scientist Larry Cox began giving to LAESF in 1999 and not only has faithfully given to the fund ever since then but has steadily increased his annual gifts to become one of LAESF’s largest donors. 

Cox also has been actively involved in other areas of the LAESF program, including serving on the organization’s advisory board. 

“I started college at age 27 after 10 years as a residential building contractor,” Cox said. “After earning my bachelor-of-science degree, I joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's student-employee program, which paid my tuition and a stipend and made it possible for me to go to graduate school.”

Cox transferred to Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1998. Today, he gives two to three percent of his annual salary to LAESF and champions the fund by encouraging other employees in his Laboratory division to support the annual LAESF fundraising campaign. Cox even started his own matching gift program and in 2011 founded the 7726 Club, an informal group effort that inspires donors to give $77 dollars each pay period over 26 pay checks and raise individual gifts of $2,000 a year. 

“I give to LAESF,” Cox said, “because I know what a small (or large) amount of help and encouragement can mean to a young adult. I have met dozens of LAESF applicants and recipients, and my overall impression is that our future will be in good hands. I give to make a brighter future possible and strongly encourage others to donate, even if at a small level.”

Contributing to the LAESF scholarships

The Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund started in 1998 and is administered for the Laboratory by the nonprofit Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Foundation. Since its inception, a total of $5 million has been awarded to more than 1,000 students.

LAESF scholarship funding comes from donations by Laboratory employees, a matching amount from Los Alamos National Security, LLC and contributions by Laboratory retirees, local businesses and community members.

The Laboratory-focused fundraising campaign for the 2016 LAESF scholarship program begins May 18 and ends on June 19, 2015.

To contribute year-round, community members and other generous individuals and organizations are invited to visit LAESF’s Make a Pledge website.

In addition to providing scholarship support to northern New Mexico students, Los Alamos National Laboratory also offers internships to LAESF recipients. Participating students are paired with a Laboratory organization and mentors who foster their interests, stay in touch with the students even after they enter school and encourage them to return to Los Alamos to continue their mentor-protégé relationship.

If you are a student wishing to apply for LAESF’s upcoming two-year scholarships, see the For your calendar section in this issue of Community Connections or go directly to the LANL Foundation’s How to apply website.