Tessa Snyder. File photo
ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico Leadership Institute will present 29 college-bound students with $25,000 scholarships during a banquet June 28 to celebrate the completion of a year-long leadership program.
The banquet will be on the campus of UNM, in the Student Union Building, Ballroom A. Senior members of the faculty and administration will be in attendance for the graduation.
The New Mexico Leadership Institute is an innovative five-year program targeting New Mexico high school juniors who have demonstrated a particular aptitude for leadership, creativity, resourcefulness and an entrepreneurial spirit, but who may be at risk of dropping out of high school or not attending college.
The goal of NMLI’s program is to graduate these students from high school, support their transition into one of New Mexico’s flagship universities, and have them graduate in four years with the skills and knowledge necessary to obtain ready employment in New Mexico.
“These scholars will always have a special place in my heart as the inaugural NMLI class,” said Daniel Burrell, founder of the Leadership Institute. “Each one of our graduates has developed leadership skills that will give them the ability to take every advantage of their college education.”
Burrell and NMLI partnered with the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University to select this year’s 32 students, who were chosen among nearly 300 highly qualified applicants. Over the past year, students have worked with renowned faculty, state and national leaders and engaged in a wide variety of community service programs and personal challenge assignments. The program is designed to encourage young leaders to remain in New Mexico after they graduate.
“Through training and mentorship, the program will improve high school graduation rates, advance college enrollment and cultivate an entrepreneurial curiosity in NMLI Scholars for addressing New Mexico’s social, business and public sector challenges,” Burrell said.
In addition to the scholarships, students will be paired with a faculty member to help them better navigate the challenges and demands of higher education.
“Mr. Burrell’s incredible $25,000 grant is truly giving me the opportunity to pursue a high level of education at the University of New Mexico,” said Gabriel Gallegos, who recently graduated from Las Cruces High School. “The scholarship is an amazing gift to my family and myself, but it is even more a huge investment in the future leaders of New Mexico.”
The inaugural NMLI class is completing a week-long summer academy at UNM, which culminates with the upcoming banquet. Burrell will present students with the scholarships at the banquet.
The following students will be honored:
- Tessa Snyder – Los Alamos High School
- Livier Arevalo-Diaz – Pojoaque Valley
- Daniela Armendariz – South Valley Academy
- Priscilla Artalejo – Gadsden High School
- Giovana Bermudez – Gadsden High School
- Kaleb Kleckler – Capitan High School
- Erica Duran – Mayfield High School
- Kelley Espinoza – Gadsden High School
- Shayna Gallacher – Carrizozo High School
- Gabriel Gallegos – Las Cruces High School
- Jessica Gonzalez – Lordsburg High School
- Brian Hemminger – Melrose High School
- Kristin Kelley-Goen – Onate High School
- Esai Lopez – Gadsden High School
- Hanny Makk – Las Cruces High School
- Joylynn Martinez – Pojoaque Valley
- Lauren McCubbins – Pojoaque Valley
- Sarah McEachern – Artesia High School
- Janna Mills – Cimarron High School
- Maurine Morris – Taos High School
- Marissa Perez – Amy Biehl High School
- Kevin Prieto – Las Cruces High School
- Kylee Rice – Cliff High School
- Reagan Riggs – Goddard High School
- Jorge Salinas – West Mesa High School
- Cory Stevens – Goddard High School
- Sydney Stuart – Moriarty High School
- Crystal Smith – Belen High School
- Pierce Hemphill – La Cueva High School
Visit www.newmexicoleadership.org to learn more about NMLI and its programs, to make a financial donation to support future NMLI Scholars, or to get involved as a Workforce Partner.