By Teens, For Teens
Northern Youth Project works to better the outcomes and opportunities for rural Northern New Mexico youth through hands-on art, agriculture, community service, and leadership projects that honor the past and look to the future.
NYP is a homegrown effort, founded in 2009 by local teens in response to staggering statistics of high school dropout rates, teen substance abuse, academic underachievement, and a lack of programs for teenagers in the area.
Collectively, Northern Youth Project teens have set out to “be the change” in their community. The program provides an opportunity to put ideas into action: initiating projects they want to do, focusing on their interests, and engaging in activities driven by their passions.
Our strategy is working! Nearly 100% of Northern Youth Project teens 18 and older have graduated from high school or received a GED and are now attending college. Participating members have regularly shown increased rates of school attendance and academic performance, expressing a greater sense of awareness, appreciation and responsibility towards their community, school, culture, environment, and most importantly, themselves.
Funders and Supporters
Although Northern Youth Project teens raise some of their own revenue, it is with the help from many generous individuals, organizations, and local businesses that our programs are made possible. The Northern Youth Project Garden Site is provided by Tres Semillas Foundation, In our early years, Luciente, Inc., a community-based, 501(c)(3) organization, was our initial fiscal sponsor who supported us in the beginning of the initiative. In 2015, Northern Youth Project became it's own 501(c)(3); made possible by our dedicated community and grantors!
In 2015, the Santa Fe Community Foundation awarded Northern Youth Project a coveted Chispa Award, given to organizations who are a shining light (chispa) in their communities and do “a lot with a little.” Other important foundations who who have generously supported the early times of NYP include Clothing Helping Kids; Con Alma Foundation; United Way of Northern New Mexico; New Mexico Children’s Foundation; Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area; Dr. Gerald J. & Dorothy R. Friedman Medical Foundation, Inc.; Farm to Table New Mexico; and the Abiquiú Studio Tour.
As we are in our 14th year of existence; this youth organization has also been supported by: El Rito Studio Tour; Schmidt Family Foundation; The Kindle Project; Tewa Women United; Santa Fe Community Foundation; McCune Charitable Foundation; No Kid Hungry; Los Alamos Community Foundation; Del Norte LOV Foundation; Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Foundation; Rio Arriba County Commissioner's; Whole Kids Foundation; New Mexico State University: Healthy Soils Program and East Rio Arriba Soil and Water Conservation District.
This list wouldn't be complete without noting the local farmers and growers who provide support, mentorship, and earth-based goods to our youth and families: Abiquiu and Espanola Farmer;s Market; Owl Peak Farm; Mother Nature Center; Abiquiu Greens; Malandro Farms; Ojo Farms; ReUnity Resources; Payne's Nursery; Plants of the Southwest; Querencia Creations; One Straw Farm; Agua Fria Nursery and MANY MORE! We thank you all for Supporting the Dreams of Northern New Mexico Teens! More than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars worth of in kind goods and services are donated each year to keep our program—and youth—thriving.
As our Garden is our Home, for many years, we didn't have a building to operate out of or have year-round programming. In 2019, we partnered with Northern New Mexico College: El Rito Campus to have Winter Programming that was possible due to use of their student center. In 2020, we partnered with the Healing Center in Abiquiu, which allowed us to finally have an office space! We have also collaborated with the Dar al Islam Mosque to host special events and also have access to their lovely kitchen for year-round projects.
More than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars worth of in kind goods and services are donated each year to keep our program—and youth—thriving.
Our Annual Newsletter is Coming Soon!
In the meanwhile, enjoy a brief look back at Fallread more