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Memorial scholarship honors NM stuntman

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)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

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

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

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

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

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

The criteria are simple: An applicant must be a graduating senior from Valencia High School, Belen High School, Los Lunas High School or School of Dreams Academy 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. Entries should be submitted to maryt37@gmail and

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