Susan Straight Scholarship Fund Recipients – Raimy Engel & Justin Garcia

The two recipients of this year’s scholarships, will speak to us about what receiving the scholarship means to them and how it will support their educational journeys.
Justin Garcia is a native New Mexican and a recent graduate of New Mexico Highlands University with a BA in social work. As an intern at Gerard’s house, he experienced the joys of supporting young people in their grief journeys after losing a loved one. He decided to continue working with children and young adults experiencing trauma and loss. He has been accepted into the Advanced Standing program at NM Highlands which will enable him to get a master’s degree in one year instead of two. The scholarship is greatly appreciated and will enable him to pay for summer classes toward that end.
Raimy Engel is a student in Southwestern College’s Counseling and Art Therapy MA program. She is presently co-facilitating an adult grief group at Gerard’s House and interning as a student therapist at the Santa Fe Adult Detention Facility. Society labels those caught up in our justice system as criminals and with that label comes stigma and shame. She feels passionately that justice-involved people deserve the same care and regard as anyone else. There is much work to be done to improve societal attitudes and systems so people have safe and supportive places to go upon release. She is grateful for the scholarship which will be applied toward her coursework at Southwestern College.
Nicole Maes-Gonzales is the Executive Director of Gerard’s House and has been instrumental in helping to identify this year’s scholarship recipients.