Talk about one individual or a single entity making a difference in a person’s life: The Viles Foundation Inc. (VFI) is that entity. It has certainly made a tremendous difference in the lives of 800-plus college bound students.
Recently, the VFI celebrated its 50-year anniversary. Tribute was paid to this organization’s half century of service at a luncheon sponsored by the Viles Foundation Inc. Board of Directors, Bank of America-U.S. Trust and the New Mexico Highlands University.
Most importantly, Mrs. Emiteria “Matie” Martinez Robinson Viles was recognized for the role her philanthropic efforts played in the organization’s inception. She was honored by a Bronze Bas’ Relief sculpted by Duke Sundt which was unveiled at the gathering.
This remarkable women had the foresight and vision back in 1958, to strategically use her wealth to provide scholarships to educate underprivileged and orphans of San Miguel and Mora counties. At first the emphasis was young orphan women but later it also included young men. For all of the beneficiaries of that fund, it was an honor and a privilege to be recipients of this scholarship and we sincerely express our gratitude — it has made a difference in all of our lives and careers.
The significance of the VFI was not only to have our college education paid, but it had a more profound effect among its recepients. The scholarship provided the opportunity to shape our lives in many ways and make us aware of being responsible and compassionate individuals to serve others. At least that is the prespective I got at the gathering after talking with many of the reicpients and hearing the testimonials given at the reception.
The Viles Foundation Inc. Board of Directors and its Chairperson, Dr. Clarence “Chappa” Sanchez, must be acknowledged for their outstanding efforts.
Futhermore, the VFI has a legacy that will continue to challenge future receipents to live up to a higher standard to serve our fellow man and make a postive difference. I am reminded of Ayn Rand: Quotes on Making a Difference: “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.” The Viles Foundation has taken that challenge in making a differnce.
Capt. Aramando A. Pollack. USPHS, Ret