The Life Quest Scholarship in special recognition of Dr. Richard F. Rodriguez was established with the Western New Mexico University Foundation in late September. The gift to the WNMU Foundation was presented in a ceremony, which included four other community organizations that received donations from Life Quest, Inc., which closed due to loss of funding from the state and so distributed its liquid assets to area nonprofits in order to continue Life Quest’s legacy in Grant County.
“It’s a lemons into lemonade day,” said Debra Frasca, former CEO of Life Quest, Inc.
Funded through an initial gift of $104,000, the endowed scholarship was created by Debra Frasca and Pam Gibson on behalf of Life Quest, Inc., and its board of directors. The Life Quest Scholarship in special recognition of Dr. Richard F. Rodriguez is meant to support WNMU students pursuing careers in special education and also WNMU students who have disabilities and are majoring in any field.
“A university is part of the fabric of the community, and Life Quest has been a major part of this community. They’re leaving a legacy of supporting various causes locally. Students are the beneficiaries of this,” WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard said.
The endowed scholarship commemorates the 45 years that Life Quest has served southwest New Mexico by empowering people and families with or at risk of developmental disabilities.
“It’s a real honor to have Life Quest carried on in that way,” Frasca said.
Named in part after Dr. Rodriguez, the scholarship also honors the professor who taught special education at WNMU from 1980-2007 and who served on Life Quest’s board for more than a quarter century.
Candidates for the Life Quest Scholarship in special recognition of Dr. Richard F. Rodriguez must be New Mexico residents who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. They may be undergraduate juniors or seniors or degree-seeking full-time graduate students. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of both merit and need. The awarded funds may be put toward tuition, fees or books.
Any interested individual, corporation or foundation may make additional gifts to the Life Quest Scholarship in special recognition of Dr. Richard F. Rodriguez at any time. Contributions may be made by calling the WNMU Foundation at 575-538-6310.