Bridget Llanes, a UNM junior majoring in Environmental Planning with a minor in Sustainability Studies, has been awarded the Morris Udall & Stewart Udall Foundation scholarship.
The Foundation awards 50 scholarships of $5,000 to junior and senior college students that are committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy or Native health care. Llanes applied for the environment category.
“I am so grateful to receive the Udall Scholarship because it enables me to complete my last year at UNM successfully,” Llanes said. “Sen. Morris K. Udall is an inspiration and I feel so privileged that his scholarship acknowledged me.”
Llanes, a UNM Service Corp member and coordinator for El Centro de la Raza training student mentors and academic coaches, said that she is passionate about empowering communities to work towards the transformation of environmental and social injustices. “I believe that when we work towards transforming injustices, we can create opportunities for community building, knowledge sharing and the development of innovative solutions,” she said.
Before coming to UNM, Llanes worked in the South Bronx and Lower East side of New York City to create and maintain community gardens, and through this work, organized environmental education summer camp for high school students.
She is conducting research on the Kirkland Air Force Base jet fuel spill, contributing to cases involving environmental injustice. She is also exploring ways to work with the Albuquerque International District towards the remediation of the spill.
“There is tremendous value in working with others towards equity for all people,” Llanes said. “El Centro de la Raza has been instrumental in helping me see that as I become a college graduate, I create bridges and form pathways for many others to be successful too.
Llanes is a McNair scholar and an El Puente Fellow, and also a recipient of Ida Romero Scholarship, Pearson Foundation Scholarship and American Association of University Women scholarship.
The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is a federal agency providing programs to promote leadership, education, collaboration and conflict resolution in the areas of environment, public lands and natural resources in order to strengthen Native nations, assist federal agencies and others to resolve environmental conflicts, and to encourage the continued use and appreciation of our nation’s rich resources.