NACA Senior Quincy Walker Receives Prestigious 2019 Sargent Shriver Youth Warrior Award

Marguerite Casey Foundation introduces the 2019 Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty awardees, honored for their vision, passion, and dedication to improving the lives of families in their communities.

SEATTLE – Marguerite Casey Foundation presented 20 young community leaders with the Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty Leadership Award, in honor of their vision, passion and dedication to improving the lives of families in their communities. Each of the honorees received an award of $5,000 in recognition of their leadership.

This is the eighth year that Marguerite Casey Foundation has presented the Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty awards. The award is named for Sargent Shriver, who worked throughout his life to provide opportunities for people to lift themselves out of poverty. Shriver is the architect of the War on Poverty and visionary leader of Head Start, Peace Corps, Job Corps and VISTA.

Each of the 20 Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors has shown resolve and courage in standing up for those who are often neglected by society: the homeless, immigrant families, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and students and youth, among others. This year’s honorees are proactive in their efforts to encourage youth civic engagement, reform juvenile justice, education and healthcare systems, advocate for environmental justice, organize for immigrant and undocumented communities and more.

Luz Vega-Marquis, CEO and President of Marguerite Casey Foundation, said of the honorees: “This year’s Youth Warriors prove to us all that you can make a difference in your community at any age. We are so inspired by these organizers and their willingness to make change in the areas that affect them personally and affect their families. These are young people who come from what are sometimes difficult circumstances and bloom into active leaders in their community, helping to reshape those communities and our society overall. We’re so proud to see the legacy of Sargent Shriver continue on in each of them.”

Quincy Walker, 17

Nominated by Native Voice Network

Quincy Walker, a junior at Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is dedicated to serving his multi-faceted community and representing his Black, Japanese and Mexican-Irish cultures with pride. Quincy lives in Isleta Pueblo, New Mexico, and he has interned with several local, regional and national organizations, including NACA’s Hiyupo Alliance and Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA). He supports many nonprofit and community-led organizations and is an active member of the ongoing MBKA Youth Advisory Council. He also supports the City of Albuquerque’s work to provide resources for boys and young men of color. Quincy has a personal passion for fighting domestic poverty through community service and organizing. He recently organized an initiative in his community to provide water to those experiencing homelessness, and he plans to expand his “Hydrating the Homeless” project to include new partners, as well as additional resources and provisions including fresh fruit.

For a full list of awardees please visit -

Albuquerque Boys and Young Men of Color Cohort to Kick Off the Opening Ceremony at the New Mexico United Soccer Game this Weekend 

For Immediate Release

For more information contact 

Jessica Helen Lopez 


Albuquerque Boys and Young Men of Color Cohort to Kick Off the Opening Ceremony at the New Mexico United Soccer Game this Weekend 

Albuquerque Group is an Obama Foundation My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Impact Award Winner for its efforts to support young men and boys of color in the Albuquerque community.

Albuquerque, NM. On Sunday, September 1, 2019, an Albuquerque Boys and Young Men of Color (BYMOC) Alliance will kick off the New Mexico United soccer game at Isotopes Park by running the home team's flag during the opening ceremony of the game. 

At 4 pm, the group, comprised of BYMOC from the Native American Community Academy, La Plazita Institute, NM Dream Team, Cultivating Coders, Together for Brothers and their partners from the City of Albuquerque will run the NM United flag across the field in a show of community support, youth advocacy and leadership, celebration of intersectional cultural identities, and their ongoing commitment to restorative justice practices that work to uplift their neighborhoods. 

In the Fall of 2018, the NACA Inspired Schools Network was awarded the prestigious Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Impact Award. One of nineteen organizations across ten states, including Puerto Rico, NACA Inspired Schools Network (NISN), ABQ Community Partners, and the City of Albuquerque, Office of the Mayor, were recognized by MBKA as a national model committed to reducing youth violence, grow effective mentorship programs, and measurably improve the lives of boys and young men of color. 

The Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3), via their programming for, “Native Youth on the Move,” in conjunction with Nike and Seven (N7), invited the Albuquerque BYMOC to attend and conduct the opening ceremonial flag run. This is the 11th cohort of non-profit organizations which NB3 has funded to attend the NM United home games and kick off the match. 

