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The Julie’s Helpers Memorial Scholarship Committee recently announced the recipients of the fourth annual scholarships, given to Navajo women who desire to serve their community and need help funding a challenging academic course of study.
The recipient of this year’s $2,500 Julie’s Helpers Memorial Scholarship is Markie Bee, who is a senior at New Mexico Tech in Socorro.
Bee is a single mom of a 3-year-old son, Orion Vicenti. “Being a single mom…it is a big relief getting any financial help,” she said.
Bee is from Fruitland, a community between Shiprock and Farmington. She is working on receiving her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with plans to graduate in May. She hopes to serve the Navajo tribe by working with oil and gas industries to ensure more efficient processes and minimalize environmental damage to Indian Country. Her future plans are to achieve a master’s degree and return to Farmington to pursue a career in the petroleum industry.
According to a press release, Bee has a passion for chemistry and has volunteered through the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) to encourage other Native American youth to pursue college degrees. She will be the first in her family to graduate from college.
The scholarship committee also announced a second award this year of $1,000 to Tinisha Spencer.
Spencer just graduated with honors from Gallup High School and will attend the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in the fall. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and dance. “I hope to come back to the reservation,” Spencer said. She would like to serve the Navajo Nation by promoting healthy lifestyles and activity among her people who suffer from a high rate of diabetes on the reservation.
She said she would like to work with athletes and kids.
She would like to continue her education and attend graduate school for physical therapy.
“I am very thankful (for the scholarship) and I see it as a blessing from God,” she said.
The Julie’s Helpers Memorial Scholarship awards funds each year to one or two Navajo women who are seeking to further their college education and then serve the Navajo Nation in a professional capacity.
JHMS has supported seven young Navajo Women since 2011, when the fund was started to honor Julie Meadows, a caring member of the Los Alamos community, who died of a brain tumor in 2009.
Donations can be made to White Rock Presbyterian Church, designation: Julie’s Helpers Memorial Scholarship.