Laboratory employees pledge more than $400,000 for scholarships

Fund supporting Northern New Mexico students celebrates its 25th anniversary

By David Moore | June 14, 2023

Director Scholars 48118
Laboratory Director Thom Mason with the recipients of some of 2023’s top LAESF scholarships.

Los Alamos National Laboratory employees pledged $402,355 during the recently completed 2023 Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund (LAESF) fundraising campaign, with more than 120 employees donating for the first time.

This fundraising effort encourages Laboratory employees to donate to a fund that awards a range of college scholarships to outstanding Northern New Mexico students.

“The Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund continues to play an important role in strengthening our regional communities by providing significant opportunities for regional students pursuing two- and four-year degrees, trade programs and certifications,” said Laboratory Director Thom Mason. “By donating to the fund, Laboratory employees are not only increasing educational opportunities in Northern New Mexico, but they are also supporting potential future Laboratory employees who will be key contributors to our national security mission.” 

In 2023 110 students from the region pursuing bachelor’s degrees will receive 122 scholarships worth $839,000. Through the Career Pathways scholarships, awards are also made to students pursuing two-year associate degrees or certification in any trade or field.  

This year’s top recipients include students from all seven counties, with many scholarships awarded to students from rural and tribal communities. Laboratory operator Triad also supports LAESF with a contribution, with a particular focus on needs-based scholarships. 

Founded, funded and steered by Lab employees

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund, which to date has awarded more than 2,300 scholarships totaling over $11 million to students from Northern New Mexico.

Although the fund is administered by the independent LANL Foundation, decisions over the scholarship recipients are made by the LAESF Advisory Committee which consists of 25 elected members representing Lab employees, retirees and scholarship alumni.

Delilia Gonzales
LANL Scholar Delilia Gonzales attended Santa Fe Indian School.

Committed to preserving her home

One of this year’s recipients is Delilia Gonzales from San Ildefonso Pueblo who is studying natural resource management at Colorado State University.

“The impact I hope to have on the world is to be a good role model for other people who identify as Native Americans,” she said. “As an underrepresented minority, I can be a role model for someone getting an education and a job to show that they can do it as well.”

She would like to apply her education to a career with San Ildefonso Pueblo’s natural resources department, and plans to “continue to make a difference by being an activist on climate change and a preserver of a place I consider home.”

A full list of this year’s recipients is available here.