NB3 Community Organizer, Leroy “Buster” Silva (Laguna Pueblo) says, “The ceremonial flag run is about prayer, physical health and mental wellness. It is done in the spirit of movement. We know that the health of our Indigenous and people of color communities begins with our kids. Our health is our wealth.” 

NISN’s newly appointed Community Director (a position funded by the MBKA Impact Award) and former Lead “Uncle” of the NACA Hiyupo Boys Alliance, Mahpiya Black Elk says, “MBKA work is necessary because too often our boys and young men of color are pushed aside and forgotten. High dropout rates and over-incarceration affect them and our communities. The soccer game is a fun way for our partners to come together and build community and promote systemic change to support our BYMOC. Our young men want to reshape the ways our city thinks of them and the way they visualize themselves as community leaders.” 

New Mexico United, the state’s professional soccer franchise, articulates a mission statement that conveys a passion for community and provides a platform that brings New Mexicans together for a unique sporting experience, celebrating the unity and excitement inherent in world-class soccer. NM United will compete against the Orange County Soccer Club this Sunday, September 1, 2019 at the Isotopes Field (1601 Avenida Cesar Chavez SE, 87106) at 4 pm. For more information about NISN, please email Also visit, and


My Brother’s Keeper was not about me, it was not about my presidency… It’s about all of us working together. Because ensuring that our young people can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them is the single most important task that we have as a nation.” -- President Barack Obama

Please visitNISN at

Our community partners are listed here: 

My Brother’s Keeper ABQ,

NACA Recognized as a "School of Opportunity" in the Washington Post

Here are Seven 'Schools of Opportunity’ that 'show us a way forward’ - Valerie Strauss, Report (May 20)

Five years ago I began spotlighting the winners of an annual project called “Schools of Opportunity,” which recognizes high schools that work to close opportunity gaps by creating learning environments that reach every student. Here are the seven winners in the 2018-19 cycle.

The Schools of Opportunity project started in 2014 as a pilot in New York and Colorado, and went national in 2015-16. Several dozen schools have been honored in the program, which assesses a range of factors (see graphic above), including how well the adults in a school building provide health and psychological support for students as well as judicious and fair discipline policies, and broad and enriched curriculum.

Schools submit applications explaining why they should be recognized. Next year’s application cycle is already open, and if you know a potential School of Opportunity, please visit to learn more.

In the following piece, Kevin Welner, one of the founders of Schools of Opportunity, explains what it’s all about and briefly describes the schools that won the latest cycle. In the coming weeks I will publish pieces on each separate school.

Welner is the director of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a professor specializing in educational policy and law. He was assisted with this post by Adam York, an NEPC research associate and Schools of Opportunity project manager; and Linda Molner Kelley, former assistant dean of teacher education and partnerships, and director for outreach and engagement at the University of Colorado Boulder.

By Kevin Welner, Linda Molner Kelley and Adam York

These schools make us smile. They give us hope for the future. They show us a way forward.

They custom-tailor college-preparatory curriculum by weaving their students’ language, history and culture into daily lesson plans. They turn problematic behavior into learning opportunities through a sincere and full embrace of restorative justice. They extend school hours with Saturday academies, after-hours tutoring, summer meals, and countless other activities and events that pull down the rigid, artificial boundaries that often separate learning and life.

They are the seven 2018-19 “Schools of Opportunity” recognized today by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. Founded five years ago as a pilot program in Colorado and New York, the Schools of Opportunity designation now recognizes high schools nationwide that have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to equity and excellence.

These honorees do not cherry pick students using selective admissions or “push-out” practices that falsely inflate test scores and graduation rates by eliminating anyone who struggles with behavior or academics. Nor can these schools assume that their students enjoy privileges such as book-filled homes, often-costly summer enrichment experiences, or college savings accounts — or even housing and food security.

For these reasons, the Schools of Opportunity we’ve recognized vary tremendously in terms of the severely flawed measure of quality used by so many other evaluation systems: their students’ test scores.

