L. "Zyri" Wilds, 2021-2022 Raymond E. Plotkin Scholarship Recipient

photo: Zyri Wilds
Zyri Wilds

The 11th annual recipient of the Raymond E. Plotkin Scholarship in the UNM School of Engineering is Zyri Wilds. She is currently a Freshman student in Mechanical Engineering. For the last eight years of her life, she has fought to get to where she is today. She graduated high school while homeless and survived as an unaccompanied youth for several years helping others in her community the best she could. Today she works with the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness and is pursuing her dreams of being an engineer. She's always loved puzzles and making everything fit together, by becoming an engineer and being a housing navigator in our community she works every day to solve the puzzles of life around us.

More about the scholarship:
The Raymond E. Plotkin Scholarship was created by the parents, extended family, friends, and fellow peers of Raymond Evan Plotkin to honor his life, his very positive relationship with The University of New Mexico, and his potential interest in pursuing a career related to Nuclear Engineering. Raymond was a graduate of Westbury High School in Houston, Texas. Upon arrival at UNM as an incoming freshman, he became a member of the Hispanic Engineering and Science Organization (HESO) and the Hillel at the University of New Mexico. Sadly, Raymond passed away in the fall of 2009, during his first semester due to complications resulting from the H1N1-Swine Flu.

The Raymond E. Plotkin Scholarship is endowed; only the interest on the fund is awarded each year so that the scholarship can be awarded in perpetuity. Future donations to the fund will be added to the principle and increase the amount awarded each year. Donations to the fund should be made payable to the UNM Foundation (memo: Raymond Plotkin Scholarship in the School of Engineering). The annual deadline for the Raymond E. Plotkin Scholarship is September 15. For further information about the scholarship or how to apply, contact the UNM School of Engineering Scholarship Administrator Elsa Castillo at elsac@unm.edu, call (505) 277-5064 or visit the SOE Scholarship website: Incoming Freshman Scholarships.

In addition to the scholarship, Raymond’s family established through the UNM Student Health and Counseling Center (SHAC) the “Take One for Raymond” initiative, to encourage everyone to get their flu shots. For information, call the SHAC Immunization Clinic at 277-7925.