On February 24, 2016 the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area (SdCNHA) awarded scholarships for the regional competition of National History Day (NHD) held on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at Adams State University. The SdCNHA board presented scholarships to five junior high school students for the outstanding performance of projects related to the history of the SLV.

A $250 First Place Prize was awarded to William Lipke for “Kit Carson and the Exploration of the American West” in the Junior Individual Performance Category. In ten minutes, William acted out John C. Frémont, a Hispano settler in the SLV, a Diné survivor of Bosque Redondo, and Kit Carson (including costume changes) presenting different perspectives of historical events.

A $150 Second Place Prize was split 3 ways between Alyssa Darnell, Makenzie Rogers, and Renae Sinclair for “Ghost Rails in the San Luis Valley” in the Junior Group Exhibit Category. The group did a splendid job of relating the region’s old railroads (e.g. The Chili Line) to the theme of “Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange.”

A $100 Third Place Prize was awarded to Kelcey Martin for “Maria Josefa Jaramillo,” a project in the Junior Individual Exhibit Category.

SdCNHA Board

Kelcey Martin and Makenzie Rogers with SdCNHA Board


William Lipke and Board President Nick Saenz

Renae Alyssa

Alyssa Darnell and Renae Sinclai


Makenzie Rogers and Board President Nick Saenz


Kelcey Martin and Board President Nick Saenz

The SdCNHA tells stories of the people, culture, and environment in Colorado’s SLV. The SdCNHA was established on in 2009 for the purposes of providing an “integrated and cooperative approach for the protection, enhancement, and interpretation of the natural, cultural, historic, scenic, and recreational resources of the Heritage Area.”

SdCNHA congratulates each of the 2016 NHD scholarship recipients and wishes the best of luck to the first and second place winners who will advance to the statewide competition in Denver.