AYWISTEM Scholarship Recipients
This year, the New Mexico Out-of-School Time Network is pleased to award Advancing Young Women in STEM scholarships to 12 incredible women. Their pictures and bios are below in alphabetical order. Congratulations to our awardees!!
Olivia Cole is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and graduated salutatorian from eCADEMY High School in 2023. She is excited to begin as an undergraduate student in the University of New Mexico's anthropology department, where she hopes to gain the necessary knowledge and experience to excel in forensic anthropology graduate school programs in the future. She credits her time as a New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science volunteer and Key Club president for inspiring her to pursue a career in STEM with human rights applications. Some of her hobbies include embroidery, reading, and writing. At the moment she is a volunteer at UNM's Museum of Southwestern Biology, where she helps process specimens for the Division of Mammals. She is extremely thankful for the Advancing Young Women in STEM scholarship, which will help her pursue her academic goals.
Asia Gonzalez is a 2020 graduate from College and Career High School, graduating with not just her High school diploma, but two degrees in Fine Arts and Health Wellness and Public Safety. After a temporary manufacturing job recommended by her grandmother introduced her to the world of engineering, she realized her passion for STEM and joined STEM Core and Hackerspace, STEM based groups, to continue her education and experiences in robotics, coding, and engineering outside of the classroom. Upon finishing her Associates next summer, she will transfer to UNM to finish her Bachelors in electrical Engineering. She has always loved puzzles, problem solving, and helping people, and hopes to use her education to help solve some of the world’s problems. She is grateful to everyone who has pushed and motivated her, as well as the NMOST scholarship that is helping her achieve her goals.
My name is Amber Hagelbarger (pronounced hey-gul-bar-gur). I am a senior at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington, New Mexico. I am completely committed to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and plan on participating in their dual bachelor’s program. This program consists of two stacked years of prerequisites to their nursing program. Thankfully, these prerequisites count as a bachelor’s in human sciences. I plan to get my nursing degree immediately, after only two years. The best part is that I will be just barely turning 18 years old in September. A little about me, I am a complete nerd. The word "nerd" sounds almost derogatory; however, I love it. I love learning so much. Throughout my academic career, I’ve always been known as the "smart kid that tries too hard". Quite frankly, I do try hard, but at no point would I ever consider "too hard" to actually exist.
Corinna Harrower of Arroyo Seco, NM, recently graduated from Taos High School as part of the class of 2023. She is attending Montana State University and pursuing environmental engineering as her major. Corrina hopes to be a resource in the future to help rural communities, like her own, that have suffered from environmental disasters.
Cassidy Heath was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over her eighteen years here, she has observed the much-needed help that this city needs. She wants to pursue a career as a paramedic to help her community. She will do this by attending the University of New Mexico in the fall. She is passionate about rock climbing, hiking, creative pursuits, and above all, Jesus. She hopes to be a light to her community, and draw other people closer to Christ. Lastly, she is extremely grateful for receiving this scholarship, and she would like to say thank you to NMOST for helping pave the way for future women in STEM.
Sierra Martin, a homeschool graduate from Rio Rancho, NM, is a Biology major at Westmont College, where she is a Presidential Scholar and has earned an athletic scholarship to play women's soccer. In her college freshman season, Sierra played in the National Championship Tournament and had a shot-on-goal average of 1.000. In high school, she earned the Offensive Player of the Year award at Rio Rancho High School and won the 2022 State Cup as Captain of her club soccer team. Sierra is the first female Eagle Scout in New Mexico and the 4th girl in the nation to earn all 137 Boy Scout Merit Badges, joining fewer than 500 youth in the organization's history to complete this feat. She attended World Scout Jamboree with Scouts from 150 countries and backpacked the famous Philmont Scout Ranch twice. Sierra was active in Science Olympiad throughout high school, winning the State Championship in 2019 and 2020 and attending Nationals in 2019. With over 500 hours of community service and a commitment to mentoring younger Scouts as an Assistant Scoutmaster, Sierra is poised to make a significant impact in her field and beyond.
Throughout high school, Olivia McFaul has been a part of a variety of groups and organizations that encouraged her interest in STEM and helped her develop her leadership abilities. Since she was young Olivia has always had an interest in STEM, cultivated by her amazing teachers, the science fair, and STEM focused summer camps. It’s Olivia’s ambition to always be learning and to make an impact wherever her future takes her. She plans to continue her education after high school by studying Biological Sciences.
Jordyn Montoya graduated from Los Lunas High School as valedictorian of her class in 2023. She has always had a fascination with space, participating in many after school activities, even throughout elementary school. Her first dream job as a 7-year-old girl was to be an astronaut but her junior year physics teacher was the one that inspired her into finding her passion for engineering. In the fall she will be attending Colorado State University majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace hoping to one day work on projects that will make the world a better place. She hopes to come back one day to her home state and serve the people that have made her who she is. She is so grateful to have received this scholarship to help her in achieving her dreams.
My name is Christina Sanders and I was born and raised in New Mexico. I am a graduate of Eldorado High School (EHS) class of 2023 and a graduate of Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) class of 2023 with two certificates. I am now starting my first year at Washington State University (WSU) as a Sophomore studying Animal Science. Through an internship at TLC Pet Hospital, I found my desire to pursue a career as a veterinary animal doctor. I want to thank the doctors and technicians at TLC who helped me bloom and learn more about the veterinary field. In my free time, I love to foster cats, learn dance choreographies, and draw. I am very thankful to receive the NMOST scholarship to help me on my journey at WSU.
Desirae Suina is from Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico, and a 2023 graduate from Santa Fe Indian School. This coming fall, she will be attending George Mason University, where she will be studying Forensic Science. Her interest in STEM came from her father, who was inspired and encouraged by his aunts to go into the STEM field. Throughout High school, she has participated in the National Honors Society and internships, which gave her the support to pursue her goals. Desirae hopes to work with the FBI to gain more insight and bring representation when it comes to Indigenous people in the field of forensic science, as well as bring awareness to the cases involving Indigenous people in hopes of bringing justice. In her free time, she enjoys painting, music, volleyball, and spending time with family and friends. She is grateful to receive the NMOST scholarship to help pursue her future endeavors.
At UNM, Angelica Trillo will be studying Mechanical Engineering and Minoring in Studio Art. Through both programs to hopes to use both her creativity and technical knowledge to create solutions to a variety of problems that engineers face in the world today. Since an early age she has always been interested in STEAM and making a difference in the world. In high school she participated in Kode with Klossy where she learned to code in various languages, was a fellow with the Council of International Affairs in Santa Fe and was a National Qualifier for National History Day in 2021, 2020, and 2019. Through her melting pot of experiences, she hopes to use all her knowledge and experiences to create a well-rounded and educated career as an Automotive Engineer after graduation. Angelica is extremely grateful for receiving the NMOST scholarship and their support in continuing to pursue her dreams.
Rhyen Vigil is a 2023 graduate of Peñasco High School. Alongside graduating high school, she also completed an Associate of Science in Pre-Science through The University of New Mexico-Taos. In middle school she participated in a conservation camp through the Taos Soil and Water Conservation District and in high school she held a watershed internship with River Source. Raised in Northern New Mexico, she has always been passionate about the forest and the outdoors and is now preparing for a career in natural resource management. In the Fall, she will be attending New Mexico Highlands University to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Conservation Management. She wants to directly influence the way that people and the natural environment coexist and thrive in New Mexico. She is grateful to everyone at NMOST for the work that they do and for this opportunity.