Nusenda Partners with APS to Help With Summer School Expenses

Jul 19, 2017
Scholarships focus on high school students who need summer school courses to graduate

Scholarships focus on high school students who need summer school courses to graduate

As part of its continuing commitment to Albuquerque Public Schools, Nusenda Credit Union since 2015 has provided scholarship support for summer school courses that allow high school seniors to receive their diplomas.


Summer school tuition at APS is typically $500 for two classes and must be paid in advance. Over this three-year partnership, Nusenda has supported 25 percent of the summer graduates each year, helping 100 students reach their goal of graduating on time with their peers, said Shana Runck, Nusenda’s AVP of Community Relations and Financial Capability.


 “This is one component of our robust support for APS students, parents, teachers, and administrators,” Runck said. “While discounts for summer school tuition are available for low-income families who qualify for free or reduced lunch, an expense such as this could be a barrier for seniors who need summer school courses to graduate on time and do not have other types of financial assistance.”


For many of Nusenda’s scholarship recipients, they will be the first in their family to graduate from high school or the first to attend college. Many of the students also live in single-parent homes.


Antoinette Chavira, one of this year’s Nusenda scholarship recipients, said she was in and out of the school system while growing up. Now, at 21, she will receive her high school diploma – being the first in her family to do so. She’s also this year’s student commencement speaker, and plans to attend Central New Mexico Community College and the University of New Mexico to study psychiatry.


“I grew up in poverty, and there wasn’t time or money for extracurricular activities. I also missed a lot of school,” she said. “Now, I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m looking forward to talking about ambition and overcoming obstacles at our commencement.”


Iridian Hernandez, another Nusenda scholarship recipient, said that along with the summer school courses, she’s taken three online classes to get back on track academically. Upon graduation, she plans to join the Army Reserves and train as a combat medic, then go on to college to study oncology or dermatology.


“This scholarship really helped me – I had so many classes I had to pay for,” she said. “But my Army sergeant pushed me to succeed, as well as all the people here at school. “I started school on a bad foot and I never thought I’d graduate. It seemed so out of reach. But with a lot of hard work, here I am.”


“Many of our summer graduates have faced personal obstacles including financial struggles on their journey to earning their diploma, yet they persevered. They also got a much needed helping hand from Nusenda,” said APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy. “The scholarships provided by our long-time community partner have helped many students earn the credits they need to become high school graduates. We appreciate this support, and we appreciate all that Nusenda does for Albuquerque Public Schools.”


This year’s summer high school graduation is scheduled for July 21, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Kiva Auditorium in the Albuquerque Convention Center.


For more information on APS’s Summer Learning Programs, visit

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