Instead, these Schools of Opportunity deserve recognition because they use evidence-based approaches that close opportunity gaps. They address the educational factors that they can control with the students that they enroll. This means that they offer rigorous, engaging, and supported learning experiences in school, while going the extra mile to also ensure that their students enjoy the kinds of enrichment opportunities that many middle and upper-class families are able to provide outside of school.

These schools are not unicorns or outliers. They do not draw on extraordinary endowments or armies of volunteers. Nor can they eliminate, on their own, the thorny underlying problems of poverty and racial inequity that explain the lion’s share of the so-called achievement gap between historically higher and lower-performing students.

The devastating impact of these problems place them out of the control of any school, no matter how rigorous the curriculum or excellent the staff.

What Schools of Opportunity do offer, however, is a road map to making a real difference in students’ opportunities to learn in ways that other schools can and should be able to replicate.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s Schools of Opportunity, all of which have excelled by carefully nurturing a healthy school culture and developing learning experiences that are truly engaging:

Casco Bay High School in Portland, Me., is a showcase for the Expeditionary Learning model. It uses project-based learning, authentic assessments with real-world applications, and family-style groupings called “crews” in an inquiry-focused culture that emphasizes rigor, relevance and relationships. The school’s unique “Casco Bay Quest” program offers outdoor adventure learning to freshmen and juniors.

Clark Street Community School in Middleton, Wis., dramatically increased its graduation rates over a five-year period using an innovative approach that eliminates both grade levels and grades. Students of all ages attend thematic seminars developed around their interests. Multiple entry points and ways to demonstrate learning ensure that all students fully participate, including a significant number of students on Individual Education Plans.

Martin Luther King Jr. Early College in Denver carefully facilitates the ability of its diverse students to earn associate of arts degrees and industry certificates tuition free through an impressive array of postsecondary partnerships. Creative allocation of resources means that three full-time mental health professionals work on site with counselors and therapists from Denver Health. More than 70 percent of the school’s students use these and other dental, vision and physician services offered by the school and its partners.

The Native American Community Academy in Albuquerque, uses a holistic approach to education through integrated content that includes indigenous studies, storytelling, oral traditions, cultural history, Native languages, community presentations, service learning, and Native literature as part of a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum. All students are expected to complete two AP classes and two dual-credit courses prior to graduation. NACA emerged from, and is sustained through, deep engagement with the Native American families they serve.

Pocomoke High School in Pocomoke, Md., serves its community by cultivating one-on-one relationships with students plus a team approach that brings families, home workers from social services, local agencies and college representatives to the school. The Your60 program, staffed by all adults in the school including custodians, staff, community mentors and health representatives, carves out time during the school day in which students can choose coursework or activities that align with their individual interests and needs.

The Salt Lake Center for Science Education in Salt Lake City, focuses on project-based learning grounded in real-world issues such as water treatment and wildlife as well as rich arts electives and outdoor education available to all. Flexible schedules allow teachers to temporarily swap students for specialized instruction and offer students opportunities to pursue independent projects or internships with numerous community partners. Members of the school’s LGBT “Visible Light Club” offered a creative model of professional development for teachers on relevant issues to consider in their work with students.

Social Justice Humanitas in Los Angeles is designed around small learning communities that address broad, inter-disciplinary themes. Ethnic Studies has been part of the core educational program since the school opened. In addition to elective options for students to take Mexican American Studies and African American studies, all social studies classes use an Ethnic Studies framework as a foundation for building their curriculum, thus giving students access to four years of culturally sustaining learning opportunities. The school has virtually eliminated the need for suspensions by embracing restorative practices that address socio-emotional needs and that grow mindfulness.

Over the following months, The Answer Sheet will share more about each of these seven schools.

NEPC evaluates nominated Schools of Opportunity on 10 criteria, with each school choosing six to address in the application. As part of the comprehensive evaluation, recognized schools go through a six-phase review process that includes a self-assessment, criterion-based and holistic reviews by school district and university experts (including educators from schools recognized in the past), and site visits by project evaluators.

