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Valencia County

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Committee Purpose

The purpose of the Valencia County Rural Committee is to:

  • Discuss issues in the Valencia County community and determine which key areas need to be brought to the attention of the UWCNM Executive Committee
  • Work with area agencies to identify key needs of residents and gaps in services, bringing together local and Albuquerque-based service providers to discuss what options for expanding services might exist or become possible
  • Support new or help improve corporate/partner cornerstone, workplace campaigns, or individual donor giving
  • Host informational or fundraising events and increase the number of community members involved with UWCNM
  • Provide information vital to the work of UWCNM's education support initiative, Mission: Graduate
  • Make introductions to other community leaders with whom we need a relationship for this work to succeed, i.e. government and city organizations, businesses, school board members, district superintendents, etc.

For more information about the Valencia County Rural Committee, please email LaNika Bullington.

Action Plan

The Valencia County Rural Committee's areas of focus are education, health, youth and community outreach.

Education - Mission: Graduate

  • Convene and grow council
  • Coordinate PBSNM Town Hall
  • Establish collaboration, research and grant writing for afterschool and summer recreation programs

Jobs/Job Skill Training

  • Partner with Workforce Solutions to obtain and disseminate job-related information
  • Become a communication hub for all job fairs, workshops, etc.

Community Clearinghouse for Communications

  • Print Media: obtain VCNB as a UWCNM Media Partner, create and send PSA materials to run when inventory is low, submit articles on a regular basis, submit a standard blurb on 2-1-1 for weekly publishing
  • Outdoor: messaging around 2-1-1, Tax Help New Mexico, UWCNM campaign
  • Bulletins: flyers in government agencies, healthcare agencies, library, post office, community centers
  • Housing: partner with Debbie Norman, South Valley Broadway Corp and the attorneys at the District Court to help the community learn more about foreclosure; research ways to communicate the housing resources in the county
  • Tax Help New Mexico: establish new locations in the county

Provide Ongoing Support For:

  • Community Wellness Center
  • Juvenile Justice Council
  • Child Advocacy Center
  • Chambers
  • Meadowlake Community Center


The following Valencia County programs are currently being supported by UWCNM's Community Fund.

Community Fund Partners

Program of:

Grant Amount: $89,760
Grant Term: 2018 - 2019
Program Website: ARCA Foster Care Services

(Funded under Financial Stability)

ARCA's tradition of providing stellar supports to people with disabilities began in 1957. ARCA's caring and expertly trained staff help hundreds of children and adults successfully live their dreams, work, learn, have fun and develop friends while enjoying health, safety and happiness.  For six decades,  ARCA has provided opportunities for individuals to lead meaningful lives and continues to work together to open doors for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be valued members of the community.

Launched in 1978, ARCA Foster Care Services is the only resource for specialized foster care in New Mexico. This program trains, licenses and provides 24/7 support to biological and adoptive families who open their homes and heart with stability and safety for medically fragile children, their siblings and families.

Grant Amount: $76,000
Grant Term: 2018 - 2019
Program Website: Childhood Hunger Initiative (CHI)

(Funded under Basic Needs)

According to Feeding America’s 2017 Map the Meal Gap assessment, New Mexico ranks second highest among the states for food insecurity in children. Given this grim statistic, Roadrunner Food Bank considers our food distribution at schools a moral imperative. To address this need, we launched the Childhood Hunger Initiative (CHI) in the 2014-15 school year. Through this program, we provide food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, directly to children and their families at 85 elementary, middle and high schools throughout our 16 county direct service area, including 48 schools in central New Mexico. Over the past three years, CHI allowed us to increase the amount of food we deliver to schools from approximately 400,000 pounds per year to 2 million pounds with little to no cost increase.

With the Childhood Hunger Initiative (CHI), schools choose the distribution model(s) and delivery method(s) that work best for them. Options include:
• Mobile Food Pantry – A once-a-month farmers-market style distribution
• Fixed Pantry – An onsite school pantry with weekly hours of distribution
• Summer Mobile Food Pantry – A farmers-market style distribution during the summer
• Weekend Backpack – A backpack containing 3-5 pounds of food to last over the weekend for children whose families cannot or will not pick up food at the school

Roadrunner staff members work one-on-one with partner schools to determine how we can best serve them, given their capacity and needs.

Aside from the nutritional impact of food insecurity, the American Youth Policy Forum cites research showing that food insecure children are less likely to perform well in school, more likely to experience behavior issues and more likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system. After three years of successful implementation of the Childhood Hunger  Initiative, our client surveying indicates that access to the CHI program has a positive impact on food security among children  and results in better grades and fewer behavior problems.

Education | Bernalillo County, Sandoval County, Torrance County, Valencia County
Grant Amount: $189,500
Grant Term: 2016 - 2019

Central New Mexico is home to more than 8,000 youth ages 17-24 who are disconnected from education and the workforce, a circumstance that has enormous impact on their lives and our community. The vast majority of these kids have histories of homelessness, foster care involvement, poverty, parental abuse and neglect. Contending with substantial adversity and little support, these kids are at high risk for criminality, substance abuse, and suicide. Back on Track will connect these youth to the workforce and provide the extensive support needed to keep them on track to graduation, college, and career. By improving the outcomes of these vulnerable kids, this project will help improve our entire community.

Education | Bernalillo County, Sandoval County, Torrance County, Valencia County
Grant Amount: $180,955
Grant Term: 2016 - 2019

More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. Through this project, CNM will offer dual-credit summer boot camps focused on reading, math, and college-readiness skills to students in low-income, Title 1 high schools, to better prepare them to meet high school graduation requirements and be successful in college.

Education | Bernalillo County, Sandoval County, Torrance County, Valencia County
Grant Amount: $50,000
Grant Term: 2016 - 2019

As many as 1 in 45 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder, and incident rates are on the rise.  Explora and the New Mexico Autism Society are teaming up to provide STEM-rich learning experiences to prevent summer learning loss and minimize the achievement gap that results from unequal access to summer learning for autistic children for whom learning loss can be extreme. This project will also serve as a case study through which UWCNM and agency partners learn how engagement organizations such as museums and parks can work with agencies that support special populations to design programs to benefit children and families.