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Announcing Scholarship Winners

Abiquiú Lake

Announcing Winners of Nontraditional Student and Tribal Business Scholarships and the First Abiquiú Land Grant – Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Scholarship

The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Foundation awarded 20 scholarships, each worth $1500 to Northern New Mexico students in three categories.

New in 2018, the Abiquiú Land Grant – Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Scholarship is specifically designated for descendants of an Abiquiú Land Grant family. Marisa-Ann Lopez of Santa Fe, who is studying culinary arts at Santa Fe Community College, is the inaugural recipient of this award. Applicants from this group may pursue a bachelor's degree, two-year degree or professional certificate in any field of study at an accredited trade school, college or university.

“This first award of the Abiquiú Land Grant – Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Scholarship represents the beginning of what we hope to be a long partnership between external community organizations and the LANL Foundation to benefit students throughout Northern New Mexico,” said John McDermon, LANL Foundation scholarship program manager. “I am especially proud that, through this partnership, we can assist a deserving scholar who would not have received support without the generous donations from both the Abiquiú Land Grant and Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.”

Three Native American students were recipients of 2018 Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarships in support of bachelor’s degree studies in business-related fields. The winners are: Jerome Garcia of Cochiti Pueblo, studying accounting/business administration at the University of New Mexico; James Naranjo of Santa Clara Pueblo, studying finance at New Mexico State University; and Ray Roberson of the San Felipe Pueblo, studying business administration with a concentration in finance at Whittier College.

The second round of Regional College/Returning Student (RCRS) Scholarships in 2018 were given to 16 nontraditional students pursuing a two-year degree or certification after a significant gap in formal education. Winners are:  

  • Montoya of Santa Fe, studying nursing at Luna Community College
  • Bradley of Santa Fe, studying allied health/nursing at Santa Fe Community College
  • Penfil of Santa Fe, studying nursing at Santa Fe Community College
  • Aguilar of Los Ojos, studying welding at Central New Mexico Community College
  • Trujillo of Las Vegas, studying nursing at Luna Community College
  • Maestas of Española, studying information engineering technology at Northern New Mexico College
  • Gonzales of Las Vegas, studying nursing at Luna Community College
  • Klabude of Santa Fe, studying exercise science at Santa Fe Community College
  • Olivia Yesenia Schollenberger of White Rock, studying Science at University of New Mexico
  • Righter of Santa Fe, studying general engineering and engineering technologies at Santa Fe Community College
  • Hamood of Los Alamos, studying business administration at Northern New Mexico College
  • Fresquez of Ranchos de Taos, studying information technology at University of New Mexico - Taos
  • Acuna of Santa Fe, studying elementary education at Santa Fe Community College
  • Pecis of El Prado, studying pre-science at University of New Mexico
  • Sherpa of Santa Fe, studying medical assisting at Santa Fe Community College
  • Casaus of Medanales, studying elementary education at Northern New Mexico College

These winners, in addition to the 16 recipients of the first round of RCRS awards in January, will be celebrated during a reception on August 8 at the LANL Foundation office in Española.

More About These Scholarships

The scholarship program and funds are managed by the LANL Foundation, with oversight, outreach, selections and fundraising support provided by an advisory committee of volunteer donors. RCRS and Tribal Business awards are made possible by the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund (LAESF). The primary source of donations to LAESF comes from Los Alamos National Laboratory employees, retirees, contractors, as well as an annual $250,000 contribution from Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) in 2006–2018.  Community members and local businesses may also contribute to the fund, and donations are accepted year-round through the LANL Foundation.

Since 2011, 206 RCRS Scholarships have supported nontraditional students as they seek to improve their lives through education.

The Tribal Business Scholarship was developed in 2014 through a partnership between Los Alamos National Laboratory and local tribal leadership with the goal of supporting careers in areas of business and technology as well as long-range economic development initiatives in Native communities. Fifteen Tribal Business Scholarships have been awarded.

Award amounts for both scholarships were raised from $1000 to $1500 to better support the needs of these groups.

The new Abiquiú Land Grant – Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Scholarship is privately funded by the Abiquiú Land Grant and Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The amount and number of awards each year will be determined by funds available and LANL Foundation scholarship section criteria. This award may also be given to eligible students seeking a bachelor’s degree immediately after high school.

“Sometimes a scholarship is the boost of support that a student needs to pursue higher education or start on a new career path,” said McDermon. “We’re proud of all of these winners and know that scholarships change lives.”

Through LAESF and several privately funded scholarships, LANL Foundation has awarded a total of $6.8 million to more than 1,400 students from Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe and Taos counties since 1999. In 2018, 143 students received a total of $705,200 for these and other four-year degree awards.

For more information, visit or contact John McDermon at or 505-753-8890 ext. 116.