Open Enrollment - Raices del Saber Xinachlti Community School

Now enrolling students, Kinder through 3rd grade, Raices del Saber Xinachtli Community School of Las Cruces is hosting open enrollment. Raices is a new free public bilingual elementary charter school, teaching dual language, two-way immersion, Mesoamerican Indigenous knowledge and curriculum, to promote an appreciation of our cultural heritage.  Contact 575.571.2177 or email We are the roots of knowledge. 

Raíces del Saber Xinachtli Community School implements a developmentally appropriate rigorous academic program through an interdisciplinary curriculum that is experiential, participatory, biliterate, child-centered, and culturally responsive.

Our students learn Spanish and English, achieving academic proficiency in all subjects in both languages as they develop critical and creative thinking skills.

Raíces creates an environment where students and parents are valued as participants in the construction of knowledge and the creation of a learning community that promotes high academic performance, positive identity formation, and the reclaiming of cultural heritage.

Join Our Family at Dream Diné Charter School

Mission -
Dream Diné Olta'gi t'áá Diné bina'nitin bindii'a' binahjį' áłchíní saad naakigo bee nidínóotįįł. Áko dah dadíníisaago t'áa ałtsxo áłchíní Si' ah Naaghaii Bik'e hózhóón k'eh ninádooldah.

*Diné bindii'a' bee niildzilgo nitsíikees
*Saad naakigo choo`įigo na'niitin
*Doozhoo 'áłká`anéijah 
*T'áá hooghandóó ch`íhool`áajįł bindí`nóotįį'ii silá.

We are now accepting student lottery applications for enrollment for Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth grades. Call our school office at (505) 368-2500 to inquire about when you can visit to fill out forms onsite.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY - NISN Community Director (My Brother's Keeper Alliance)

NACA Inspired Schools Network - MBKA Community Director

The NACA Inspired Schools Network (NISN), in partnership with the City of Albuquerque, with three high schools, and four nonprofit organizations will deepen and scale a community of practice on social emotional learning (SEL) to encourage safe, equitable, and culturally-relevant school environments that promote the success of boys and young men of color (BYMOC) in terms of attendance, persistence, and graduation rates. SEL is a promising approach to preventing violence through increased problem solving strategies, empathy development, and emotional wellbeing. SEL also promotes academic mindsets such as belief in oneself, goal setting, and persistence. NISN is in a unique position to promote culturally relevant practices that use an Indigenous lens and incorporate holistic wellness to meet the SEL needs of the whole child/youth.

NISN will facilitate a local community of practice; document practices and challenges especially relevant to BYMOC to build upon emerging national literature; and engage youth in sharing their experience with SEL work with local educational leaders to inform future practices and policy. The population served will include BYMOC ages 14-21 attending Albuquerque area high schools that have diverse, low-income, immigrant, undocumented, and first generation college-going populations. This project will respond to disparities in area truancy, suspension, and graduation rates for BYMOC, aiming to create school environments that affirm culture and heritage and is responsive to the needs of BYMOC.


The My Brothers Keeper (MBK) Community Coordinator (or the “Coordinator”) manages the day-to-day operations and overall implementation of the programs and priorities outlined in the NACA Inspired Schools Network’s MBK Community Challenge Competition proposal.

The Coordinator ensures that MBK programs across Albuquerque are executed with fidelity and in accordance with the mission of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and the goals of the MBK Community Challenge Competition.

Specifically, the MBK Community Coordinator manages and/or directly supports four key areas:

1. Program Delivery

2. Collective Impact Coordination & Facilitation

3. Obama Foundation/MBK Alliance Process Oriented Requests

4. Evaluation & Reporting Support

Additionally, the MBK Community Coordinator serves as a thought partner to the NISN Leadership Team and a key point of contact for the MBK Alliance Portfolio Manager.

