Recipients of Espanola Community Matanza Scholarships of $1,000 each Sunday afternoon at an awards ceremony at the Old La Cocina Restaurant were, from left, Patrick Quintana, Reyes Roybal, Teresa Peña, Elijah Salazar-Menzies, Aaron Lopez. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Five students with varying backgrounds, situations and goals were presented with Espanola Community Matanza scholarships Sunday afternoon cheered on by family, friends, Matanza board members and community leaders.
The five recipients were selected from more than 50 applicants. Roybal, Pena and Salazar-Menzies received general scholarships while Quintana and Lopez received recovery scholarships. The general scholarships were created to encourage and assist people who may not have the financial ability to continue or finish their college certificate or degree and the recovery scholarships were created to encourage and assist those those who are recovering from addiction.
Applicants were required to write an essay describing their education and career goals as well as the progress they had made towards personal and educational goals or recovery if applicable. They also had to describe how they set a positive example for others and demonstrates high levels of integrity, honesty and conscientiousness.
Board chair Ralph Martinez praised his fellow Matanza board members for their dedication to the Matanza noting that their passion, the heart and the vision they share has helped them push through year after year. Board vice chair is Antionette Vigil, treasurer is Julia Martinez, co-treasurer is Mickey Quintana, secretary/head of promotions is Steven Lovato, head of the cooking department is Stephen Coale and co-chair is Donna Castro, Sikh culture committee chair is Argen Khar Khalsa and Native American culture committee chair Raymond Naranjo.
Martinez said the Matanza has been a really deep collaboration between community and culture and that it’s been really beautiful to see it come together the way it has over the last three years as well as the bridges it has built between people in the Espanola Valley.
Martinez praised the scholarship recipients for their perseverance and said it was really tough to go through every single application.
“Everyone had a story and it was touching and inspiring,” he said.