A shared value of all LANL Foundation Scholars is the drive to give back to the community that supported them. Nathan Maestas of Rio Arriba, a 2019 Career Pathways Scholarship recipient, used his experience in film, the arts, and media to mentor youth and educators in northern New Mexico in his area of professional expertise.
Maestas grew up along the Rio Chama Valley. He says he always loved all aspects of film. At the age of 15 his passion of creating skateboarding videos of himself and his friends paved the way for the film and media career he holds now, right here in New Mexico.
During his time in high school, Maestas, who was wrapping up a shoot with Taos-based non-profit True Kids 1, learned about the Career Pathways Scholarship through an email from his school’s administration.
“When I heard about the scholarship, I figured my chances of being awarded it were slim considering I was a student in the arts, but I told myself it couldn’t hurt to try. I applied and just as I was wrapping up my first shoot for True Kids 1, I got the call that I was going to be awarded the scholarship,” Maestas said. “It was amazing to think that I was starting to get my name and work out into the world, and here was this scholarship that would help me finish my associate’s degree.”
Maestas decided to go to Northern New Mexico College to study arts, film, and media to stay closely connected with his community. He began working in film and chose to deepen his work with True Kids 1 by becoming a mentor within the program, to help coach kids like him in film and media fluency. Maestas even had the opportunity to film a promotional video for LANL Foundation showcasing the scholars from his year.
Maestas still receives calls for work around the Española Valley, and says he still loves supporting his community through the arts and helping area youth realize their dreams.
“It was amazing to think the LANL Foundation not only supported my educational endeavors but also supported me in starting my career,” Maestas said. “I am forever grateful for LANL Foundation’s support in my education as well as my career.”
LANL Foundation’s Career Pathways and 4-year scholarship application cycles are currently open. Learn more here: https://www.lanlfoundation.org/our-work/scholarships.