Core Responsibilities

Program Delivery

● Serve as the primary project manager concerning the implementation of program delivery as outlined in NISN’s grant proposal, leading NISN’s efforts to deepen and scale a community of practice on social emotional learning (SEL) to encourage safe, equitable, and culturally-relevant school environments that promote the success of boys and young men of color (BYMOC)

● Develop and manage a master work plan designed to ensure timely accomplishment of each project milestone

● Maintain close communication with partners, program participants, and staff in an effort to quickly identify areas of improvement and/or opportunities for course correction

● Draft correspondence, answer and screen phone calls, and direct inquiries related to the delivery of services and/or program implementation

Collective Impact Coordination & Facilitation

● Serve as the primary point of contact for each partner organization or stakeholder (non-profit partners, government officials, private companies, etc.) involved in the collective impact effort to advance the program delivery as outlined in the grant proposal

● Establish and maintain effective and cooperative professional relationships with all levels of management and employees – among the employer, key partners, and the Obama Foundation

● Develop meeting agendas and produce/update all relevant documents as needed. This would include preparing materials and handouts for team and leadership team meetings

● Play a key role in the facilitation and coordination of collective efforts to support of the advancement of the grant proposal and MBK efforts within Albuquerque

● Cultivate and strengthen partnerships that will support and further advance the cradle-to-career framework (six milestones) of My Brother Keeper locally

Obama Foundation/MBK Alliance Process Oriented Requests

● Coordinate with the assigned MBK Alliance Portfolio Manager to fulfill requests related to grant management and general Obama Foundation policies and processes

● Respond to inquiries and requests in a timely manner

Evaluation and Reporting Support

● Support data collection and management efforts aligned to the Evaluation Plans development for the Impact Grantee.

● Participate in meetings with MBK Alliance and its designated contractors related to the evaluation of the proposal and the associated program implementation

● Support the Impact Grantee’s Executive Director and/or Program Manager in the development of reports related to the implementation of the grant proposals

Professional Development

The MBK Community Coordinator may be required to participate in a series of approximately one to three national training and development sessions annually. The Coordinator will not only have the opportunity to learn from the leadership at NISN but will also have the opportunity to participate in a community of practice with other MBK Community Coordinators throughout the country.

Personal Qualities of Top Candidates

● Local Context & Connections: Possesses an intimate understanding of the Albuquerque area

● Commitment to Equity: Passionate about closing the opportunity gap and ensuring that every child - regardless of their background - reaches their full potential.

● Communication and Customer Service Skills: Communicates clearly and compellingly with diverse stakeholders in both oral and written forms; anticipates and responds to customer needs in a high-quality and courteous manner.

● Adaptability: Excels in constantly changing environments and adapts flexibly in shifting projects or priorities to meet the needs of a dynamic transformation effort; comfortable with ambiguity and non-routine situations.

● Focus on Data-Driven Results: Relentlessly pursues the improvement of performance and is driven by a desire to produce quantifiable programmatic results.

● Innovative Problem-Solving: Approaches work with a sense of possibility and sees challenges as opportunities for creative problem solving; takes initiative to explore issues and find potential innovative solutions.

● Teamwork: Increases the effectiveness of surrounding teams through collaboration, constant learning and supporting others; sensitive to diversity in all its forms; respects and is committed to learning from others

● Dependability: Does whatever it takes to consistently deliver with high quality under tight deadlines; successfully manages own projects through strong organization, detailed work plans, and balancing of multiple priorities.


● Bachelor’s degree preferred.

● 6-8 years related work experience, with community organizing and project management experience strongly preferred.

● Previous exposure to or experience in government, non-profit, social impact, and/or K-12 education sector a plus.

About the role

The MBK Community Coordinator is a full-time employee of the NACA Inspired Schools Network. 100 percent of the MBK Community Coordinator’s time is focused on the advancement of the programs and priorities outlined in NISN’s approved grant proposal and local MBK efforts within Albuquerque.

For inquiries email Jessica Helen Lopez at

ABQ-based Native American schools network wins award - ABQ Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque-based Native American Community Academy Inspired Schools Network was recently named a winner in the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge Competition.

The My Brother’s Keeper is an initiative of the Obama Foundation that seeks to adopt innovative approaches, strengthen support and build ladders of opportunity for boys and young men of color, according to a news release.

“Our youth leaders continue to inspire us all and make positive changes every day in their schools and communities – we are glad to have the support of the Obama Foundation,” Kara Bobroff, founding member of NACA and Executive Director of NACA Inspired Schools Network, said.

“It has been wonderful to work with our key community partners on the Obama Challenge,” she said. “Together we will continue to celebrate and advocate for Boys and Young Men of Color.”

