Scholarship recipients and their families at a social earlier this summer. Courtesy photo
105 Northern Students Start Fall Semester with Scholarships
One hundred and five Northern New Mexico College students will start the fall semester on August 14 with scholarships from the Northern Foundation totaling over $142,000. Additional grants available bring the total to nearly $165,000 for the 2017-18 academic year.
The figure represents the highest number of scholarships and grants available through the Northern Foundation since its inception in 1995.
The scholarships will enable recipients – also referred to as scholars – to dedicate their energies to academic excellence, rather than worry about finances.
“For many of our scholars, their Foundation scholarship is the difference between being able to afford to pay their college tuition, fees and books or going into debt by taking out student loans,” said Northern Foundation Executive Director, Terry Mulert.
“To start the semester debt free relieves a great burden from the students so they focus more fully on their academics. In some cases, the scholarship makes going to school at any level possible,” Mulert added.
“Our goal at the Foundation is to take part in the transformative process from student to graduate. We do this as a collective of donors, sponsors and partners. It’s an amazing and inspiring impact. We always strive to do more!”
Steve Cordova, a second-year environmental sciences student, counts himself lucky to have received one of the Foundation’s competitive scholarships.
“It means a lot! I don’t really have money to be able to go to school, so it does mean a lot,” said Cordova.
The scholarship “helps me pay for books and classes so I can go to school. Without it I wouldn’t be able to afford to go to school, so I’m grateful,” Cordova added.
Earlier in the summer, the Northern Foundation held an informational gathering, the 2017 Northern Scholar Summer Social, that invited students to reflect on why they received scholarships and how they can assist future generations of students by paying it forward.
The recipients will also be publically celebrated at the 22nd Annual Northern Foundation Gala on November 4, where donors and community members can join the Foundation and College in recognizing the achievements of the scholars.
While the scholarships are transformative for students, they also have a profound impact on the generous donors who create them, because donors know that they are making a difference.
Each year, every scholarship recipient writes a letter to her/his donor to make a personal connection and express their gratitude by sharing some of their life story.
It is “something our donors look forward to every year and in some cases, new donors are very inspired by,” according to Mulert.
Donor John Mitchell recently wrote to the Foundation saying, “I received a very nice letter from Gabrielle Martinez last week. It was very moving and convinced me to continue with the program at your institution as long as I can.”
“The Foundation has been sustained over the past two decades through the philanthropy of many local, regional and national donors and funders. We are excited to reach this apex of giving, but it only means that now the goal is higher. We are working to eclipse this year’s record with even more scholarships next year. We can’t do it alone,” Mulert reflected.
Established in 1995, the Northern Foundation has a $3.5 million endowment and to date has given over $1.6 million in awards that have supported over 1500 students from the Española Valley.