Today was a lot of fun. It’s a day we look forward to all year. Why? This was the day we had the opportunity to partner with Peñasco High School in Taos County, New Mexico to present scholarship awards to two graduating seniors here. Sierra Romero is aiming for a degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of New Mexico. Essence Quintana plans to study Radiology and Sonography at Central New Mexico College. These two promising young ladies were the winners of a program sponsored by GEAR UP New Mexico. Their stated goal is “to increase the number of students going to post-secondary schools, enhance the college-going culture in those communities and to improve access and opportunities within state colleges and universities for all students”.
We started supporting this scholarship program a year ago and this year we doubled our contribution. Aaron Mitchell (pictured on the far right) is the GEAR UP coordinator at the high school. He set up the scholarship as a drawing for any graduating senior at Peñasco who applied to at least three colleges. This year, Mitchell said that “100% of our seniors applied for college and made plans to continue their education beyond high school”. That’s a first for Peñasco during Mitchell’s tenure. School Principal, Marina Baca López (pictured at the far left), was beaming as well: “We can’t thank you enough”. She is happy for Sierra and Essence and believes that this scholarship program is having a positive effect on the community as well.
For the Coleman Charitable Foundation, our desire is to see the communities around the Sipapu Ski Resort grow more prosperous from the ground up. This is the kind of personal connection we are working to establish throughout the Southwest. Whether in Flagstaff (near Snowbowl Ski Resort), Durango (Purgatory), Los Alamos (Pajarito), or here in Peñasco, we believe that an investment in these promising students will pay lasting dividends for years to come.