RIO RANCHO — The Schuman Foundation celebrated 10 years of helping Sandoval County students pursue their education beyond high school Thursday.
The Schumann Foundation was developed by Douglas and Marie Schumann, who moved to Rio Rancho in 1987 to enjoy retirement. The Schumanns immediately found their place in the realm of volunteerism and community service. The couple joined the Kiwanis Club in Rio Rancho shortly after moving to New Mexico, and Marie Schumann served as a leader in the community until her passing in 1999.
Douglas Schumann served as lieutenant governor for Division Two of the Kiwanis Club and was a member of the Corrales Club. He also served as president of the Rio Rancho Kiwanis Club.
Since forming in 2013, the Schumann Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to Sandoval County students to help with the cost of higher education by providing scholarships for trade school, nursing school or college.
The Schumann Foundation has contributed more than $1,001,333 in scholarships to 44 schools across the country, and 346 applicants have received financial support from the Schumann Foundation.
Several students who have been awarded scholarships through the foundation were in attendance at the 10-year anniversary celebration at the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Sept. 21.
Julie Jaramillo, who is in her third year of an educational psychology Ph.D. program at the University of New Mexico, received her undergraduate degree in 2002 and decided to go back to school in 2020. The Schumann Foundation was there to help her.
“Thank you to the Schumann Foundation and board. I really appreciate everything, the opportunities that you’ve created for me and for inviting me here personally, and providing me with two scholarships,” Jaramillo said. “I work full time. I’m a mom full time. And so I’m not necessarily eligible for need-based aid. Most of the funding opportunities for graduate students are really intended for traditional graduate students who are going to school kind of continuously and who are available to be graduate assistants and things like that. So the Schumann Foundation really helped make my dream of going back to school much more attainable.”
Gabriel Saldivar, a Cleveland High School graduate and current student at UNM, said the Schumann Foundation was life-changing for him.
“They have just been a lot of help to me, especially because, and my first year it was during COVID, and I had really bad grades just in general and I actually almost flunked out of my first year,” Saldivar said. “And luckily, I didn’t, but I received my scholarship, my free scholarship that UNM gave me, so I had to figure out a way to pay that and the foundation stepped in and they got me a scholarship.”
Schumann established an endowment, before his passing, to fund this program.
“We look at your grades and those kinds of things. But as long as you’re a resident of Sandoval County, you can apply for a scholarship with us, and even come back every year. So if you’re a freshman, you can come back for four years if your grades are good,” Schumann Foundation President Tim Sheahan said.
Sandoval County Commissioners Dave Heil and Michael Meek were in attendance at the celebration, as was Mayor Gregg Hull. Heil is the secretary and treasurer of the Schumann Foundation, and Hull is a board member.
“When you’re the leader of a city or you’re in positions like commissioner and you’re trying to grow a local economy, one of the greatest assets in a local economy is the workforce, and an educated workforce brings a lot of great opportunities, brings jobs, brings job creators,” Hull said. “Giving away over a million dollars over the last 10 years has been a lot of fun. We’ve met a lot of young people, and I think we’ve had a lot of impacts on a lot of young people’s lives. And so it has been really exciting to see the results of this.”
The Schumann Foundation is a nonprofit that accepts donations and contributions, which can be mailed to Schumann Foundation PO Box 46004, Rio Rancho, NM 87174.
e mailed to Schumann Foundation PO Box 46004, Rio Rancho, NM 87174.