Storm Nguyen of the Ta’neeszahni (Tangle People Clan) and born for the Binaa’adaalts’ozi (Asian people) has been named the 2023 Julie’s Helpers Memorial $2,500 Scholarship recipient.
Her Navajo Nation home is Ganado, Ariz., where her maternal grandfather was a Medicine Man. She was raised in Albuquerque and is a 2023 graduate of Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque, where she excelled in honors, dual credit and AP level classes and played varsity basketball. She will attend the University of New Mexico this fall to start work on prerequisites for a medical sonography certification as well as a minor in business.
The scholarship honors the memory of Julie Meadows, a young mother and LANL employee who died of a brain tumor in 2009. Before her death, Julie had been inspired by the resilience of Navajo women and desired to positively impact life on the Reservation. Her family, church, friends, and community have supported the scholarship for twelve years, raising more than $43,000 for 26 scholarships since 2011.
Nguyen’s dream is to someday open up a sports training facility, which will train and mentor Native youth. She notes that “this will be a safe place for my athletes to train their body and mind, and to become the best possible version of themselves.” She was inspired by her parents and siblings who have always supported her interests and education. Being a student-athlete was not always easy, but she persevered through challenges by realizing that her identity was not basketball or school but her true nature of valuing hard work, respect and dedication to her goals.
Scholarships are based on academic merit, dedication to serving the Navajo people and financial need. Donations are appreciated and can be made at julieshelpers.com or sent to White Rock Presbyterian Church, 310 Rover Blvd., White Rock NM 87547. More information about Meadows, the scholarship application forms, past winners and photos can be seen at the scholarship website, julieshelpers.com.