ACSO awards $500 college scholarship to Sangre de Cristo's Alysha Ojeda

Courier photo by Priscilla Waggoner Sangre de Cristo graduating senior, Alysha Ojeda, is awarded with a plaque and scholarship for $500 to attend Pikes Peak State College. Pictured left to right, ACSO Undersheriff Shawn Woods, Alysha Ojeda, Marie Biehl, and Sheriff Robert Jackson.

Class of 2023, Sangre de Cristo High School

ALAMOSA — At first glance, Alysha Ojeda does not fit the standard image of a graduating high school senior who wants to go to school to learn carpentry. But that is exactly what the small, slender and quiet teenager wants to do, and it is something she has wanted to do since she was a little girl.

On Monday, Alamosa County Sheriff Robert Jackson was pleased to announce that the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office is going to support Ojeda in reaching her goal by awarding her with a $500 scholarship to attend Pikes Peak State College, where she hopes to get her associate’s in carpentry. ACSO’s $500 matches the $500 scholarship she was awarded by the Colorado Sheriffs of Colorado (CSCO) Scholarship Program.

“When I read Alysha’s application, I knew we had to do something to help her along,” Jackson said. “I was so moved by what I read that I looked at my Community Relations budget and was able to find the funds to match what CSCO did.”

In her application, Ojeda wrote she knew she wanted to go into carpentry when she was helping her stepfather, Kenny Behil, remodel their home.

“I was watching everything he made in order to build my mom’s dream home. He designed it to every detail she had pictured and made it perfect to her liking,” Ojeda said.

Her stepfather taught her and answered all her questions, she wrote, and “when we finally finished, it made my mom so happy to finally have her dream home.

“That’s why I want to learn more about carpentry. I want to give people the opportunity to have the home of their dreams, the way they’ve always pictured it in their minds. When it is done and brought to life, the happiness they have will pay off in the end, no matter how long the project takes. I want to learn carpentry to bring people’s dream homes to life,” she said.

Once Ojeda has earned her degree, part of which will include classes in Architecture and reading blueprints, she hopes to go into business with her stepfather, who owned his own construction company for a number of years.

As a “side job,” she also plans to buy and fix “broken down homes” to then sell to people so they can have the homes they’ve always wanted.

Marie Biehl, Alysha’s mother, is not surprised by her daughter’s ambitions.

“She’s always been very creative and artistic and is always building things,” Biehl said. “She made this beautiful board game out of wood for a project at school and took an old guitar case, put shelves in it, and turned it into a bookcase. She’s always like challenges.”

She has also been very active in school, participating in sports, band, running track, and being a member of FBLA.

Ojeda has also been raised with a very strong work ethic from her parents, especially her mother, with whom Ojeda has worked for the past three years while going to school full time.

“She knows that, if you want to have something, you have to work for it,” Biehl says. “That’s what we’ve taught all of our children. Our family is very close.”

Glowing recommendation letters from her teachers mirror the things Ojeda’s mother says. “Hard working,” “always willing to help,” and “an asset in and out of the classroom.” “Alysha gives her best to everything she does, and she does it with a smile on her face.”

Ojeda will be graduating from Sangre de Cristo High School this spring with plans to attend Pikes Peak State College in the fall as the only female student enrolled in the Carpentry program.