The NACA Inspired Schools Network supports institutions providing rigorous academics designed for college preparation and those that promote Indigenous culture, according to its website.bright spot

My Brother’s Keeper picked 19 organizations or groups across 10 states and Puerto Rico expected to expand evidence-based initiatives to reduce youth violence, increase effective mentorship programs and improve the lives of boys and young men of color, organizers said in a news release.

The winning organizations will share more than $5 million in grants, direct technical assistance and evaluation support.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for NACA Inspired Schools Network – their efforts make Albuquerque stronger and highlight what makes our city special,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement.

“As a My Brother’s Keeper partner, we look forward to continuing to work with this group to break down barriers and expand opportunities for young people in our Indigenous communities,” he said.

For more information and a list of New Mexico schools in the Native American Community Academy Inspired Schools Network, visit

Kara Bobroff, founding member of NACA and Executive Director of NACA Inspired Schools Network.

NACA Featured on United States Department of Agriculture Newsletter Website

Native American Community Academy Breaks Ground on a New School Garden

November is Native American Heritage Month and a time to celebrate Native culture and traditions. That includes highlighting traditions that connect people to land and promoting the use of local foods. A school in Albuquerque, New Mexico is using its school garden to enhance both its nutritional and cultural curriculum while intersecting with history.  The Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, sits on the grounds of the old Albuquerque Indian Boarding School, originally opened in 1881.  Today, these grounds are still home to a school, but it is a school that embraces and encourages exploration and celebration of Native culture and traditions. 

NACA, established in 2006, is a charter school that connected with more than 150 community partners to focus on the education and support of Native American children attending the Albuquerque School District.  Today, 94 percent of the school’s roughly 460 students are Native American, representing over 60 different tribes.

NACA’s Executive Director, Anpao Duta Flying Earth, explains that the current school garden started as a collaborative effort with another local organization, the La Plazita Institute.  Duta Flying Earth acknowledged that there was room for improvement in their school lunch program, and this needed to be addressed quickly.  “As a school, we have a mission to address the holistic wellness of our students, and when the rate of diabetes and heart disease in our community is atrocious, we have an obligation to tackle these issues.” The  experiences created for students, through this partnership with La Plazita, were aimed at developing a relationship with the healthy food being grown and instilling lasting change for the whole family unit through the student.

The school’s partnership with La Plazita started small and flourished quickly.  Using buses and shuttles to transport NACA students out to the La Plazita grounds, 11th and 12th graders participated in a curriculum that teaches nutrition education using crops that have a strong connection with the heritage and culture of their ancestors. 

The next step will be to launch a new school garden site nearby.  NACA is now in negotiations to lease land that was originally part of federal trust land held by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, then transferred to the local Pueblo tribal conglomerate.  “The students are working on the planning of the new layout," says Duta Flying Earth. "They are involved in the soil testing to determine if we can plant directly into the ground or if we need to build raised beds, everything.  They are really getting their hands dirty,” explains Flying Earth

As to where he would like to see their program in five years, Duta Flying Earth would love to see the new garden completely sustained by students and the community, in partnership with organizations like Food Corps and La Plazita, so the facility can be productive year round.  They would also like to establish a kitchen facility on campus that can handle processing fresh produce on-site and to move away from the pre-packaged meals that they currently receive for their school lunch program.  But for today, the program, with its unique blend of nutrition education and the celebration of Native heritage, continues to move forward.

The Office of Community Food Systems has two fact sheets that promote and encourage Farm to School activities in Indian Country, among many other resources. The fact sheets Bringing Tribal Foods and Traditions into Cafeterias, Classrooms, and Gardens and Gardens in Tribal Communities can be downloaded on the FNS website

NISN Executive Director Kara Bobroff named as an Education Transition Committee Member by Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico governor-elect

Associated Press (AP) Wire picks up and publishes announcements

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday selected a panel of experts to help identify potential cabinet leaders and to make recommendations as the Democrat prepares to take the top office in state government.

Several committees have been established by Lujan Grisham’s team to focus on different areas of government. The committee co-chairs include a former governor who most recently led New Mexico State University as chancellor and a former state police chief.

