VMS announces winner of Taft Conlin Scholarship | VailDaily.com

VMS announces winner of Taft Conlin Scholarship

Alondra Isabella Garcia is the recipient VMS' Taft Conlin Scholarship.
Courtesy photo

Vail Mountain School announced on Feb. 22 that Alondra Isabella Garcia has been awarded the Taft Conlin Scholarship for the incoming freshman class of 2023-24.

Garcia, an eighth-grade Berry Creek Middle School student, completed the application and interview process and will receive a full scholarship to attend Vail Mountain School until graduation.

The Taft Conlin Scholarship was established in 2014 to honor the legacy of Taft Conlin, a student at Vail Mountain School who passed away tragically in an avalanche. The scholarship recognizes incoming upper school students who have demonstrated academic excellence and positively impacted their community.

After an incredibly competitive selection process once again, Garcia was selected for the scholarship based on her academic achievements, leadership skills and commitment to service. She has shown exceptional promise, winning the Gold Bilingual Literacy Award in 2020, participating in Berry Creek Middle School Student Council, and taking on the role of team captain in the YouthPower365 girls soccer team.

In her application for the scholarship, Garcia emphasized the importance of education in her life. “Education is the foundation to sustain stability in my life.” She added, “Everything my parents sacrificed led me to seek a more rigorous high school,” she said.

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The Taft Conlin Scholarship is a scholarship that covers full tuition for the recipient until graduation. The scholarship was created by Taft Conlin’s parents, Dr. Louise Ingalls and Dr. Steve Conlin, with contributions from the Vail community and other members of Taft’s family.

“We established this scholarship to create opportunities for students who truly stand out,” said Ingalls. “Our goal is to open doors for kids who will take full advantage of the learning and networking opportunities that exist at VMS. For us, this is Taft’s legacy. He will live on through the positive effects that the Taft Conlin Scholars will have on their local and global community.”

“(Garcia) is an incredibly motivated student, always striving to dig deeper and understand more thoroughly,” said Caitlin Almond, Garcia’s eighth-grade language arts and AVID teacher at Berry Creek Middle School. “Her hard work and tenacity are contagious in the classroom, causing her to be a positive classroom influence and an excellent leader. She is outspoken and advocates for herself and her peers, often sharing ideas that are creative and complex.”

“Alondra has demonstrated, on many occasions, personal vigor, creativity, and relentless perseverance in both her academic and athletic careers,” said Aldo Merno, Berry Creek Middle School girls soccer coach.

Garcia is excited to join the Vail Mountain School community next year and pursue her academic, athletic and personal goals. VMS congratulates Garcia on this achievement and looks forward to welcoming her into the school’s community in the fall.

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