Aug 31, 2023

NMOGA’s Brighter Future Fund awards $55,000 in grants to New Mexico Non-Profits

August 29, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association’s Brighter Future Fund awarded $55,000 in grant awards on August 29, 2023, to eight New Mexico non-profit organizations for support of their efforts to increase educational programming in communities across New Mexico.

“The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association is happy to support the incredible work these non-profit organizations are doing to increase educational programming for children of all ages in communities across our state,” said Missi Currier, president and CEO of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. “NMOGA and the American Petroleum Institute began the Brighter Future Fund to help our neighbors, and our hope is to help New Mexicans move forward in their education, careers and lives.”

The organizations receiving awards include Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Explora, Cuidando Los Niños, Libros For KIDS, Mandy’s Farm, JAG New Mexico, AMIkids, and New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation.

Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails serves nearly 5,000 girl and adult members in 23 counties in central and northern New Mexico through educational programming in the fields of STEM, outdoor recreation, environmental stewardship, entrepreneurship, life skills, and community impact. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character. Their vision is that every girl in central and northern New Mexico is empowered to fulfill her potential and make the world a better place.

“We extend our gratitude to NMOGA and the American Petroleum Institute for their continued partnership in our communities,” said Rebecca Latham of Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails. “NMOGA’s Brighter Future Fund continues to make significant investments and impacts across our state, all of which illuminate a path towards a brighter, more promising future for generations to come.”

Explora is an innovative experiential learning center with a mission of creating opportunities for inspirational discovery and the joy of lifelong learning through interactive experiences in science, technology engineering, art, and math.

“Explora's Community Outreach program engages nearly 30 counties in the Southwest, working with partners like NMOGA's Brighter Future Fund to provide high-quality, hands-on STEAM education for learners of all ages in rural and tribal communities,” said Sarah Mellin of Explora. “By engaging youth and families in STEAM learning early, we can foster a lifelong love of learning among our youngest students, support them on pathways to STEAM education and careers, and transform New Mexico’s educational landscape.”

The mission of Mandy's Farm is to assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their goals to learn, work, and live in the community. Mandy’s Farm provides adults with disabilities with educational opportunities, employment training, job placement opportunities, and supported residential living opportunities. Statistically, 64% of high school graduates with developmental disabilities are unemployed and 80% remain living with a family member. Mandy’s Farm believes that everyone has abilities that can be utilized in meaningful employment.

"Improving the success of transitioning out of high school to college or securing employment for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities is the goal of our VAMOS Program. We are excited to partner with NMOGA in achieving this goal," said Amy Berman, development director, Mandy’s Farm.

Libros for Kids, Inc. is dedicated to improving early childhood literacy by providing age-appropriate books to pre-school children in their homes. Libros is an affiliate of the Imagination Library supported by the Dolly Parton Foundation. Books in Spanish and English are selected by academically trained educators from the Dollywood Foundation. Children are enrolled in the program with the consent of the parents, and within 4-8 weeks, the child receives their first book. Families are never asked to financially support the program.

“Currently, Libros for Kids, Inc. is delivering books monthly to 1513 children in Valencia County which equates to 36% of children ages 0-5 years,” said John Heidrich, president, Libros for Kids, Inc. “The grant from NMOGA will allow us to serve 167 more children!  That increases our coverage to 40% of pre-school children receiving books in their homes. Studies show that reading to your child, under the age of 5, two or three times a week increases their vocabulary, improves their ability to concentrate, and improves their elementary school literacy test scores.” 

AMIkids Farmington is dedicated to helping kids discover the potential within them, transform their lives and strengthen our communities by providing psychotherapeutic residential rehabilitative care in a group living setting for youth with severe behavioral, psychological, or emotional problems. AMIkids Farmington offers dynamic programs and comprehensive services to treat each kid's unique issues, primarily focusing on education, behavior modification, treatment while providing career readiness and vocational training services.

Cuidando Los Niños serves families and children experiencing and exiting homelessness in Albuquerque’s diverse South Valley and surrounding communities. Their mission is to break the cycle of homelessness for children and families by providing high quality early childhood education, therapeutic services, supportive housing, and parent education.

JAG-NM re-engages academically vulnerable high school students and prepares them to reach their potential through graduation and beyond. JAG places a highly trained teacher in every JAG classroom to create a customized student experience that encompasses academic, social, emotional support and preparation for college, career, and life. With a 96% graduation rate, JAG-NM provides vulnerable students the opportunity to graduate, succeed in postsecondary opportunities and find a rewarding career pathway.

The mission at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation is to advance the educational, scientific, and cultural programs of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. Their STEAM Trek program aligns directly with Pre-K through 12, which focuses on promoting school attendance and more importantly school graduation rates. STEAM Trek is a program that provides Virtual Field Trips that explore STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and cultural topics for public, private, and charter schools, as well as home school and library groups throughout New Mexico. The program affords educators a well-rounded lesson plan for their students using the power of film to provoke in-class discussions, further the learning of science, and engage in the rich cultural tapestry that surrounds the Land of Enchantment.

The Brighter Future Fund is supported by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, the American Petroleum Institute, and their members. The Albuquerque Community Foundation administers the application, award process, and helps ensure funds are invested strategically in communities throughout New Mexico. Quarterly awards focus on economic opportunity, educational programming, and reducing hunger in communities across New Mexico. For more information about the awardees, guidelines, and application process, please visit https://www.nmoga.org/brighterfuturefund

NMOGA is a coalition of more than 1,000 oil and natural gas companies and individuals operating in the state of New Mexico. NMOGA is the oldest and largest organization representing the oil and gas industry in New Mexico and its members include all facets of oil and gas production, transportation, and delivery. The oil and gas industry is the greatest economic contributor to the state of New Mexico, supporting more than 134,000 jobs and $63.3 billion in annual economic activity. Taxes and royalties from the industry account for about 35% of the State of New Mexico’s annual budget, including over $1.4 billion for public schools. Visit NMOGA.org to learn more about the importance of oil and natural gas to New Mexico.