PRESS RELEASE - October 27, 2004
Office of The Governor
Capitol Bldg., 4th Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87503

Gilbert Gallegos
(505) 476-2217

Governor Bill Richardson to fund ENLACE
Education program

SANTA FE- Governor Bill Richardson announced today that he will support $1.2 million in state funding to keep a popular college preparation and dropout prevention program, known as ENLACE, from shutting down next year.

“I am committed to keeping ENLACE as an important option for New Mexico families and students who are looking for support to stay in school and prepare for college,” Governor Bill Richardson said. “ENLACE has a proven track record. This innovative program has made a difference in New Mexico communities by providing a path to education for many who are the first in their families to pursue higher education.”

The Governor will make the funding recommendation a top priority as he pushes for passage of his Prepare for Success initiative, which is designed to expand opportunities and prepare New Mexicans to succeed in school and in college. ENLACE will continue in five communities, including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Espanola, Las Vegas and Las Cruces.

Without help from Governor Richardson, the program (Engaging Latino Communities for Education) was scheduled to run out of money. A four-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation - the largest of its kind - is scheduled to end in 2005.

The work of ENLACE includes youth leadership development, tutoring, mentoring, family centers at schools, and college preparation.
Secretary of Education Veronica Garcia said the program is a top priority as she prepares for the 2005 legislative session.

“ENLACE has proven to be effective for dropout prevention and has engaged parents and communities in their children’s education in a meaningful way,” Secretary Veronica Garcia said.

Karen Sanchez-Griego, ENLACE State Director, said the program complements Governor Richardson’s efforts to keep kids in school and prepare them for college.

“Since the inception of ENLACE, Governor Richardson has been our champion,” Sanchez-Griego said. “The Governor understands the challenges facing New Mexico students and families.”