Student’s ‘Think Big’ Essay Earns Scholarship

Nathanial Matteson, winner of the June Ettinger Memorial Scholarship. Photo by Don Taylor’s Photography


The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation awarded Nathanial Matteson the June Ettinger Memorial Scholarship. 

Matteson’s winning essay was written about the book “Think Big” authored by Dr. Ben Carson. In this book, Carson tells the story of being pushed by his mother to write weekly book reports and how this exercise eventually nurtured his enchantment for medical science. 

Matteson’s essay tells the story of the author inspiring a very young boy, both though a life saving surgery and a sharing of passion, to reach his full potential.

Matteson will attend the University of New Mexico with plans to one day become a surgeon. He is the son of Allen and Linda Matteson. 

June Ettinger was a long-time resident of Los Alamos, arriving in town in 1961 when her husband was hired by Los Alamos National Laboratory.  

For more than 20 years, she taught third and fourth grade at Barranca Mesa and Mountain elementary schools with an emphasis on social studies and its application to other elementary school subjects.  

She read extensively, and was frequently at the Mesa Public Library. She also loved to travel; her favorite travel involved visits to third world countries.  

“Ettinger would be very pleased that a scholarship was established in her name, jointly managed by the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries and the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation, to assist Los Alamos High School graduates like Nathanial Matteson in completing their college education,” said Joanna Gillespie, executive director of the LAPS Foundation.

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