Posted: May 14, 2013

16 APS Seniors Receive Sandia National Labs Thunderbird Awards

Award includes $1,500 to help with higher education costs.

Kristine Jordan of Volcano Vista High was one of 16 APS students who received a Thunderbird Award.

Sixteen Albuquerque Public Schools seniors were among the 23 students from the Albuquerque area recognized with Thunderbird Awards by Sandia National Laboratories.

The awards, which were presented during a luncheon on Wednesday, recognize high school seniors, who through hard work and determination, overcome great personal difficulties to achieve their goals. They also include a $1,500 cash award.

“These students show great strength to overcome many obstacles and graduate,” said APS Superintendent Winston Brooks. “They, along with the family members, teachers and administrators who support them, demonstrate how perseverance in the face of adversity can pay off. We are very proud of them.”

Kim Sawyer, deputy laboratories director and executive vice president of Sandia National Laboratories, introduced the awards and the winners.

“As Thunderbird Award winners, these young men and women exemplify the triumph of the human spirit over adversity and it is fitting that we honor their achievements,” Sawyer said.

The APS seniors receiving awards and their high schools were Cheyene Andrews, Sandia High; Montie Avery, Eldorado High;  Erica Baca, Manzano High; Steven Bishop, Valley High; Estrella Cardenas, School on Wheels; Ismael Chavez, Atrisco Heritage Academy; Raven Haldane, Freedom High; and Kristine Jordan, Volcano Vista High.

Also receiving awards and their high schools were Yuri Loera, Highland High; Karen McGuire, Cibola High; Jazlin Mendoza, Albuquerque High; Misty Osterholt, La Cueva High; Tabitha Sanchez, New Futures High; Aiden Tracey, West Mesa High; Raquel Trujillo, Rio Grande High; and Raquel Vega, Del Norte High.

The students are nominated by their schools and must have a grade point average of at least 2.5 or be in the top 40 percent of their graduating class and have a plan for their future.

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