Area students receive LAESF scholarships

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Giving: Campaign chair says the goal is $300,000 in employee contributions

By The Staff

Sixty-five students from seven Northern New Mexico counties were recipients of Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund scholarships, funded through more than $500,000 in donations from Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and the company that manages the laboratory.

Los Alamos High School senior Scott Carlsten received the top award, the platinum scholarship, which provides $7,500 in financial assistance annually for four years.

“I’m very grateful to the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation and LANL employees who contributed to make this award possible,” Carlsten said. “Being notified that I was the platinum scholar was a tremendous and exciting experience. I’m looking forward to attending college where I can pursue my passion for science and hopefully embark on a career as a scientific researcher.”

Two students will receive $5,000-per-year, four-year gold scholarships: Mirella Galvan-DeLa Cruz of McCurdy High School and George Torres of Taos High School.

Four students will receive $2,500-per-year, four-year silver scholarships: Victoria Wang of Los Alamos High School; Lily Hawley of Mesa Vista High School; Emily Talbot of Santa Fe Preparatory School; and Elena Vigil of St. Michael’s High School.

Seven students will receive $2,500-per-year, four-year Domenici scholarships named after former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.): Jinhyun Park of Los Alamos High School; Morika Hensley of Taos High School; Jacob Leyba of Escalante High School; Marcos Mondragon of Mora High School; Cassandra Miller of West Las Vegas High School; Lucas Sandoval of Cuba High School; and Rose Miller of Santa Fe High School.

Fourteen students will receive $1,000 Regional College/Returning Student scholarships.

The Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund encourages Los Alamos National Laboratory employees, retirees, and subcontractor personnel to donate to a fund that awards college scholarships to Northern New Mexico students. Last year, employees donated more than $270,000 to the scholarship fund and Los Alamos National Security, LLC, which manages the Lab, contributed another $250,000.

The laboratory’s 2012 scholarship drive continues through May 31. Donations to the fund are used to award scholarships in 2013. The Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund program began in 1999 and is administered by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation. Since its inception, more than 664 scholarships have been awarded, and laboratory employees have donated more than $2.5 million to the fund.

Susan Seestrom, associate director for experimental physical sciences at Los Alamos National Laboratory, is chairing the 2012 employees’ scholarship campaign.

Seestrom’s goal is $300,000 from employees during the one-month campaign ending May 30.

Seestrom cites the story of Cristal Vazquez, a 2004 graduate of Pecos High School and a single mother, who became the first person in her family to attend college, graduate to become an obstetrics nurse and works for the University of New Mexico Hospital. “I am proud to work at the laboratory whose workforce supports the amazing success of young people,” Seestrom said.

Since 1999, LANL employees have awarded $2.5 million in scholarships to 664 Northern New Mexico students.