Dinner Over Diamond Kicks Off Youth Team Events!

Yay Youth Team

Jenna Erickson, United Way Youth Team Chair

Hello! My name is Jenna Erickson and I am the 2014 chair of the United Way Youth Team. It is such an honor for me to be in this position to work on the events that the team has to present to the community this year. I am so excited for everyone to see what we have to offer! The members of the team this year are so motivated, creative, passionate, and just cannot wait to present all the hard work that they have been doing to everyone. We hope the community is as excited as we are!

The United Way Youth Team just kicked off its campaign at the beginning of this month. Proceeds from the youth team events benefit the Community Action Fund. Last year funds raised at youth team events helped start Link Crew which is a peer to peer mentoring program at the high school. At the start of the school year, the Link Crew Leaders welcomed freshmen into the high school community. Many of the youth team members are also a part of the Link Crew program.

Now I’m going to turn it over to Emily Hopkins, the producer of our first event Dinner Over Diamond!

Yay Dinner Over Diamond!

Emily Hopkins, Dinner Over Diamond Producer

Hi, everybody! I am so excited to be able to present this event to the community in just a few short days! Dinner Over Diamond will be a wonderful opportunity for the community to prepare for the upcoming high school sports season and will give kids the chance to play games and hang out with the Hilltoppers themselves! We are so lucky to be able to have Bob’s Bodacious Barbecue as our caterer this year, and the whole United Way Youth Team is eager to be able to serve all of our guests! This event will be occurring on Sunday, September 7th from 4-7 PM on the overpass right outside of Griffith Gym! If the weather is uncooperative as it was last year, we have a backup location set up for the dinner. Admission for adults will be $20 and $10 for students and children. Remember, all of the proceeds go to support Link Crew and various programs and organizations that help make our community a great place to live! We hope to see everyone there, and be sure to look out for all of the upcoming United Way Youth Team events this fall!



Jenna Erickson and Emily Hopkins on behalf of the United Way Youth Team

 Youth Team Webpage

Yay United Way!


Born Learning Trail created to promote early childhood learning and family fun!

Learning happens everywhere a child goes, but parents, grandparents and caregivers may not always know how to support that learning. That won’t be the case at Urban Park, right here in Los Alamos! When Mom and Dad, Aunt Amy and Grandpa take their favorite young child to Urban Park now, they’ll be able to play … Continue reading

Youth Development Sparks Local Collaboration, Inspires Leadership


From left to right: Jeremy Varela, United Way, Bernadette Lauritzen, LAMS/40 Developmental Assets, Kristy Ortega, United Way, Joanne Gilispie, LAPS Foundation, Ellen Ben-Naim, JJAB, Jonathan Lathrop, LAHS, Robyn Collom, LAHS, Carter Payne, LAHS, Sylvan Argo, YMCA Teen Center.

“Fun!” “Colorful!” “Interesting!” This is what Los Alamos High School students are saying about a new program premiering this upcoming school year. The selecting of this program started its journey when United Way of Northern New Mexico’s Youth Team was interested in reinvesting the money they raised to help current and future students.  Through numerous meetings and conversations with people in the community United Way was directed to The Boomerang Project by Dr. Marvel Harrison.    This lead to the convening of organizations interested in providing peer to peer support services for our students. The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, LAPS Foundation, YMCA Teen Center, LAHS, LAMS, and United Way of Northern New Mexico came together to begin implementation of Link Crews and WEB (Where Everybody Belongs)  Crews in Los Alamos  High School and Middle School. At the high school level, this peer to peer mentorship program partners incoming freshmen with two upper classman to not only welcome the to the school, but to help them succeed through their tenure at LAHS.  At the middle school, incoming seventh graders will be welcomed and mentored by eight graders.  The training these crews receive will be invaluable as they grow up to be adults. “I’m incredibly excited for our incoming freshman.” said Carter Payne, Assistant Principle at Los Alamos High School. “I maybe even more excited for the leadership experience the students are getting and their chance to leave a lasting culture at our school.”

Last month, Robyn Collom (LAHS), Bernadette Lauritzen (LAMS), and Jonathan Lathrop (LAHS), attended a training to lay the foundation of the program in Los Alamos.  “The best professional development training I’ve ever attended.” says Jonathan Lathrop, who has taught for 17 years “I am absolutely enthused and so confident that this will enhance the positive culture at LAHS.”

A variety of students were approached about being the initial Link Crews and WEB Crews leaders.  60 students from the high school and 47 students from the middle school signed up within a couple of weeks of learning about the program.  The students were given a glimpse of what they will be a part of when they had their initial meetings the last week of school.  “Before the meeting started, some students were quiet, stern, and keeping to themselves.” said Jeremy Varela, from United Way “By the end of the meeting they were all smiling and giggling with the friends they just made.”  In the Fall, freshmen and 7th graders will be treated to an orientation unlike any ever seen in Los Alamos. Varela continues, “What better way to kick off a new school year than making new friends?”

“The program aligns with the 40 Developmental Assets and that is one of the reasons it will be successful.” said Bernadette Lauritzen, LAMS Prevention Specialist “Students helping students succeed has the ability to change the culture in schools.”

The YMCA Teen Center has offered the space given the program the ability to do activities and meetings year-round.

“Over the past 11 years of teaching, this program was life changing.” says Robyn Collom, “I am thrilled to use the tools I learned, share the enthusiasm and energy this program has sparked in me.  It is exciting to build on the positive momentum the high school is already on.”

