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Scholarships awarded to determined students


Soroptimist International of Las Cruces (SILC) has recognized three Las Cruces women for their determination in pursuing their education despite personal hardships.

 Receiving SILC “Live Your Dream” (LYD) education grants were Julissa Robinson, Katrina (surname withheld) and Annika Saenz of Las Cruces, along with Domonique Valenzuela and Ilsse Carrasco of Horizon City, Texas, SILC said in a news release.

In addition to scholarship funding, first-place winner Valenzuela received a new laptop computer from Doña Ana County Commissioner Shannon Reynolds and his wife, Maggie Reynolds.

Winners were chosen by community judges Christine Rivera, Marianne Lappin and Lisa Lucca.

Valenzuela is studying architecture at Texas Tech University College of Architecture.

Robinson is pursuing a business degree at Doña Ana Community College. The Crimson Scholar said the LYD award will help her gain the skills she needs to successfully open a business.

“The LYD is an award that gives me hope that good things can still happen regardless of the bad things in your past,” Robinson said said.

Katrina is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fire science. When on-base childcare was closed due to the pandemic, she decided to separate from the military, move in with family and return to school full time. “Continuing this education and training will help support me in reaching my goal of pursuing a fulfilling career in serving the community,” she said. The LYD award will help with transportation and childcare expenses, she said.

Saenz is also pursuing a bachelor of science degree in nursing. The award will help replace wages lost during the pandemic.

“This grant will be a huge difference in helping me afford my education and support my children now, while I build a strong foundation to support them in the future,” Saenz said.

The LYD awards were made possible by a grant from the John and Eunice Davidson Fund and generous community support, SILC said.

Founded in 1970, SILC is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, a global volunteer nonprofit that works to improve the lives of women and girls through community-based programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

Visit www.silcnm.org.