More Than 100 Students Receive Scholarships From Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund

2017 Gold Scholar WilburWang of Los Alamos High School. Courtesy/LANLF


ESPAÑOLA—Charlyna Gonzales of Peñasco High School, Khaled Khweis of Taos High School and Wilbur Wang of Los Alamos High School are recipients of the 2017 Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund top-level Gold Scholarships.

They are among 111 student winners from the seven-county Northern New Mexico region selected to receive 117 scholarships totaling $660,250.

2017 Gold Scholar Charlyna Gonzales of Penasco High School. Courtesy/LANLF

Scholarships are funded by Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and an annual $250,000 donation match from Los Alamos National Security, LLC, with additional support from community members and local businesses.

The Gold Scholarship provides $5,000 a year in financial assistance for four years. All students met the rigorous academic and merit-based requirements.

Some award levels are determined by additional qualifications including the pursuit of STEM degrees, first-generation college students, Native American students, outstanding leadership, higher financial need, resiliency and determination or residency in certain communities.

Fund descriptions and award criteria are found online at

2017 Gold Scholar Khaled Khweis of Taos High School. Courtesy/LANLF

Six students received $3,750 annual, four-year Silver Scholarships:

•    Joseph Lee Estrada, McCurdy Charter School
•    Grace Graham, Academy for Technology and the Classics
•    Reyes Lucero, St. Michael’s High School
•    Jennifer Necker, Los Alamos High School
•    James Valerio, Taos High School
•    Madison Winston, Santa Fe Preparatory School

Seven students received $2,500 annual, four-year Domenici Scholarships. These awards are named after former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.). One recipient is selected from each of the seven counties served by the scholarship program:
•    Sage Crosby, Santa Fe Preparatory School (Sandoval County)
•    Faith Koh, Los Alamos High School (Los Alamos County)
•    Mario Martinez, Española Valley High School (Rio Arriba County)
•    Kayla Nichols, Moreno Valley High School (Taos County)  
•    Dominic Roybal, Pojoaque Valley High School (Santa Fe County)
•    Warren Roybal, Mora High School (Mora County)
•    Michaela Vigil-Lujan, Robertson High School (San Miguel County)

Four students received $2,500 annual, four-year John & Marti Browne Leadership Scholarships named for the former Laboratory director and his wife:
•    Marisol Archuleta, Mesa Vista High School
•    Michael Gonzales, Española Valley High School
•    Liliana Martinez, Española Valley High School
•    Kyra Sprague, Española Valley High School

Adam Kimble of Pecos High School received the Susan Herrera Scholarship named after the founding LANL Foundation CEO. Brian Ortiz of Santa Fe High School received the Copper Scholarship. Both awards provide $2,500 a year in financial assistance for four years.

The largest award category of Bronze Scholarships had 81 recipients, each receiving $1,250 a year in financial assistance for up to four years:
•    Cody Aikin, New Mexico State University (Los Alamos)
•    Aubrey  Aldaz, Pojoaque Valley High School
•    Lorraine Alire, Northern New Mexico College
•    Edgar Alonso, University of New Mexico-Taos
•    Alexa Baca, Española Valley High School
•    Brandon Bao, Los Alamos High School
•    Louisa Belian, Los Alamos High School
•    Elizabeth Browne, Northern New Mexico College
•    Ian Canfield, Santa Fe Preparatory School
•    Alicia Cardenas, Northern New Mexico College
•    Perla Carrasco, Capital High School
•    Thomas Crotzer, Brigham Young University (Los Alamos)
•    Daniel Dahl, Brigham Young University (Los Alamos)
•    Abigail Dahlman, St. Michael’s High School
•    Gus Dozhier, Jemez Valley High School
•    Akane Dunn, Los Alamos High School
•    Isabel Fernandez, The Masters Program, Santa Fe Community College
•    Lily Fowler, Santa Fe Waldorf School
•    Jaclyn Gallegos, Taos High School
•    Ysabel Garcia, Pecos High School
•    Aydin Gates, Santa Fe Waldorf School
•    Simon Gomez, Dulce Junior-Senior High School
•    RayVen Gonzales, West Las Vegas High School
•    Isaiah Gurule, Escalante High School
•    Solomon Guttmann, Taos High School
•    Kenidee Hatler, Los Alamos High School
•    Lena Heino, Taos High School
•    Pamela Hobbs-Laventall, Academy for Technology and the Classics
•    Emily Hopkins, University of New Mexico (Los Alamos)
•    Caleb Horan, Escalante High School
•    Ezri Horne, New Mexico School for the Arts
•    Connor Houdek, Robertson High School
•    Julia Johnson-Jaramillo, Taos High School
•    Nidhi Kanabar, Academy for Technology and the Classics
•    Irene Kwon, Los Alamos High School
•    Justin Lemke, Los Alamos High School
•    Amelia Linett, Desert Academy
•    Austin Luttrell, St. Michael’s High School
•    Amanda Marbourg, St. Michael’s High School
•    Joshua Martinez, Northern New Mexico College (Santa Fe)
•    Roberto Martinez, Taos High School
•    Mariah Mauro, Los Alamos High School
•    Clara Maxam, New Mexico State University (Sandoval)
•    Maia Menefee, Los Alamos High School
•    Emily Mercer, Los Alamos High School
•    Sebastian Montesinos, Santa Fe High School
•    Rayann Mora, Escalante High School
•    Monica Madrid Ornelas, Capital High School
•    Aneesh Pawar, Los Alamos High School
•    Bianca Perez-Nuñez, Santa Fe High School
•    Anna Maria Quintana, McCurdy Charter School
•    Miguel Rael, Questa High School
•    Elena Romero, Harvey Mudd College (Santa Fe)
•    Kaitlyn Romero, Fort Lewis College (Rio Arriba)
•    Ariana Salazar, Santa Fe High School
•    Martin Salazar, University of Phoenix (Santa Fe)
•    Jessica Sandoval, Monte Del Sol Charter School
•    Justine Sandoval, University of New Mexico-Taos
•    Courtney Schmidt, Volcano Vista High School
•    Jinelle Scully, University of New Mexico/Santa Fe Community College (Santa Fe)
•    Ethan Sena, V. Sue Cleveland High School
•    Andy Shen, Los Alamos High School
•    Michelle Sherman, The Masters Program
•    Jared Smith, St. Michael’s High School
•    Natalie Solis, Taos High School
•    Sierra Sweeney, Santa Fe High School
•    Anthony Teba, Pojoaque Valley High School
•    Ricardo Teran, Pecos High School
•    Mark Torres, Los Alamos High School
•    Sahana Ummadi, Los Alamos High School
•    Adriana Vargas, Capital High School
•    Savannah Vigil-Lujan, Robertson High School
•    Benjamin Voter, Desert Academy
•    Jennifer Wang, Los Alamos High School
•    Anna Wermer, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (Los Alamos)
•    Olivia White, Academy for Technology and the Classics
•    Sterling White, Academy for Technology and the Classics
•    Zoe Whittle, Santa Fe Waldorf School
•    Michelle Yang, Los Alamos High School
•    Robert Zhu, Los Alamos High School
•    Iris Zoernig, Robertson High School

