Scholarship Commemorates Parents' Dream
Las Vegas – A $10,000 scholarship to honor her parents has been established by Eloy Gutierrez and Rita M. Padilla-Gutierrez to assist students attending New Mexico Highlands University.
“My parents, Placido and Crisanta Padilla, yearned to attend college,” Padilla-Gutierrez said. “That dream was never realized, but through their children, the importance of education was demonstrated.” Padilla-Gutierrez' grandfather, Manuel A. Baca, attended Highlands when it was a normal school and went on to be come superintendent of schools in Valencia county.
“We are establishing a scholarship in my parents' name to promote the importance of education in a meaningful way,” Padilla-Gutierrez said.
"Gifts like these change lives," said Sharon Caballero, executive director for advancement at Highlands. "Not just the lives of the recipients of the scholarship, but of their families and generations of New Mexicans."
The Padilla family has been honored by Highlands as the Family of the Year in 1992. Thirteen children of Placido and Cirsanta Padilla and several grandchildren attended Highlands, and almost all went into education. Padilla-Gutierrez said that they chose Highlands because of the accessibility and acceptance they found at the school.
“For decades, Highlands University has been instrumental in providing educational opportunities for many families in New Mexico, and Valencia County has been a strong beneficiary,” Padilla-Gutierrez said. "The Highlands Foundation has the most flexibility and options for our gift to be meaningful and make a substantial impact."
Donations to the Placido and Crisanta Padilla Opportunity Scholarship can be made to the NMHU Foundation, Box 9000, Las Vegas, NM 87701.
Undergraduate students who are full-time, New Mexico residents with a GPA average of 2.5 are eligible to apply for the scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded based on need as defined by the FAFSA application. Students are encouraged to contact the NMHU Financial Aid office for further information on this scholarship.
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