2019-2020 Opening Doors to Nature Scholarship Application
The Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge announces the Friends of Valle de Oro Scholarship Award Program for the 2019-2020 school year. Under the Program, one Opening Doors to Nature Scholarship in the amount of $500 will be awarded to an undergraduate college student who is planning to pursue an environmentally focused career or is currently enrolled in an undergraduate conservation/environmental degree or certificate program.

Program Guidelines and Priorities:

Applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria in order to apply:

- Attended a New Mexico High School or College and are currently enrolled as an undergraduate in a (2)-year or (4)-year college or university in any location.
- Enrolled in or planning to attend a two (2)-year community college or four (4)-year college or university within the state of New Mexico. Undergraduates only.

Some preference will be given to applicants who have participated in a Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge or Friends of Valle de Oro NWR project, internship, or program, but this service is not required.

Completed applications must be received by the Friends of Valle de Oro no later than Friday August 2nd, 2019. Late applications, or portions of applications, will not be accepted.

Applicants must show proof of enrollment through a College Advisory Verification Form in order to receive the scholarship payment. The College Advisory Verification Form will be provided to you if you are chosen for the scholarship, and must be submitted by Friday September 13, 2019.

The Scholarship will be paid within one week of receipt of the College Advisory Verification Form. The award should be applied to tuition or education related materials (books, field or lab equipment, etc.) in the 2019-2020 school year.

This Scholarship can be awarded to an individual only one time.

Applicants will be required to provide short reports on progress and use of funds by the following deadlines:
• Mid-Term Report: Friday January 10th, 2020
• Final Year-end Report: Friday May 22nd, 2020
A reminder email and/or phone call will be given a week or so prior to the report being due. Your advisor will be notified if reports are not received on time.

Applications will be reviewed and a recipient selected by the Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge Scholarship Committee. The scholarship will be awarded and announced on Thursday August 15th, 2019 and the winner is expected to attend (in personal or digitally) the Friends of Valle de Oro NWR Golden Gala (Saturday, October 26th 5:00pm) to be publicly presented with the award.


If you require a paper form or have questions, please contact:

Aryn LaBrake

Email address *
Last Name *
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First Name *
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Middle Initial *
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Mailing Address Street: *
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Mailing Address City: *
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Mailing Address State *
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Mailing Address Zip: *
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Daytime Telephone Number: *
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Date of Birth: MM/DD/YYYY *
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Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) - On a 4.0 Scale *
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Name and Location of High School: *
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Name and Location of College: *
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Classification for 2019-2020 School Year: *
Anticipated Field(s) of Study: *
In the space below, list public service/community/government activities, internships, projects, volunteer opportunities or work experience in the environment/conservation field. (List in descending order of significance). Be sure to highlight any experiences you may have had at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. *
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What experiences (for example, any of those listed above) have you had that led to your interest in the environmental field and environmental focused career? *
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Describe one specific example of your leadership. *
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Do you have any additional information you would like to share with the scholarship selection committee?
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ESSAY (Not to exceed 2,000 characters). Write a short essay addressing all of the following points: 1. Why you have chosen your anticipated field of study; 2. How will this scholarship help you reach your goal(s); 3. What do you hope to do in your career and what types of job positions are you considering after graduating from college; 4. Describe the environmentally related problems or needs of society you want to address when you enter the work field. *
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Provide the Name, Relationship, and Contact Information (Email and Phone) of TWO References (ex: school counselor, adviser, teacher, coach, principal, mentor, work supervisor, etc.) *
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I hereby affirm that all the above stated information provided by me is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. I also consent, that if chosen as a scholarship winner, my picture may be taken and used to promote the Friends of Valle de Oro Scholarship Program. (Winner may waive photo due to unusual or compelling circumstances.) *
I hereby understand that if chosen as the winner of the 2019-2020 Opening Doors to Nature Education Scholarship, I will have my college advisor complete and submit the College Advisory Verification of Enrollment Form (found in this packet) or a signed letter on official college letterhead verifying my enrollment for the 2019 fall semester by Friday September 13, 2019 or I forfeit my scholarship. *
I hereby understand that if chosen as a scholarship winner, according to the Friends of Valle de Oro Scholarship policy, I will do my best to be present at the October 26th, 2019 Gala which will include the scholarship awards ceremony. (If circumstances do not allow for a physical presence, attendance may be done by digital means.) *
I hereby understand that if chosen as a scholarship winner, I will be responsible for submitting to the Friends of Valle de Oro NWR a one-paragraph mid-year report by Friday January 10, 2020 on the status of my program and a report at the end of the school year by Friday May 22, 2020 stating how the scholarship was used and how it will help me reach my career goal(s). *
I hereby understand I will not submit this application without all required attachments and supporting information. (Application Packet Checklist found below.) Incomplete applications or applications that do not meet eligibility criteria will not be considered for this scholarship. *
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