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Memorial scholarship honors NM film vet, gives to high school seniors

Regina Torrez put together pictures of her son Jay Torrez, who was a stunt man in the film industry. The family has started a memorial scholarship in his honor. (Courtesy of Regina Torrez)

Jay Torrez was a small-town kid with big dreams.

Growing up in Tomé, baseball was his ticket to college in Southern California.

But it was the film industry that drew him in as a stuntman, where he often worked on New Mexico-based productions.

On July 10, 2016, he died at the age of 35, outside of his Valencia County home.

His family created the Jay Torrez Memorial Scholarship, which gives a $500 scholarship to high school students.

The criteria is simple, an applicant must be a graduating senior from Valencia High School, Belen High School, Los Lunas High School or School of Dreams Academy and pursuing a degree with a major in the film industry.

“He worked on feature films, TV shows, music videos, and video games as well as stunt coordinating a few gigs of his own. From being set on fire and jumping off buildings to dodging ‘Hollywood”‘ bullets and punches, Jay did it, and he did it well,” said Regina Torrez, Jay’s mother. “In addition to having an adventurous lifestyle, he valued education and completed a Master’s degree in Human Performance and Sport.”

Regina Torrez said four $500 scholarships will be given.

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Please provide an essay (no more than one page) describing why you are interested in film as well as educational and career goals. Applications are available at respective schools and at The Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts, 251 Main Street in Los Lunas.

The deadline is May 31 and must be submitted to maryt37@gmail and rmchavez9@aol.com.

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