UNM-Taos impresses at AHSIE Best Practices Conference

March 27, 2024


Courtesy photo
From L-R, UNM-Taos staff Juan Juarez and Angelique Vargas, student Sydnie Pino, and staff members Opal McCarthy, Alejandra Villalobos, and Rachel Gift participated in the 2024 AHSIE Best Practices Conference in Monterey, California.

In March, a team of five staff (Juan Juarez, Angelique Vargas, Opal McCarthy, Alejandra Villalobos, and Rachel Gift) and student Sydnie Pino participated in the 2024 Alliance for Hispanic Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE) Best Practices Conference in Monterey, California. Staff, faculty, and students at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) across the country came together during this conference to share information about their initiatives and engage in focused conversations about how to implement and improve culturally responsive services and students' academic success at HSIs.

Pino and McCarthy presented "You Can Do It, Mija”—a near-peer mentorship program between UNM-Taos students and teens from local high schools—garnering much interest among the audience.

The presentation focused on key ways the program empowers young women through mentorship training, connections with women community leaders, and cultivating a safe and brave space to grow. Pino spoke dynamically about how the program has helped her develop her strengths and skills as a mentor and reflected upon the importance of mental health support for high school and college students.

The team made exciting connections with audience members interested in developing similar programs and sharing resources, including others from the northern New Mexico region.



Courtesy photo
UNM-Taos student Sydnie Pino and school staff member Opal McCarthy presented "You Can Do It, Mija” during the conference.