Carmen’s Second Chance

  At 65, Carmen left the only life she had known for 47 years.   She walked away one blustery day in February and took with her a light load of only the necessities.  The necessities included pictures of her grandchildren that she knew she would not be seeing for a while.  Her whole life and … Continue reading

Taste the Sky Takes Palates on Journey Around the World

Taste the Sky emerged out of cloudy skies and the threat of rain at the Los Alamos Airport. Hi everyone! My name is Akane Dunn, and this year I have had the pleasure of producing Taste the Sky for the United Way Youth Team. This event provided a unique dining experience in that guests ate out on the … Continue reading

A United Way Kickoff Unlike Any You have Seen Before

Coming off a productive first half of the year, United Way of Northern New Mexico is kicked off this year’s Community Campaign with a bang!  An off season that saw the start up of a peer to peer mentoring program at Los Alamos High School, a STEM to Read program, and a learning trail shows how … Continue reading

Dinner Over Diamond Kicks Off Youth Team Events!

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 … Continue reading

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.”

In May of 2014, 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 of 2014, incoming freshmen and 7th graders were 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  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

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Upcoming Events

  • Hamburger Night October 27, 2014 at 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Bandelier Grill, 11 Sherwood Blvd, Los Alamos, NM, United Stat es Celebrity servers, costumes, and plenty of laughter when the community comes together and chow down on some juicy burgers for the Youth Team finale!

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