Lujan Grisham said in a statement that the effort will be bipartisan, with the goal of setting the state on a new path and leveraging every possible opportunity.

“We can build a state government that will create pathways to success for all New Mexico children and families by growing our economy, fixing our broken public education system, improving access to health care, and making our communities safer,” she said.

Lujan Grisham will follow Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, whose second consecutive term wraps up at the end of the year. She will inherit a significant budget surplus for the coming fiscal year — most of which is linked to the state’s oil and natural gas sector.

One of the top challenges for the governor’s office and the Democrat-controlled Legislature will be addressing educational opportunities for minority and low-income students following a landmark court decision earlier this year.

The education transition committee will be headed by former Gov. Garrey Carruthers, a Republican; Kara Bobroff (Diné and Lakota) chief executive of the Native American Community Academy Inspired Schools Network and Founding Principal of NACA; and Everett Chavez, a councilman and former governor of Santo Domingo Pueblo.

The committee will be working with the Higher Education, Public Education and Indian Affairs departments.

The economy team includes Red River Mayor Linda Calhoun and Vince Kadlubek, the co-founder and chief executive officer of the art collaborative Meow Wolf. The Santa Fe-based enterprise created an immersive exhibit that attracted some 500,000 visitors last year and now employs more than 300 people.

Andrew Hsi, a pediatrician and professor at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center will co-chair the health and human services committee with Jennifer Ramo, an attorney who is the executive director of New Mexico Appleseed, a nonprofit organization that works with the poor and under served.

The public safety committee will be led by retired State Police Chief Robert Shilling and retired Brigadier General Judy Griego, the first New Mexico woman to have been promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the New Mexico National Guard.

Toby Velasquez, the deputy director of New Mexico State Parks, and Sarah Cottrell Propst, a former deputy secretary of the state Environment Department, will co-chair the natural resources committee.

NACA Inspired Schools Network Receives Prestigious National Obama Foundation, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Grant Award

 Albuquerque, NM.  On November, 15, 2018 the Native American Community Academy Inspired Schools Network, (NISN) was officially awarded the prestigious, Obama Foundation’s, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Impact Award. One of nineteen organizations across ten states, including Puerto Rico, NISN is recognized by MBKA as a national model committed to reducing youth violence, grow effective mentorship programs, and measurably improve the lives of boys and young men of color. 

 The winning communities represent every region of the country, strong public-private partnerships, and diverse cities, rural areas, Tribal Nations, and barrios of all sizes. Winning organizations will receive a $450,000 grant, direct technical assistance, and evaluation support. Youth and leaders from many of the organizations will participate in the Obama Foundation’s 2018 Summit in Chicago November 18-19.

 In partnership with staff and youth of New Mexico Dream Team, Cultivating Coders, La Plazita Institute, Together for Brothers, Mission: Graduate, MBK Albuquerque and the City of Albuquerque, NISN will deepen and scale a community of practice on social emotional learning. This community of practice will scale the NACA model to encourage safe, equitable, and culturally-relevant school environments that promote the success of boys and young men of color in terms of attendance, persistence, and graduation rates.

 The Network will facilitate a local community of practice, document practices and challenges especially relevant to boys and young men of color and engage youth in sharing their social emotional learning experience with local educational leaders, informing future practices and policies. While the primary population served by the MBK Project will be 460 Indigenous/Native American and Latino boys, NACA Inspired Schools’ expansion will impact all boys/students of color across their network and communities-at-large.

 In April, MBK Alliance launched a new national competition to identify and invest in communities that are making steady progress to substantially improve the lives of boys and young men of color. President Barack Obama says of the MBKA, “My Brother’s Keeper was not about me, it was not about my presidency… It’s about all of us working together. Because ensuring that our young people can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them is the single most important task that we have as a nation.”

 Please visit for a full list of all My Brother’s Keeper Alliance IMPACT awardees.

 Our community partners are listed here:

·         New Mexico Dream Team ,

·         La Plazita Insitute ,

·         Together for Brothers, ,

·         Cultivating Coders, ,

·         Mission: Graduate, ,

·         The City of Albuquerque,

·         My Brother’s Keeper ABQ,