The Los Alamos community recently lost a good person in the passing of Gil Butler.
Not being a resident of Los Alamos myself, I was first introduced to Gil the afternoon that the tall, slender gentleman with silvery hair appeared at my office door in the Adult Learning Center at UNM-LA. I had been told earlier in the day that “Gil” would be dropping off a check, but I had no idea who “Gil” was.
This gentleman introduced himself, told me the purpose of his visit, and then we sat and talked about the GED® program at UNM-LA and about the diversity of the student body at our various sites. There were many similar visits delivering more of these same types of checks after that time. Each time Gil always showed great interest in the success stories of the recipients of these awards.
I have since learned from Linda Hull that it was Gil’s foresight and desire to help our GED® students in the Los Alamos community that was the catalyst for the application for grants to help cover the costs of the GED® testing. These awards have helped students not just from Los Alamos, but also from the Jemez Pueblo and Delancey Street to reach the goal of receiving their GED®. A good share of these students have also gone on to attend college or trade school.
To most of us $100 isn’t really that much. We could easily spend that amount on fast food or on a fill-up of our gas tank in just a few trips. There are others to whom that same $100 is a life-changer. Last year it cost that much to take the full-battery of GED® tests. This year the cost has increased yet another $20.
Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Butler and many other folks of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos (please forgive me for not naming all of you) those students who have worked hard to prepare to take the GED®, but who might be held back because of the expense of that testing, are now able to move toward realizing their dreams. I believe that when one person achieves it lifts us all up a little higher.
On behalf of these students – but especially for myself – I extend my most sincere gratitude. We will miss you, Gil.