100% New Mexico: Five Years Ago and Five Years from Now
You’re invited to explore the visionary future of New Mexico, a state where 100% of our children, students, and families can thrive.
Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello
Five years ago….
Five years ago, we proposed what many thought was impossible and far too ambitious, if not audacious. The Anna, Age Eight Institute, sponsors of the 100% New Mexico initiative, stated that 100% of families required access to ten vital services for surviving and thriving. It was, and is, our radically simple goal. We started in 2019, partnering in 3 counties and now are engaged with 18 developing local initiatives.
Five years ago in New Mexico, the phrase “surviving and thriving” was rarely heard, as were the terms “adverse childhood experiences,” “social determinants of health,” and “ten vital services.” Today, these terms appear everywhere, from the state capital to city halls to school boardrooms. The terms are at the core of our mission, implemented by local change agents who believe that New Mexico can finally address the historical public health, education, and safety challenges that have diminished our children’s lives for generations.
Our 100% New Mexico initiative members and partners have dared to confront the root cause of our most costly challenges, including all the barriers keeping families from the services that promote health, safety, and self-sufficiency.
Five years ago, when the book 100% Community: Ensuring 10 vital services for surviving and thriving was published, it changed the trajectory of the state. That’s due to the hard work of local champions who were not satisfied to tinker around the edges of problems or hear statements like, “Kids should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” Local champions would no longer allow people to say, “We refer families to services” when it was known that those services were inaccessible.
Five years ago, as a university-sponsored initiative, we started to identify through our 100% New Mexico survey the problems that included many families lacking access to services. Today, a solution awaits implementation through the 100% Family Center: One Stop Service Hub. This Center not only links residents to local services, but has the staff to build services where needed.
Five years from now…
In half a decade, New Mexico can have a 100% Family Center in every county. This will become the engine that grows services in ten service sectors, aligned with local governmental and non-governmental organizations. These tech-empowered centers will have relationships with higher education to support ongoing research and evaluation.
In half a decade, each public school can also have a school-based family resource center as a hub to link students and their families to vital services for surviving and thriving. Schools can also be funded to implement school-based health centers with robust behavioral health care, and have the resources to address epidemic rates of childhood trauma and substance use disorders. This means that every child, student, and family has access to community-based and school-based services to survive and thrive.
The 100% New Mexico initiative’s work, including acquiring the funding for the first 100% Family Centers is critical. Together, we can produce the tipping point to finally address the root causes of all our costly public health, education, and safety challenges. The article in the Archives of Public Health documents the initiative’s work in transforming the adverse social determinants of health into positive ones. This statewide strategy is nothing less than groundbreaking. To be clear, no other state has such a comprehensive system-wide strategy.
The next five years, built on the success of the last five, can be a time of healing, connecting, innovation, and ensuring a New Mexico that makes every child and student the number one priority. We look forward to collaborating with you.
Did you know? Our transformational 100% New Mexico initiative is guided by web-based, self-paced courses provided free to all New Mexicans.
A Child’s Right to Survive & Thrive Course
You can ensure safe childhoods. In this groundbreaking course, initiative co-developers Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello, authors of Anna, Age Eight and 100% Community, introduce you to “Anna’s story” and the strategies to ensure 100% of children, students, and families can thrive.
100% Initiative Leaders & Action Team Courses
Turn caring into action! If you are joining or are already part of a local action team, get an overview of your local initiative and learn how to make measurable and meaningful change by building one-stop service hubs, community schools, and other technology-empowered, innovative strategies.