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Home » Uncategorized » A bright future beckons Dream Makers graduates

A bright future beckons Dream Makers graduates

2018 Dream Makers Graduates

Thursday, April 12, 2018, Silver City, NMWhen 8th grader Fabio Reyes says, “I want to be an orthodontist”, how seriously do you take his statement? FORWARD New Mexico not only takes Reyes’ aspirations of a career in orthodontics seriously, they sponsor clubs at junior high schools throughout southwest New Mexico to support such lofty goals as his. Last week, Reyes along with 28 other middle school students graduated the aptly titled Dream Makers Club surrounded by their families and peers at Western New Mexico University’s Global Resource Center.

The Dream Makers Clubs take middle school students from Grant and Luna Counties on a year-long whirlwind adventure through the career opportunities available in the field of health care. Along the way, the teens get acquainted with therapy horses, visit research laboratories and climb into the piolet’s seat of a helicopter air-ambulance.

The Club has chapters in Deming’s Red Mountain Middle School, and Silver City’s La Plata Middle School and Aldo Leopold Charter Middle School. Educator Irene Carbajal sponsors the club Red Mountain Middle School.

Carbajal said, “Dream Makers is a wonderful experience for these students. I’m hoping these kids go onto great careers. When Dr. Susan Bauer came to speak about anatomy, and what our bodies can do it, was a great example of the real-life applications of science.”

As for Reyes, his Dream Maker experiences helped solidify his commitment to be an orthodontist, but he was tempted by the Dream Makers field trip to the New Mexico University Radiology program in Las Cruces.  “I want to help people smile,” Reyes said. Reyes honored as one of the three Outstanding Club members, along with Sophiana Read from Aldo Leopold Middle School and Gabrielle Sanchez from la Plata Middle School.

Hidalgo Medical Services’ Family Medicine Resident Dr. Susan Bauer, DO., spoke to the graduates and praised them for “taking this huge first steps to have a career in health care, and exposure to all these careers is important because you realize now how limitless health care is.”

University of New Mexico (UNM) Office of Diversity Program Specialist, Teresa Madrid addressed the students and urged them to “become the health care workers you desire to be and be successful in your educational goals.”

FORWARD NM Program Specialist and Dream Makers Coordinator, Baudelia Salgado said, “There is a severe shortage of health care professionals in our area.  Programs like the Dream Makers Club foster students’ interest in health care.  Studies show that rural students are more likely to return to their roots and practice in their chosen profession.  We hope we can encourage these students and support them along their path, so they can achieve their goals, and return to our area.”

Aldo Leopold Dream Maker, Sophiana Read was uncertain of her future career, but saw the club as an opportunity to broaden her knowledge of health care. “I learned a lot about health care, especially the forms of health care you don’t see or necessarily think about. I think Dream Makers was an amazing experience.”

Bauer summed up the importance the clubs, “All these careers are needed to work here so your family and kids have someone to treat them. It warms my heart that you will all be successful and go home at night with an incredible sense of pride and purpose. In healthcare, we are blessed that we get to help people every day. Our efforts impact people in a way that ripples beyond ourselves. I hope we can continue to support you in your goals and continue to support you to achieve your dreams.”

CHI Board member, State Representative Rudy Martinez attended the graduation. Martinez said, “These students have taken another step towards furthering their education to become health care providers. Congratulations to all the students that completed Dream Makers.”

The Dream Makers Clubs are sponsored through a partnership with the UNM Office of Diversity and FORWARD New Mexico, a program of the Southwest Center for Health Innovation (CHI) located in Silver City.

Red Mountain Middle School Dream Makers graduates included: Kayla Dominguez, Gavin Grattan, Daniela Jimenez, Xochitl Jimenez, Aron Krockgether, Valerie Pacheco, Lillian Renteria, Fabio Reyes, Ishan Shura, Mia Soliz, Serenity Schultz, Marisol Valerio and Miranda Vasquez

The La Plata Middle School Dream Makers included: Brianna Atwater, Savanannah Aguirre, Gabrielle Sanchez, Keira Montoya, Danica Valencia, and Azlynn Stailey.

Dream Makers from Aldo Leopold Charter School included: Morgan Chaney, Mia Estrada, Charla Hardesty, Heather Hillyer, Kinan Lopez, Tiffani Novak, Sophiana Read, Lillith Snyder, Angelica Sosaya, and Isabella Wacondo.

The natural path for these Dream Makers is to attend the upcoming Teen Academy for Health Sciences offered by FORWARD NM. Offered in June, the free three week-long academy focuses on science studies and is held at Western New Mexico University in Silver City. The academy is open to incoming high school freshmen to incoming seniors in southwest New Mexico.

For more information on the Dream Makers Clubs or the Teen Academy for Health Sciences contact Salgado at (575) 597-0030 or email: