Youth in Foster Care Scholarship Program

2021 Scholarship Recipients: Alyssa Cervantes, Audrey Ritchie &
Christianna Wilson

Jim and Ann Nelson were long-time volunteers for CASA, (Court Appointed Special Advocates) an organization that oversees care for children in state custody.  CASA volunteers speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. They have seen first-hand the resources available for a child’s support up until their 18th birthday when they age out of the foster care program and they wanted to help ensure the opportunity for a successful transition into adulthood.

The Nelson’s student aid fund will make awards to young adults aging out of foster care who want to develop a marketable skill or continue their education at a post-secondary school.  They hope they can positively impact the lives of young people who have already suffered from the insecurity of an unstable childhood.

 Applicants may be high school graduating seniors or recent graduates, or those with a GED certificate or an undergraduate in college.  Students may attend a nonprofit or public educational institute in New Mexico or out-of-state and go to school full time or part-time.

One to two awards up to $1,000 will be given annually.

Criteria and Guidelines:

Applicant must be:

  • A New Mexico resident for a minimum of one year
  • In the New Mexico foster care system for a minimum of one year
  • Between the ages of 17 and 21 at time of initial application
  • An undergraduate college student
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA 2.5 for high school OR
  • Have completed a GED program OR
  • Have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in college

For questions regarding the Youth in Foster Care Scholarship, contact Denise Nava.


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