Three high school graduates earn Hospital Auxiliary Scholarships

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By Special to the Monitor

The Hospital Auxiliary of Los Alamos Medical Center awarded three $1,500 scholarships to graduated Los Alamos High School seniors Noopur Goyal, Allen Pittman and Danielle Christensen. Auxilian Tess Church, a retired LAHS teacher, announced the winners at the LAHS Scholarship Convocation.

Goyal, who will attend the University of New Mexico in the fall, plans to pursue a career in medicine with possible specialization in endocrinology or dermatology.

“From a young age, I have been interested in all forms of science, especially biology and chemistry,” Goyal said. “Science allows one to understand the world’s phenomena. In becoming a doctor, I would learn every day about science, the body, and how it works. Most importantly, I would be able to help others. I have found that service is a way to make a difference in the world.”

As a Junior Volunteer at LAMC, Goyal has contributed approximately 200 hours of service since joining in 2006. Other volunteer activities have included Mesa Public Library, Los Alamos Heart Council, Los Alamos High School Key Club and Los Alamos High School Student Council. Goyal is also a member of the National Honor Society.

In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry, reading, playing and teaching tennis, playing the piano, photography, travel, watching movies, and being with friends and family.

She is the daughter of Kapil K. and Achla Goyal of Los Alamos.

Pittman plans a career in psychology and toward that end will attend the University of New Mexico. He said he enjoys “interacting, working with, and helping people. I have always had an interest in human behavior and mental processes.”

After taking psychology and biology in high school, Pittman said, “I decided that a career in psychology is the direction I want to take in college. After graduating, I hope to go to Kenya and use my newly learned skills to help people in a country not as well-off as our own. I feel that as a wealthy country and people we need to contribute back to the world community, and I believe my part in Kenya will help. Returning to New Mexico, I would like to help as I did in Kenya, but, if possible, in a more permanent and even bigger way.”

Pittman has been a member of Los Alamos Youth League and Student Council. He is also a member of the Peace Club and the Juntos Club, the latter an organization promoting communication and rapport between LAHS and Espaola Valley High School. He also helped start “Hometown DJ,” which organizes dances. He performs trail maintenance work around Los Alamos, referees youth soccer league games in the absence of a regular referee, and tutored a middle school student in math. He, too, is a member of the National Honor Society.

Outside of academic and community service activities, Pittman is a downhill skier and ski instructor, and a runner.

He is the son of Pete and Carissa Pittman of Los Alamos.

Danielle Christensen’s goal is to attend New Mexico State University and earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, with professional emphasis on surgical and emergency room nursing. She said her time as a Junior Volunteer at LAMC influenced her decision.

“As a Junior Volunteer, I have enjoyed my service in this field and am very excited to serve people who are injured and need medical help,” Christensen said. “I became interested in medicine and nursing care after receiving wonderful care at Los Alamos Medical Center when I was in eighth grade and had an emergency appendectomy. The nurses who took care of me during my short stay made a huge impression on me.”

Christensen said service has played a big role in her growing up. “I have always been in positions of service and have seen first hand what a little bit of kindness and knowledge can do to heal a broken arm or a broken spirit,” she said. “Prior to getting full-time employment, I volunteered at LAMC providing patient assistance, stocking medical supplies, making copies for the Emergency Room, or sometimes just sitting with a patient.”

In addition to volunteering at LAMC, Christensen worked at the YMCA providing support to various youth programs and summer camps.

She also helped with and supported several Eagle Scout projects and youth-sponsored service projects in this area. Outside the classroom and community service, Christensen enjoys volleyball, swimming, and other outdoor sports, along with camping and hiking with her family. She said music has “always been a big part of my life. I have been a member of the high school choirs all four years, and I play the piano.”

She is the daughter of Davis V. and Bernice B. Christensen of White Rock.