Funding Assistance From The Legislature Is Hoped For By A Foundation Fighting Teen Poverty

KRQE New Mexico: Homeless teenagers are our state’s most vulnerable students. One organization wants to ensure. They have the funding they need to succeed and the backing of one of the state’s national laboratories.

“Giving families cash is one of the most important things we can do for them,” said Jennifer Ramo, founder of New Mexico Appleseed.

For the 2020-2021 school year, New Mexico Appleseed. A non-profit fighting poverty provided $500 per month to high school students facing homelessness in Cuba and West Las Vegas.

“All teachers and educators are at war with poverty and losing.” “If we truly want our children to have a chance. We must ensure that they have everything they require and all the support they require to thrive,” Ramo said.

The money given to 53 students in the two districts is thanks to funding from the Los Alamos National Labs Foundation (LANL). Which distributes education grants.

During the pandemic, when many people struggled, each school received $40,000 to distribute. The funds are used to purchase food, and clothing, and pay bills. According to one of the recipients’ aunts, it provided an incentive to work hard in school.

“Coming from these small towns with limited opportunities and resources, I felt like it was an excellent program for these kids,” Jaylene Salaz said.

Following the program, schools saw an increase in graduation rates. It was, however, a test program.

Ramo hopes lawmakers will contribute to the program’s funding in the coming years. “In the future,” Ramo says, “we hope to make this a year-round program and go to the legislature and say, ‘look, these kids don’t have a chance.”

The funds are unrestricted, meaning recipients can do whatever they want with them. Some are concerned that they will be irresponsible as a result of this.

It turns out that families prioritize their needs just fine, according to studies conducted all over the world, Ramo said.

For the money to be given to the students, they had to attend counseling and tutoring once a week. They claimed to have spent the money on gas, food, car repairs, and utilities. New Mexico Appleseed hopes to expand the program statewide eventually.

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