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Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico has announced scholarships to Doña Ana Community College and New Mexico State University have been awarded to 11 Las Cruces Public Schools high school seniors and four continuing college students.
All 15 of the students currently are or have previously faced homelessness, Catholic Charities said in a news release.
Through a $75,000 donation from an anonymous benefactor, Catholic Charities was able to award 15 $5,000 scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year. The students awarded have varying interests, ranging from striving to attain a trade certificate or associate’s degree from DACC to taking courses at NMSU to earn a bachelor’s degree. All of the students plan to delve into careers that benefit the public good via service to their community. A majority are first-generation college students.
"This scholarship has helped me to become more involved within my community and on campus, as well as played a role in propelling me forward as a first-generation female college student in the field of pharmacy,” one second-year recipient said of the scholarship.
“Receiving this scholarship has made me have greater hope for my future,” A first-time recipient said. “Money has always been a big fear factor when it comes to thinking about my future, but now I have the additional help needed so that I can pursue a college education.”
In 2021, the National Center for Homeless Education reported more than 1.3 million public school students were homeless in the United States. That number represents 2.5 percent of the total number of students enrolled in public schools. In addition, The National Center for Homeless Education reported 9,033 homeless children/youth were enrolled in New Mexico public schools for the 2019-2020 school year, representing 2.7 percent of the state’s student population.
Community members interested in assisting homeless high school and college students may contact Catholic Charities at 575-527-0500 or make a donation online at www.catholiccharitiesdlc.org.