For Immediate Release
Contact: Jane Asche. 575-521-1957
Ngage New Mexico Rolls Out New Name and Education Purpose
Ngage New Mexico, formerly known as the Institute for Community Engagement, officially changed its name in March of this year. The organization was founded in 2009 by a group of citizens concerned about the quality of life for everyone in Dona Ana County. The formation of this group grew out of a realization that no matter how much elected officials are strongly committed to creating a better community, they cannot it do alone. What is needed are many citizens who are deeply engaged to help create change that leads to a better life for all county residents.
The mission of the organization is to serve as a catalyst to advance the well-being of all people of Southern New Mexico. A catalyst is something that causes or accelerates change. Frank Lopez, Executive Director of Ngage NM, says, “As a catalyst for change we value collaboration, consensus building, and data-informed solutions for the betterment of our entire community. We focus our energy on facilitating deep community engagement to achieve those things that will contribute to a better quality of life.”
The organization has been able to fully staff up and greatly increase its scope of activities through a major multi-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Ngage New Mexico’s top priority currently is a county-wide education partnership which is based on an approach known as “collective impact.” Collective impact is a process that is guided by the philosophy that when all sectors of the community come together to take shared responsibility for the education of its children and youth, the impact is far greater than a single organization or community sector can accomplish alone. The sectors include education, business, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, faith-based groups and government.
Lopez states, “The most important thing we can do for the future of our county is to improve the education outcomes of our children. The time has come to stop placing blame from one group of people to another. Instead we must work together to ensure ‘best practices’ that will prepare our children for success. It is not okay for the children and youth in our state or county to be ranked 49th on indicators of child well-being.” The W.K. Kellogg foundation is making a commitment to partner with the state of New Mexico to positively transform the future of New Mexico children in school and life.
Multiple community convenings, discussions, parent forums and workshops, and action work groups related to the education partnership are ongoing. To learn about ways you can get involved or for more information visit www.ngagenm.org.