Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on the Los Alamos National Laboratory's site.
Graduating seniors Eloy Roybal of Mora High School, Will (Jinpeng) Song of Taos High School and Selah Winston of Santa Fe Preparatory School will head off to college in the fall with an extra $5,000 per year to help pay for their education for the next four years. These three winners of the top-level $20,000 Gold Scholarship are among 107 students from Northern New Mexico receiving a total of $659,200 from the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund awards made in April.
Roybal will attend Eastern New Mexico University and major in biology with an emphasis in pre-medicine or pre-physical therapy. Song will study electrical engineering at Stanford University with plans for a career in artificial intelligence and neuroprosthetics. Winston will study math and Spanish at Barnard College with a view to a career in teaching.
Ranging from $1,000–$20,000 each, the scholarships are given annually to students who exhibit strong leadership qualities in their schools and communities, in addition to meeting LAESF’s rigorous merit-based requirements. In addition to financial help, many winners are given the opportunity to work as summer interns at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund began in 1998 and is named for the primary source of donations: Laboratory employees, contractors and retirees. Since 2007, Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) has given a match to the employee giving. The Laboratory workforce has donated $4.5 million, with an additional $3.3 million from LANS.
Donations also come from community members and local businesses looking to support education and economic development in the region.
Over 20 years, 1,443 scholars have been awarded 1,520 scholarships totaling more than $6.8 million.
In addition to student merit, financial need is one of the additional evaluation factors for awards. Over 40 percent of this year’s award money supports students with a family income below $50,000. Nearly 45 percent of this year's award recipients are from Santa Fe County, with 16 percent from Los Alamos County, and 13 percent each from Rio Arriba and Taos Counties. Students from Sandoval, Mora and San Miguel Counties also received awards.
“This is our 20th scholarship class, and once again the students from Northern New Mexico impressed and amazed the selections committee,” said John McDermon, LANL Foundation Scholarship Program Manager. “As these scholars head off to pursue their dreams of higher education, their families and communities can be immensely proud of their achievements and look forward with hope and awe to all that they will accomplish.”
The Laboratory will hold its 2018 scholarship fund drive in May, and donations are accepted year-round from both Laboratory employees and people and organizations outside the Lab. Money raised goes toward scholarships the following year and builds designated endowments to ensure a sustainable program. Visit the LANL Foundation website for more information.