Connections: Linking Talented Educators
Connections: Linking Talented Educators

Building a Legacy: The Melanie Maynes-Alfaro Scholarship

May 17, 2018

Melanie Alfaro scholarship 1000w2

When Melanie Alfaro (NM '17) received her $25,000 Milken Educator Award check, she knew immediately that some of it would be going right back to her community in southern New Mexico.

Creating the Melanie Maynes-Alfaro Scholarship for Deming High School students "is something that I have always wanted to do, but never got around to doing," Melanie says. "After I won the Milken Award, my husband and I simply wanted to bless a young graduating person in our town. We were very excited to give back." This year's winner is Abel Chavez, who will study psychology at the University of Utah.

Melanie set a high bar for earning the $1,000 scholarship. In order to qualify, Deming seniors had to meet a stringent set of criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Two-sport athlete
  • Member of the National Junior Honor Society
  • Proof of participation in a non-profit local organization
  • Proof of community service

Applicants had to write a brief narrative explaining why they believed they should receive the scholarship. They also had to provide a high school transcript; three letters of reference, from a coach, teacher, and community member; and an acceptance letter into a college or university. Because of the high standard, only three students applied for the award, which was publicized in school announcements at Deming High School and in the community's local newspaper.

As of now, Melanie and her husband plan to award the scholarship each year. "As an educator, I have the opportunity to impact hundreds of students' lives each year," she says. "This scholarship lets me help one special student venture out into the world each year to continue his or her education. And that makes me incredibly happy."

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