More than $800,000 in scholarships awarded to New Mexico students this year

110 LANL Scholars from across Northern New Mexico supported in their educations

April 18, 2023

Dominic Sandoval Sm Opt
LANL Scholar Gold Scholarship recipient Dominic Sandoval of Española Valley High School.

The LANL Foundation has announced the 2023 recipients of its four-year undergraduate degree scholarships. This year, 110 Northern New Mexico students pursuing bachelor’s degrees will receive 122 scholarships worth $839,000.

The scholarships are largely funded by donations from Laboratory employees and are open to students across the region pursuing a degree in any field of study. The scholarships range from $1,000 for a single year up to $20,000 over four years. Recipients are selected based on a demonstrated commitment to academic achievement, leadership and service.

“Every year I’m amazed by the young people of our region who apply for these scholarships,” says Mike Ammerman, the scholarship program director at the LANL Foundation. “Many of them have remarkable academic records while also juggling substantial work or family commitments and serving as leaders in their schools and communities. It’s inspiring to hear about the life they envision for themselves and the change they hope to create in the world.”

Scholarship-winning students

This year’s $20,000 Gold Scholarship recipients are:

Dominic Sandoval of Española Valley High School
Dominic is co-valedictorian of EVHS and has earned many honors, including being named a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar, National Hispanic Scholar, and College Board National Hispanic Scholar. He currently serves as the EVHS student body president and New Mexico Association of Student Councils’ second vice president. Dominic won the New Mexico science and engineering fair state championship in 2021 in the senior plant science division and has been mentored by a New Mexico state senator for the past six years. He hopes to serve his community by pursuing a career in government, saying, “I've learned that government and politics are more than just an interest, it's my reality. Policymaking requires passion, and the desire to fight for the common good, both of which I will carry with me every day.”

Yunseo Kim of Los Alamos High School 
Yunseo represented New Mexico as one of two delegates to the United Nations Senate Youth Program, and is a three-time New Mexico speech and debate state champion who ranked eighth in the nation during the 2022 national speech and debate competition. She also founded the “Powerful Voices Powerful Change (PVPC): Hope for Refugees” project after serving at a refugee camp in Denver, Colorado. Yunseo says, “As I desire to make long-lasting change for future generations of refugees, I aspire to study international relations and one day become a diplomat to address the immense structural barriers refugees face worldwide.”

Victoria Shaner of V. Sue Cleveland High School
Victoria is the 2023 valedictorian of V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho and has a passion for STEM. She serves as Key Club president, where she has participated in over 50 community service activities and tripled the number of students participating in the club. Victoria, who comes from a large family, will be a first-generation college student. She says, “I have made a difference at home by aiding my seven younger siblings with support, as a mentor and an older sister. By donating my time to my family, I can help them prosper and reach their absolute best.” She plans to major in biochemistry and possibly pursue a career as a biomedical engineer or anesthesiologist.

$11 million in scholarships … and growing

Since 1999, the LANL Foundation has awarded more than 2,300 scholarships totaling over $11 million. These scholarships would not be possible without the support from the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund (LAESF) advisory committee and the LANL workforce. In 2022, Laboratory employees donated nearly $375,000 to LAESF, with Triad National Security also contributing $177,500 in scholarship funding.

Scholarships are also made possible by community members who work with LANL Foundation and the LAESF Advisory Committee to administer their named and endowed scholarship funds. See a full list of this year’s recipients.