Julie’s Helpers Memorial Scholarships Awarded

Valentina Dawn Chee, left, and Celine Yazzie Olson are the recipients of Julie’s Helpers Memorial Scholarships for 2013. Courtesy photo

Staff Report

Before her passing from a brain tumor in December of 2009, Julie Meadows and her family got all kinds of practical help from friends, the community and fellow church members, organized as “Julie’s Helpers.”  

Launched in May 2011, the annual Julie’s Helpers Memorial Scholarship Fund seeks to provide the kind of practical help that Julie would have been proud of. Wife, mother of two young sons, respected LANL staffer, active member of Alpha Zeta Chapter of her Beta Sigma Phi sorority, and member of White Rock Presbyterian Church, Julie had been tireless in doing good.

Shortly before being stricken with the tumor, she had been especially moved to encourage and help young Navajo women, which is turn is now the aim of the scholarship established in her memory.

The recipient of this year’s $2,500 Julie’s Helpers Memorial Scholarship is Valentina Dawn Chee, a junior at the University of New Mexico majoring in nutrition/dietetics.

Chee wrote to the scholarship committee that she aspires to serve the people of the Navajo Nation through community workshops on the nutrition and lifestyle choices that will help overcome type 2 diabetes, an epidemic in her community.

This summer Chee is working at New Mexico State University as a lab assistant, participating in cancer research, applying microbiology techniques. She hopes this will further her lifelong goals of improving the health of her Navajo people.

The scholarship committee is also excited to announce a second award this year of $750 to Celine Yazzie Olson, who is a sophomore at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. Olson hopes to become a civil engineer to help the Navajo Nation improve roadways, water systems and residences. Her commitment to attend summer school as well as fall and spring semesters at New Mexico Tech is an example of her work ethic and commitment to her goal of getting all the classes she needs in geotechnical, hydrology/drainage and structural engineering.

This hand-crafted Navajo weaving is one of the raffle items being offered by the Scholarship Committee to raise funds to support future scholarships. Courtesy photo

The Julie’s Helpers Memorial Scholarship Committee is sponsoring a raffle of the beautiful hand-crafted Navajo weaving and jewelry at the summer concerts held at Ashley Pond July 26 and Aug. 23.

Los Alamos community members and visitors are invited to stop by the JHMS booth during the concerts and see the jewelry and rug, visit with scholarship committee members and support this scholarship by purchasing raffle tickets. Donations can also be made to the Julie’s Helpers Memorial Scholarship Fund, in care of White Rock Presbyterian Church, 310 Rover Blvd. Los Alamos, NM 87544.

(505) 672-3682



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