Visit www.BoomerangProject.com  for more information about the program. Contact United Way of Northern New Mexico if you have questions specific to the program in Los Alamos  505.662.0800

2014 Community Action Funded Partners Announced!

  Nonprofits are a staple in making a community a great place to live, but what nonprofit has the ability to address the most pressing overall needs of the community?  It’s your United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM). This past year UWNNM has been working with the health councils, public schools,  and other community … Continue reading

Pat Soran & Ann Hayes – Philanthropy on the Hill

Because of  the generosity of residents in our community, United Way of Northern New Mexico is able to provide resources to focus on greater community needs.  Helping a neighbor, helping a friend, and bettering our community. Here is an example of how we Live United.  We invite you to be a part of making your community a great place to live.





Pat Soran and Ann Hayes have lived and worked in Los Alamos for nearly 50 years. “Los Alamos is a special community that has given us much. Our children had the benefit of good schools and a nurturing environment.” Pat said when we had the opportunity to talk with them recently.  “We would like to help ensure that future generations of Los Alamos residents also reap these benefits.”  After the Cerro Grande fire some years ago, the couple talked about what they would do if their home been one of those destroyed by the fire. “The pluses of staying far outweighed the cons of relocating.”

Pat is a PhD in Nuclear Engineer., Captain (USNR), University of California employee for 27 yrs. Pat co-founded the Los Alamos Lunch Buddies Board Program (now part of Big Brothers/Big Sisters). From 1997 to 2005 he coordinated efforts to rebuild all of Los Alamos Tot Lots. Pat served on the Board of Directors and Chair of Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico for 12 years. He is a 20 year member of Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos. Pat is a Master Woodworker of boxes, furniture, and wooden vases.

Ann has a Master’s degree in Computer Science and was a LANL employee for 23 years.  She is the President of local Foundation which served children of northern New Mexico and is a member of Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos.

“We try to give our charitable contributions to organizations such as the United Way that fund local causes. We also support the American Cancer Society and military service causes. We have volunteered through Kiwanis, the Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico, and the Los Alamos Lunch Buddy Program. We feel we have lived a very gifted life and need to ‘pay it forward’. Our children are all on their own, with their own families, and we now have the time and energy to devote to those causes that we feel help our neighbors and community.”

We all have a reason that we give… What’s yours?

To see how your investment is making a difference in the lives of your friends and neighbors bring us into your news feeds or into your inbox

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2014 United Way of Northern New Mexico Grant Process


When it comes to tackling tough issues in our community, it really does take a village.  United Way of Northern New Mexico has actively worked with the health councils in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba. There are pressing needs we are all capable of overcoming.  We can do it together.  The United Way of Northern New Mexico has officially opened the  2014 Grant Season with the release of the Request For Proposals on March 17th.


  • Youth Development – Mentorship programs.
  • Partnering schools and parents to improve graduation.
  • Early childhood education.
  • Pre-K Preparation.
Financial Stability
  • Helping hardworking people obtain job training and family-sustaining wages.
  • Supporting basic needs.
  • Reducing drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Reducing domestic violence.
  • Alzheimer assistance.
  • Mental health treatment.
  • Increasing health education and preventative care.

These are the key areas of need in Northern New Mexico.

The deadline to submit a proposal for funding was April 25th.

Proposals were submitted from thirty one local nonprofits requesting a total of nearly $1.1 million to achieve their missions in the community.  United Way of Northern New Mexico and a grant committee comprised of UWNNM Board Members and community leaders are screening proposals until May 16th.  An announcement of grants rewarded will come shortly after screenings are complete and UWNNM Board approval.

For more information please contact our office at 505-662-0800.

A Look Back at 2013

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well, here is a link to United Way’s 2013 captured through photographs.

Photos of 2013

Thanks to community-minded individuals and the generosity of businesses, United Way raised over $500,000 to strengthen our community.  Together with your local non-profits, we will work to address the needs of our community and provide the change that our neighbors, friends, and community is looking for.

photo (4)

Community Partners join United Way staff in final rising of the campaign thermometer. From left to right, Bob McDonald, Tiffany Grimm, Mary Yamada from Los Alamos Retirement Community. Kristy Ortega, United Way. Stella Terrazas from Aspen Ridge. Diana Martinez from YMCA. Marie Marroquin from United Way. Susan Mack from Family Strengths Network.

Reinvest in your community

In Times of Need, Services are Available.

Upcoming Events

  • Dinner Over Diamond September 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm LAHS Overpass The United Way Youth Team presents a unique dining experience o ver Diamond Drive and family night. Meet the Toppers, play games, and BB Q.
  • United Way of Northern New Mexico Kick Off! September 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Ashley Pond, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA Music, Food, Fun and Spirits! Food provided by Blue Window Bistro and music by the Craig Martin Experience
  • Los Alamos Health Fair September 27, 2014 at 8:00 am – 12:00 pm Los Alamos High School, 1300 Diamond Dr, Los Alamos, NM, Unite d States Are you living a healthy lifestyle? Visit community health orga nizations to make sure you are on the right track. Visit our table, we'd love to say hi to you!
  • Taste The Sky September 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm Los Alamos Airport Tarmac Catch the sunset amongst planes at the Los Alamos Airport in th is unique dining experience.

2009 to present


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