Ngage New Mexico hosted its third annual “Champions for Education” awards ceremony at the Sunset Grill Pavilion on April 20. There were over 75 attendees at the celebratory event, including students and organizations from Las Cruces and the surrounding areas. The keynote speakers included Frank R. López, Executive Director of Ngage New Mexico and Monica Torres, Ngage New Mexico Board President. “It’s important to see how people in our community affect education in a wonderful and positive way,” said Lopez.  Twelve finalists were selected from a pool of nominees by an independent panel of judges. Four of the twelve finalists were announced as champions, during the ceremony.  The awards were based on four categories:  Educator, Student, Community Sector and Collaboration. 

The Educator Award criteria included teachers from the public schools or post-secondary institutions in Doña Ana County who have made a significant difference in preparing children, youth, or adults for success in acquiring a meaningful education. The Student Award criteria included students and group of students that have distinguished themselves in their quest for education, and have taken advantage of opportunities within the community or school system. The Collaboration Award criteria were based on an individual from a community sector that have made an important contribution in promoting the educational success of children, youth, or adults in Doña Ana County. In order to receive the Collaboration Award, two or more organizations must have collaborated on an initiative that have made a contribution to the educational success of children, youth, or adults in Doña Ana County.  

 The gracious award winners who were recognized included: Dr. Azadeh Osanloo for the Educator Award; Judy Carter for the Community ctor Award; The League of Women Voters Youth Engagement Committee for the Collaboration Award, who work with Engaging Latino Communities for Education (ENLACE) from Mayfield High School; and Matthew Torres for the Student Award. “I feel fortunate to work in a thoughtful and caring community,” said Dr. Azadeh Osanloo, who was grateful to be an award recipient. 

Ngage New Mexico was honored to present the awards, with the assistance of 16 local sponsors. The non-profit organization in collaboration with the SUCCESS Partnership plan to have a fourth annual Champion for Education awards ceremony in 2018.