Every year, Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District awards local high school students with a stewardship certification and cash amount that recognizes their accomplishment in protecting and caring for the environmental.
This year, there were three awardees of the Dan Goodman Scholarship are John Begay, first place, from Belen High School; Ashlyn Ahlgrim, second place, from Los Lunas High School; and Mellene Pablo, third place, from Valencia High School.
The VSWCD Board of Supervisors were able to virtually recognize and congratulate all three students at the July board meeting held on July 18.
Begay’s accomplishments and presentation were exceptional. His knowledge on habitat fragmentation is not only important, but critical when thinking about all lives on this planet. His attention to wildlife, their habitat and how to find ways to give back to the environment into his future plans is critically important for a healthy ecosystem.
Ahlgrim’s love and attention to detail for raising animals is exceptional. She showed a desire to start her own garden at home. She recognized that using rabbit manure helped the plants grow big and healthy enough for her family to eventually enjoy at the dinner table. Her aspirations to teach others the importance of agriculture and horticultural benefits are recognized and honored.
Pablo’s knowledge and accomplishments for raising animals is exceptional. Her focus of detail on clean, accessible water as being a central point of concern means everything. Her drive to be a leading force in thinking about future habitat, water distribution and avenues for everyone to have access to clean, drinkable water is not only important, but critical. Her environmental stewardship and goals to create equitable outdoor access for water will lead to great future goals throughout her career.
The Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District and fellow Valencia County community members wish the recipients all the best success and hope they will be able to address conservation and protection of natural resources in your future pursuits.