CELEBRATING 2022 SCHOLARS The Telluride Foundation Awards Annual College Scholarships

  • Published
  • On June 13, 2022

TELLURIDE, Colo. – (June 10, 2022) – The Telluride Foundation has helped students achieve their dream of getting to college since its inception in 2000, and this year, through its Chang Chavkin Scholars Program, the Foundation awarded a record number of scholarships. At graduation and award ceremonies this spring, the Telluride Foundation awarded almost $400,000 in scholarships to 15 students. Scholarships to 2022 graduates included: six Chang Chavkin Scholar awards, up to $60,000 per student; $4,000 in Chang Chavkin Scholar finalist awards; a $20,000 Neil Armstrong Scholarship, as well as a $4,000 Prize; and five $1,000 Telluride Foundation Scholarships.

On KOTO Community Radio’s virtual Telluride High School Awards Night on May 24th, graduating senior Ruby Tanguay received the ninth annual $20,000 Neil Armstrong Scholarship. Tanguay was selected from a very competitive pool of applicants from the Telluride, Norwood, Ouray, Ridgway, and West End school districts. The scholarship committee based their decision on her outstanding academics, strong interest in science, perseverance, and financial need. Tanguay will be attending University of Washington, studying engineering.

The Scholarship Committee also wanted to recognize the STEM academic achievement of Sean Hart, graduating from Ouray High School, and awarded him with a $4,000 Neil Armstrong “Prize.” Hart plans to attend Colorado School of Mines, majoring in mechanical or environmental engineering.

The friends and family of Neil Armstrong created the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund to honor the achievements and character of the late American hero and astronaut who died in 2012. The Neil Armstrong Scholarship is awarded each year to a regional high school student pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM).

The Telluride Foundation also provides $1,000 scholarships to recipients who are selected by the school administrations of each of the five regional school districts.  Seniors receiving the Telluride Foundation Scholarship include: Joshua Alexander (Norwood), Kaylee Redd (West End), Kaden Nelson (Ouray), Chris Pohorecki (Ridgway), and August EarthTree (Telluride).

Every year the Chang Chavkin Scholars Program, an initiative of the Telluride Foundation, looks forward to selecting a new round of Scholars, who are currently juniors who will graduate the following year. “This year we had an incredibly strong and diverse pool of applicants,” said Valene Baskfield, Director of the Program. “Given the educational challenges of COVID, it was amazing to see how well students in this region are doing. Yes, it speaks to the resilience of the students. It also speaks to the resilience of our regional schools.” In previous years, the Program has selected four to six Scholars a year. This year, ten new rising seniors were selected based on “their ability to dig deep and stay strong despite numerous challenges. These new Scholars want to do something with what their life experiences have taught them,” said Baskfield.  This year’s application pool included 45 applicants from 8 regional school districts – Montrose, Ridgway, Ouray, Telluride, Norwood, Nucla/Naturita, Dolores, and Montezuma-Cortez. Rising seniors selected as Scholars, who will receive scholarship next year include: Morgan Weimer (Nucla), Megan Schmalz (Cortez), Andrea Peralta-Villa (Ridgway), Talon Johnson (Cortez), Izabella Balfour (Cortez), Jennifer Gutierrez (Montrose), Yoselin Hernandez-Gonzalez (Norwood), Gadiel Castillo (Montrose), Trinity Huff (Montrose), and Anthony Ordonez Mendez (Telluride).

Graduating seniors receiving scholarships, who became Chang Chavkin Scholars in their junior year and worked with Baskfield over the past year on their college applications, include River Manly (Ouray HS), Jaime Vanchaik (Montrose HS), Shylee Graf (Cortez HS), Cooper Ahern (Ridgway HS), Mia Martinez (Montrose HS), and Pragati Chaudhary (Montrose HS).

The Chang Chavkin Scholars Program provides college scholarships, college advising, and support to selected high achieving first-generation students. The scholarship alone is up to $60,000 over four years; however, the real aim of the Program is to work with students once selected at the end of their junior year, to find the best match school that meets their potential. Supporting Chang Chavkin Scholars, according to Baskfield, “is not a blanket approach. It’s not one size fits all.  We provide differentiation depending on each scholars needs, interests, and strengths.” Scholars receive ongoing college advising and support to ensure they have accurate information and essential resources to attend their best fit school based on affordability and quality of education. For more information on the Chang Chavkin Scholars Program: https://changchavkinscholars.org/.

The Telluride Foundation partners with several organizations and committees who provide scholarships to deserving students, including the Elaine Fischer Visual Arts, Latina, and Andy Handley scholarships. Also this year, the Foundation entered into an agreement with San Miguel Power Association to help administer their scholarships. “We are grateful for all the generous donors who support these scholarships and are inspired by the scholars with their goals of obtaining a college degree. This is an investment in empowering the next generation of regional leaders,” said Jason Corzine, President & CEO of the Telluride Foundation.

The Telluride Foundation is committed to enriching the quality of life of the residents, workforce, and visitors of the Telluride region. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that makes grants and runs programs in arts, education, health and human services, community development, and social enterprises. The Foundation strives to achieve excellence for the community through its mission and core values of inclusion, self-reliance, and innovation. Our work is funded through the generous support of hundreds of donors as well as grants from state and national foundations. Pease visit www.telluridefoundation.org.