This is my first Scholarship I have ever received and it means the world to be part of such a perfect program. I am endlessly grateful for the recognition and for all of my academic and leadership endeavors. This scholarship is much more than an extremely generous financial aid. The NMLI program builds great skills and connections with other recipients and staff. These connections have opened many new doors for me. I have received more help than I ever thought possible by the university faculty and staff I have met through this program, who have helped me be more than ready for college. This has been a life changing opportunity, which I will always be grateful for. – Kevin Prieto

Gabriel Max Gallegos Senior PicI am not sure what my life would look right now if I hadn’t been chosen for the New Mexico Leadership Institute. Being a part of NMLI has made a profound impact on every aspect of my life.  Because of the program, I now have a true passion for being an active agent of change in New Mexico.  It has given me a love for my state and my community, and shown me that I can use my talents and abilities to make a huge difference. NMLI has also taught me a lot about leadership and organizing people to do great things. Being mentored by some of our state’s finest leaders has been a great model for me in how I lead in my spheres of life, and I always think back to what they taught me when making any major decisions. I am in true awe of the other NMLI scholars, and can’t wait to see what we can do as a collective someday.

But moreover, Mr. Burrell’s incredible $25,000 grant is truly giving me the opportunity to pursue a high level of education at the University of New Mexico. The scholarship is an amazing gift to my family and myself, but it is even more a huge investment in the future leaders of New Mexico.  – Gabriel Gallegos

I’m Livier Arevalo, a senior at Pojoaque Valley High School, and I have had the privilege of being selected as a New Mexico Leadership Institute scholar. Being able to have this opportunity has sure been a blessing to my family and I. Growing up I knew I wanted to go college, graduate, and get a steady job, but I also knew it was a financial burden on my parents. Neither of my parents were able to attend college, because of this. Having 3 younger siblings also played a factor in making the choice to get a job or go to college. Thanks to NMLI I will be able to attend the University of New Mexico in the fall of 2014. I knew I wanted to make a difference in my community and give back to my parents for all of the support they’ve given me. In the summer of 2013, I was able to meet all of the other scholars at the summer academy in Las Cruces and also every one that helped make this all possible. It was truly an amazing experience and I’ve made some great relationships and friendships that will last a lifetime. I encourage every junior in high school in the state of New Mexico to strive for excellence and if you want to make a difference in your community and know that there are several people behind you, wanting you to succeed, I would highly recommend applying for the NMLI scholarship. It isn’t only a scholarship, it is a great group of people giving you the tools and tips to become an excellent student in college and a great leader for the future of New Mexico.  – Livier Aravalo

Not only has The Leadership Institute offered me a priceless opportunity to learn from other great leaders at the college I will attend next semester, but it has also generously given me the financial aid I need to complete my education. Without The Leadership Institute, I would not have the friendships I have made in the other scholars, the peace of mind about my own financial aid status, or the leadership skills that I have developed throughout this program. I would like to encourage those who want to apply to go ahead and do so, because it is an excellent educational and fun program with people who genuinely care about your future. – Sarah McEachern

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