Alexander Stokes, a student from Alamosa High School, served a four week internship at the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area during the month of June.

Tori Martinez, the Executive Director for SdCNHA said this about Alex’s internship, “It’s my belief that when a person gets the opportunity to do an internship, especially one for a national organization, it’s the time to do your absolute best, to outperform, to over deliver, and to find and fill a need. Alex did all those things.”

Alex organized, archived, and researched heritage area documents for the staff. He helped with promotional preparation for the busy summer season and learned about the daily tasks of working for a National Heritage Area. In addition Alex also assisted in creating a set of self-guided tour itineraries.


In addition to performing much needed work at the SdCNHA, Alex was also mentored by the staff and board members. He was able to take a tour of Conejos County, and visit the Conejos Museum and Visitor Center also run by SdCNHA.


Alexander is a participant in the Adams State University’s Upward Bound Program. Upward Bound is a federally funded grant with the TRiO Program at Adams State University. Upward Bound is designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds, supplementing their existing education and preparing them for academic success at all educational levels. Upward Bound provides opportunities for students to prepare for college entrance, succeed in pre-college performance and ultimately achieve success in higher education pursuits.

Admission to the ASU Upward Bound Program is based on student grades, teacher recommendations, and two written essays from the student. Students with an interest in postsecondary success are especially encouraged to apply. The program consists of an academic year program and a summer residential program.


Each summer, qualifying rising seniors apply for and compete to participate in Upward Bounds Work Internship Program, and can earn up to $600 per month.  Students work in various departments on campus, as well as off campus at local organizations and businesses.  The program is designed to expose students to possible career choices, and help them to achieve the skills, motivation and determination necessary to obtain a college degree.   It also helps them to develop an understanding of the attitudes and ethics that are necessary to achieve success in a professional career. “We love being able to provide internship opportunities to our students not only for the work experience, but for the opportunity to network and make meaningful connections.” Said Angelica Valdez, Executive Director of ASU’s Upward Bound Program.

To be selected for the program, a student must be a current Upward Bound participant who has completed the 11th grade, and has exemplary citizenship at their schools, as well as Upward Bound.

For more information about the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area please visit

For more information about Upward Bound please visit