Several memorial scholarships have been established to honor individuals or organizations and are privately funded. These awards provide financial assistance for one year. The Raymond Chavez award is $2,500, all others are $1,000.  

Sebastian Montesinos of Santa Fe High School received the Allan Johnston Memorial Scholarship. Caleb Horan of Escalante High School received the Bret Knapp Endowed Memorial Scholarship. Taylor Ellis of Santa Fe Preparatory School received the Climate Change Leadership Institute Endowed Earth & Environmental Science Scholarship. Roberto Martinez of Taos High School received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Scholarship. Joshua Martinez of Northern New Mexico College (Santa Fe) and Ethan Sena of V. Sue Cleveland High School each won Northern New Mexico American Society for Mechanical Engineering Scholarships. Zehrena Antez of Cuba High School and Jessica Sandoval of Monte Del Sol Charter School received Rae Lee Siporin Scholarships. Austin Perez of Pojoaque Valley High School received the William & Gertrude Fradkin Memorial Scholarship. Leah DeAguero of Española Valley High School received the Raymond M. Chavez Memorial Scholarship.

Five students, each from Mesa Vista High School, received Tim Martin Memorial Scholarships:
Marisol Archuleta (Taos), Jasper Viereck (Rio Arriba), Darien Halder (Taos), Lawrence Holterman (Rio Arriba), and Sundeep Taniguchi (Rio Arriba).

Awards by reported ethnicity are:     
•    American Indian – two students received $6,000 (1%), $3,000 student average
•    Asian American or Pacific Islander – nine students received $60,000 (9%), $6,666,67 student average
•    Caucasian – 35 students received $187,250 (28%), $5,350 student average
•    Hispanic – 48 students received $289,000 (44%), $6,060.83 student average
•    Mixed Race – 15 students received $93,000 (14%), $6,200 student average
•    Other/Unspecified – two students received $25,000 (4%), $12,500 student average

Awards by county of residence are:
•    Los Alamos – 25 students received $143,750 (22%), $5,750.00 student average
•    Mora – one student received $10,000 (1%), $10,000 student average
•    Rio Arriba – 18 students received $86,500 (13%), $4,805.56 student average
•    San Miguel – eight students received $50,000 (8%), $6,250 student average
•    Sandoval – six $30,750 (5%), $5,125 student average
•    Santa Fe – 38 students received $221,250 (34%), $5,822.37 student average
•    Taos – 15 students received $118,000 (18%), $7,866.67 student average

“Each year, it seems the students get better and the competition gets tougher,” said John McDermon, LANL Foundation program manager who assumed leadership of the scholarships in early 2017 after 10 years as advisory committee member and donor.

“I’m reminded how talented and well-rounded Northern New Mexico students are. It reinforces my faith in the future. I know the LAESF donors, advisory committee and LANL Foundation are proud to continue making a direct impact on young scholars’ lives years and are committed to do so into the future.”

The Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund began in 1998 and is administered for the Laboratory by the LANL Foundation. Programmatic support is provided by an advisory committee of volunteer donors. Since its inception, $6.1 million has supported 1,181 local students pursuing higher education. The Laboratory workforce has donated $4,120,158, with an additional $2,962,739 from LANS.

Due to the generosity of donors, an additional $243,500 was awarded to students in the last two years, marking a 34 percent increase in award payout.

Many winners are given the opportunity to work as summer interns with a mentor at the Lab.

The Laboratory’s 2017 scholarship fund drive begins May 15. Donations are accepted to the LANL Foundation year-round. Pledges will be used to award scholarships in 2018 and build designated endowments that endure a sustainable program.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory (
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS Corporation for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health and global security concerns.

About the LANL Foundation (
Since 1997, the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has worked to inspire excellence in education and learning in Northern New Mexico through innovative programming, collaboration and advocacy. By investing in human potential, the Foundation’s vision is that all New Mexicans have the skills and confidence they need to be self-sufficient, lifelong learners who are engaged in their communities. Programs in early childhood, STEM inquiry education, scholarships and small grants serve Northern New Mexico communities primarily in Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe and Taos counties.