To the KOTO staff and San Miguel Educational Fund (SMEF) board of directors, I am this year’s recipient of the SMEF scholarship and I would like to thank everyone for this award. It will help me pursue my higher education at the University of Chicago to study molecular engineering (a combination of biological, chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering). To me, this award signifies more than just its monetary value and envelopes our community as a whole.

One of the quintessential images of Telluride is driving down the spur, gazing at Ajax and tuning into KOTO radio. After receiving this scholarship, I know that I will not be leaving this behind, but instead taking it with me to help fund my studies.

I would like to thank KOTO radio for allowing me to DJ throughout high school during the Telluride High School Radio Club and over the course of this summer. Playing music in the “Purple House on Pine” has given me a deeper reverence for music and I am very thankful that I have had this opportunity. As I leave this town locked inside this beautiful box canyon, I know that the deep sense of community that I have grown up with will follow me to the big city. This scholarship is an example of this community.

Thank you again, and I know that KOTO will have a listener from Chicago in the coming four years.


Maya Ordoñez