New Mexico State University freshman Mariah Garcia of Albuquerque is one of 11 high school graduates nationwide to receive the John S. Martinez Scholarship from the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.
The Del Norte High School graduate was presented the $3,000 scholarship by State Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, Dist. 15, at the NMSU-Albuquerque Center prior to her departure to Las Cruces for her first semester.
Information from NMSU
The John S. Martinez Scholarship is a collaboration of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, the Council of State Governments, Comcast media technology corporation, and Hispanic state legislators. It is part of NHCSL’s “Closing the Educational Achievement Gap” Initiative, which has the goal to create meaningful learning opportunities and experiences for Hispanic students.
“In memory of Connecticut State Rep. John S. Martinez, who was president of the NHCSL in 2001-2002, this scholarship awards students that demonstrate leadership and dedication to their community, just as Rep. Martinez did throughout his political career,” said Ivey-Soto, a member of the NHCSL who presented the scholarship check to Garcia.
“It’s an honor to present this check to Mariah, especially since her high school is in my district,” Ivey-Soto said. “We want to encourage outstanding young people like Mariah to continue their education, because they are our future leaders.”
Garcia said the one-time scholarship of $3,000 will be added to the 10 other scholarships she received to pay for her education.
The daughter of Barbara Garcia has not declared a major emphasis for her degree work, but said she wants to go into a profession that helps people, possibly with hearing impairments.
Public service is a vital part of Garcia’s life. In the scholarship application essay she shared what public service means to her.
The recipient of the Albuquerque Public School Foundation’s Selfless Senior honor encouraged her classmates to be involved in public service.
“We created a community service committee where my classmates worked with Roadrunner Food Bank,” Garcia said of her work while senior class president. “Usually, students are only focused on events during their senior year like prom and homecoming. We wanted them to get involved in the community.”
As a Key Club member, Garcia participated in a service project with Best Buddies, an organization that works with youth with special needs. During her high school days, she also participated in tennis team, performing arts and chorus while working 20 hours a week at Dion’s Pizza.
Her public service was nurtured by the many different roles she participated in at her church, Prince of Peace Catholic Church. Beginning at the age of 7, she was an altar server. She has mentored younger children by being a teacher of their class, catechism class and music.
“I’m excited that I’m an Aggie and hope to continue my public service while attending school in Las Cruces,” she said. “Go Aggies!”
For more information about NHCSL and the scholarship, visit http://nhcsl.org.