by Shawna Carter

SOCORRO, N.M., May 8, 2006 — New Mexico Tech student Ronadel Ronquillo was recently nominated for the Amy Biehl Youth Spirit Award, a prestigious service award founded in 1993 to recognize New Mexico’s young volunteers.

Ronquillo was active in a number of organizations at her alma mater, Rio Rancho High School, including National Honor Society and Key Club. As Key Club president, she organized several clean-up and beautification events, as well as book, food, and fund drives for UNICEF.

Currently at New Mexico Tech, Ronquillo, a freshman majoring in biology, is the President-Elect at the Society of Women Engineers at New Mexico Tech. As an active member, she helps organize the club’s many events both on and off-campus.

“Volunteering is my life,” she said. “I have volunteered through Girl Scouts, church, school, and on my own.”

As a former member of the Girl Scouts organization, Ronquillo recently set up an overnight sleep-over at New Mexico Tech for scouts ages 8-11. During the sleep-over, hosted and sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers, the scouts earned their science badges through a series of supervised science experiments, which included making invisible ink, putty, and ice-cream.

“The invisible ink experiment was fun and a big learning experience for all of us,” she said. “One of the ingredients reacts with starch and makes the ink visible. We didn’t realize that the paper we were using had starch in it until it was too late. I kept having to run back and forth to my dorm room to get different paper in order to make the ink work properly.”

Despite the invisible ink incident, according to Ronquillo, the scout sleep-over was a success. Everyone learned a lesson about science, while having fun, and she says having fun while making a difference in the lives of community members is what volunteering is all about.

Ronquillo was honored for her recent nomination for the Amy Biehl Award at the Amy Biehl Youth Spirit Awards ceremony in Albuquerque earlier this year.

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