|Program Phase||Key Activities||Time frame|
||August - September
||October - January
||February - March
||April - May
Successful Community/School Programs
EspañolaThe community of Espanola, in northern New Mexico, hosted a Tomorrow’s Leaders program in 2007 and 2008. New Mexico First has worked in partnership with ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities for Education) and Espanola Valley High School to implement the program.
The ENLACE program received a federal grant to sponsor the S.A.D.D. program in the schools.
The Espanola Valley High School program was successful in gaining permission from the school and the Espanola School Board to allow eligible juniors and seniors to have more food choice by leaving campus during the lunch period.
2007 Española ENLACE Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (24 KB) 01-May-2007
2008 Española Valley High School Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (24 KB) 01-May-2008
HobbsHobbs is situated in the southeast corner of the state. Three schools in this community—Houston Junior High School, Hobbs High School, and King’s Gate Academy—hosted the Tomorrow’s Leaders program in 2008 and 2009. The students in the programs ranged from 7th grade to 12 grade.
The Houston Junior High School program was successful in gaining permission from the Hobbs School Board to establish a peer-mentoring program in the Hobbs Municipal Schools.
The Kings Gate Academy program worked with a City Commissioner to establish a student mentoring program involving parents and guardians in the community.
The Hobbs High School gained permission from school educators to allow the use of cell phones and other technology that can connect to the internet for research projects and sharing class notes with other students.
2008 Houston Junior High School Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (24 KB) 01-May-2008
2008 King's Gate Academy Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (24 KB) 01-May-2008
2009 Kings Gate Academy Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (622 KB) 01-Feb-2009
2009 Hobbs High School Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (623 KB) 01-Feb-2009
PortalesThe community of Portales and its city government, in eastern New Mexico, hosted the Tomorrow’s Leaders program in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Students from Eastern New Mexico University provided the youth leadership for the program, and high school students from the area also participated.
Students actively worked with community officials and civic groups on a range of recommendations that will help Portales improve its infrastructure, beautify the city, and promote more healthy lifestyles and entertainment choices.
2007 City of Portales Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (33 KB) 01-May-2007
2008 City of Portales Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (32 KB) 01-May-2008
BernalilloThe town of Bernalillo is situated in the central region of New Mexico. In 2009, New Mexico First worked with Bernalillo High School to implement the program. The school has a very diverse student population, representative of New Mexico’s multi-cultural heritage.
The students advocated for several recommendations that would help increase student involvement by expanding communications about school activities.
2009 Bernalillo High School Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (624 KB) 01-Feb-2009
BelenBelen is also located in central New Mexico and hosted the program in Belen High School in 2010. The student council chose the Tomorrow’s Leaders program as their key service activity.
The students developed several recommendations for ways to improve their school. They chose the creation of a Spirit Store to advocate with school leaders.
2010 Belen High School Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (624 KB) 01-Feb-2010
TularosaThe small community of Tularosa is located in southern part of New Mexico. The business education class in Tularosa High School hosted the program in 2010.
Given the recent renovation of the school, the students were very interested in eliciting student recommendations on how to keep the school environment beautiful. They were successful in gaining permission from school leaders to establish a service learning program in which students volunteered twice each month to pick up trash and care for landscaping around the school.
2010 Tularosa High School Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (624 KB) 01-Feb-2010
Los RanchosThe Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico is a unique rural community located in the North Valley region of Bernalillo County. Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School hosted the program in 2011.
2011 Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (95 KB) 27-Jul-2012
Sandia ParkSandia Park, north of Albuquerque, is home to East Mountain High School. Students from the International Relations class convened a town hall for their fellow students. The students chose to focus their attention on influencing state policies to improve the environment by committing to green energy as well as preparing students for a green future. The students presented their recommendations to several policy leaders including the NM Secretary of Education.
2011 East Mountain High School Recommendations Tomorrow's Leaders Program (83 KB) 27-Jul-2012
Adult Leader and Youth HandbooksNew Mexico First provides a handbook to the adult leader and the youth participants to support the program. The handbooks are organized around the weekly or bi-monthly meeting plans that are implemented throughout the school year. Each meeting plan takes less than two hours and is easily adapted to fit a classroom schedule. The youth participants of the program build important academic and life skills:
- Civic engagement
- Team work
- Critical thinking
- Report writing
- Meeting facilitation
- Public speaking
- Media writing
Tomorrow’s Leaders Curriculum: Table of Contents Get an overview of the Tomorrow’s Leaders curriculum. (125 KB) 01-Jan-2011
New Mexico First’s Tomorrow’s Leaders program engages young people in local public policy and government. We use our proven town hall model to get youth involved in the democratic process and educate them about issues facing their communities. Participants in the Tomorrow’s Leaders program research, plan, and facilitate their own youth town halls, producing recommendations for local leaders. The skills taught through the program easily match the objectives of most core school courses. The goal is to involve an academically and socially diverse group of young people.
The Tomorrow’s Leaders program has been implemented in communities throughout New Mexico. Each group is comprised of 10-20 youth. Each is led by at least one adult leader and sometimes, a youth assistant. The adult leaders are usually local teachers, community leaders, or business members. Where possible, the youth assistant is an alumnus of the statewide Youth Alliance program. In locations where Youth Alliance alumni are not available, the youth assistant is often a student leader from a local college.
New Mexico First provides week-by-week lesson plans and activities, preparing the participants to convene their local youth town hall. This town hall is each group’s major community activity. The events are typically held in a morning or afternoon, and they are attended by an additional 30-50 youth from the community. In the weeks following the youth town hall, participants in the Tomorrow’s Leaders program present the recommendations from the event to fellow students as well as local officials at school board meetings, city council meetings, or county commission meetings. The youth also develop their own media press releases on the results of their town hall.
Each community also sends two youth delegates (and an adult chaperone) to New Mexico First’s statewide town hall. Travel, lodging, meals, and registration expenses are covered by the program. The statewide town hall is held on an important topic facing New Mexico. The youth delegates from the Tomorrow’s Leaders program, who by this time have conducted their own local town halls, are well prepared to participate on equal footing with adults. Furthermore, they bring important youth perspectives to the deliberations.
SponsorsWe gratefully acknowledge the following sponsors who have generously supported this program.
Lead SponsorsHatton W. Sumners Foundation
Community SponsorsJ. F Maddox Foundation
Sandia National Laboratories