Sharing educational ministries to help students and families succeed in school and in life
Describe the need affecting community
McCurdy Ministries serves Española, NM, where 87% of the population is Hispanic. Española has the highest death by heroin overdose rate and one of the highest high school dropout rates in the United States. In addition, 60% of children are being raised by their grandparents, 28% of the population lives under the Federal Poverty Line and 25% of adults over 25 have not graduated from high school or have a GED.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
Project Cariño has been our secret weapon against this community’s high dropout rate for 30 years. McCurdy Mission School had a very high graduation rate (always above 90% and frequently 100%) and college matriculation rate. With the opening of MCS those rates have continued with the support of our counseling program, preschool, after school care, summer camp, breakfast lunch, and volunteer programs. When we complete the construction a new building for the charter school and once again be able to use our buildings. We will greatly expand the educational ministries our community center provides to students and families in our community. We will open Adult Ministries, Children’s Ministries and Teen Ministries Centers. In addition, we will open a Nonprofit Hub and expand our Retreat Center to include a kitchen and dining facilities for 100 people. With the cooperation of Valley View UMC and Santa Cruz UMC we plan to start a midweek ministry called Wednesday Comunidad that will include a family meal which is free to families who receive free or reduced lunches or SNAP and low cost to all other participants. In addition, there will be faith based programming during Wednesday Comunidad for all ages. For adults we will provide parent support groups and economic development opportunities such as Northern Rio Grande weaving and Financial Peace University in English and Spanish. In addition, our adult ministries will include GED, literacy and ESL classes. We also plan to pursue the assignment of a Spanish language missionary with an education background to assist in the adult education ministries and to help Valley View UMC and Santa Cruz UMW develop worship and ministries with our large Spanish language immigrant population. Bishop Bledsoe and our district superintendent have expressed great support for our planned ministries which will help to meet the educational, economic and spiritual needs of our community. Not only are we providing a hand up for those in need with the cooperation of our two local United Methodist Churches, but we will be providing a spiritual home for our clients as well.
Describe the primary goal of the project
Our goal is to expand our ministries through community, nonprofit and governmental cooperation so that we might better help “students and their families succeed in school and in life.” Our goal is to also expand our community center ministries to include adult, youth, children’s, nonprofit and volunteer ministries.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
Lower high school dropout rates, higher numbers of adults over 25 who have graduated from high school or completed a GED. Fewer grandparents raising grandchildren because fewer parents are incarcerated or dead due to gang violence or drug overdoses. Lower poverty rates because children, youth and adults have access to educational and economic development programs that help them succeed in life.