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Del Norte CU Awards Scholarships to Three Nursing Students

SANTA FE, New Mexico, June 12, 2020—Del Norte Credit Union (DNCU), northern New Mexico’s hometown financial cooperative, is proud to announce that the Venessa Valerio Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to three nursing students attending Northern New Mexico College in Española. Each recipient will receive $1,040 towards continuing their education within the nursing program at NNMC.

“We were inspired to make this commitment in order to help students on the path to fulfilling their career dreams,” says Chuck Valenti, DNCU CEO/President. “This is a way to honor the memory of Venessa Valerio, a child born in this community whose life was tragically shortened, and was never able to fulfill her dreams.”

DNCU first learned of the story from a DNCU employee who had befriended Vanessa prior to her passing.  In addition, the dedication of “Vanessa’s Hideaway” playground within DNCU’s own adopted Valdez Park in Española brought additional attention to the impact of Vanessa’s story on the community.  With both a dedication to giving back to the community and newfound inspiration from Annette, Venessa’s mother, the college became a natural choice for scholarships from DNCU.

The mission of Northern New Mexico College is to ensure student success by providing access to affordable, community-based learning opportunities that meet the educational, cultural, and economic needs of the region. DNCU is making its donations through the Northern New Mexico College Foundation, which supports the school.

“This scholarship will help me achieve my goal of becoming a nurse, but it will also give me an opportunity to give back to underserved communities, much like the one I was raised in back home, in Washington D.C.” explained Chicqueeta Whitaker, a DNCU scholarship recipient and current nursing student at NNMC.

2020 Venessa Valerio Memorial DNCU Scholarship Recipients

  • Leah DeAguero, Española, NM

  • Ella Leschnitzer, Los Alamos, NM

  • Chicqueeta Whitaker, Washington D.C.

Chartered in 1954, Del Norte Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union based in New Mexico with a mission of Improving Lives. DNCU offers a wide variety of products and services designed to make members achieve financial success. Today DNCU serves more than 52,000 members throughout New Mexico and the United States.


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