New strategic agreement between L&A and NNMC will provide annual scholarships, internships and career mentoring
Longenecker & Associates (L&A), a subcontractor of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract, has established a scholarship fund to help Northern New Mexico College students prepare for careers in the Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex, national laboratories and environmental cleanup sites.
L&A will donate $10,000 annually to the Northern New Mexico College Foundation to fund two scholarships and/or related expenses for students interested in a career in a field that supports Longenecker’s mission at LANL, including project management, business and support functions, with the objective of graduating students who are better prepared to practice their craft. Recipients are eligible to have the scholarship extended a second year provided they continue to meet eligibility requirements.
L&A will also designate intern positions based on students’ qualifications related to their field of study and provide career mentoring by senior staff or board members.
“We are excited to establish this partnership with Northern New Mexico College and work together to develop the next generation of leaders for the DOE complex,” said L&A CEO Bonnie Longenecker. “Investing in Northern New Mexico is a key priority for L&A and we are proud to support our first two scholarship recipients.”
The first two recipients are Marissa Armijo, a junior pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration in Project Management and CrisS Mae Palalon, a sophomore working toward a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Both were nominated by their department chairs.
Marissa Armijo is a resident of Española, N.M., who hopes to pursue a master’s in business administration after completing her bachelor’s degree. Armijo is grateful for the financial assistance but is especially excited about the opportunity to apply for an internship, which would move her closer to her career goals of working for LANL or a subcontractor such as Longenecker. She has been pursuing apprenticeships or undergraduate employment at LANL.
“I’m really happy to be the recipient of this scholarship. It’s way more than I expected and I’m very grateful that I have this opportunity not only to receive the money but potentially have a position as an intern at Longenecker & Associates. That’s what I value most,” Armijo said.
Chris Mae Palalon, also from Española, holds an Associate of Science in Pre-professional Health Sciences from the University of New Mexico – Los Alamos. Her goals are to protect and prevent environmental problems. Palalon would also like to pursue an internship at LANL. Regardless of whether she achieves that goal, she plans on applying to LANL after graduation.
“I feel honored that I’m one of the luckiest students to get this scholarship. It will make a huge impact,” Palalon said. “First, it will help me with paying for my tuition as well as books and supplies and perhaps a new computer. It will also help me to graduate with my bachelor's degree and have access to mentors and internships and maybe access to LANL as well.”
This new scholarship furthers NNMC’s mission of ensuring student success by providing access to affordable, community-based learning opportunities that meet the educational, cultural and economic needs of the region.
“The Northern community is grateful to Longenecker & Associates for their generous support,” said NNMC’s Interim President, Dr. Barbara Medina. “We know that education is a critical component of our community’s effort to provide our students pathways to their futures.”