Weatherization Training Completed

As part of the Verde Community Project, an effort with initial funding by the City of Santa Fe, young people from YouthWorks are learning how to weatherize homes.

Training was held last week, December 6-8, at Santa Fe Community College and included a tour of the EnergySmart Academy Lab and Manufactured Home.

Students got an introduction to the tools and materials used in weatherization and instruction in on-the-job safety. During the course of their training, they got demonstrations and gained experience in hands-on installation in these areas:

  • Measuring electricity consumption
  • Carbon Monoxide and smoke alarms
  • Sealing air leaks with caulk and spray foam, weather-stripping
  • Water heaters – general operation and insulating electric and gas units
  • Calculating water flow
  • Installing low-flow show heads
  • Insulating water pipes
  • Installing window insulator kits

Following completion of the training, these young people will be working in teams under the supervision of crew leaders from Proscape, a local landscaping and maintenance business that has volunteered its supervisory services as a way of contributing to the community.

The crews will focus on weatherizing forty homes of local residents who cannot afford to take these energy-saving steps on their own.

YW Caters Brunch for History Museum

Trainees in the YouthWorks Culinary Program partnered with Chef Carmen Rodriguez, of MiSanta, to cater a special brunch today at the Palace of the Governors.

Fifty New Mexico History Museum docents feasted on a special menu based totally on local New Mexico products.



Winter Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Achiote Pork & Chicken Tinga Tamales

Red and Green Chile

Calabasitas Quiche

Natillas & Buenuelos

Chef Carmen is offering guidance to the YouthWorks culinary program, sharing his expertise in cooking preparation, catering logistics, and front-of-the-house skills.

For more information about YouthWorks Catering and the services they offer, contact Penny Rodriguez at


Rabbi Neil Interviews Melynn Schuyler

The work you do at YouthWorks is powerful. I’ve never before seen such a transformative program for young adults.

Rabbi Neil Amswych

Temple Beth Shalom

Rabbi Neil Amswych, of Temple Beth Shalom, interviewed YouthWorks Executive Director Melynn Schuyler on KSFR at the end of November.

To hear the discussion about the needs of “at-risk” young people in our community—for safe shelter, counseling, education, and job training—click below.

 Soul Searching – YouthWorks

On his half-hour program Soul Searching, Rabbi Neil engages with faith leaders, academics, and members of the community to hear differing perspectives on key questions that we all ask at differing times in our lives.

The program airs on KSFR 101.1 the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm.

Save the Date–December 17

Plan to join us on on the afternoon of Sunday, December 17, to hear from local residents about the impact of the planned Siler Yard: Arts + Creativity Center.


Apprentices from YouthWorks have been working with Littleglobe to document the stories of residents in the neighborhood who will be affected by the project.

Their work is designed to ensure that local voices and perspectives are being heard and acknowledged. It also serves as training in interviewing, storytelling, and media production.

During the session, the apprentices will be incorporating their own stories and perspectives about the media making process. 

Congratulations to Class of 2017

The YouthWorks class of 2017 celebrated their graduation on November 16, 2017, with a special dinner catered by Chef Carmen Rodriguez.

More than forty young people earned their GED and/or certification in programs including construction, conservation, aquatic restoration, food handling, personal care, and CPR/first aid. Others were recognized for their participation in the Youth Survey Project and the Verde Community Project.


Jesus Aguilar
Denysse Arteaga
Paola Arteaga
Amanda Barber
Brittany   Benavidez
Hasan Blackmore
Jordan Bustamante
William Cary
Emily Chavez
Rogelio Chavira
Kevin Christen
Amanda Clark
Leobardo Flores
Richard Foreman
Mariah   Garcia
Joseph Gonzales
Tobias   Herrera
Gilbert Leyba
Antonio Romero Maes
Xavior Martinez
Ashley Mekenna
Courtney Moore
Carlos Ortega
Carlos Ortega
Matthew   Ortiz
Anthony   Padilla
Octavio Paniagua
Ian Rodela
Audi Roedel
Pete Romero
Jasmine Romero
Joseph Salazar
Antony Prado Sanchez
Marcelo Sena
Shania Sisneros
Sean Spiegelman
Daniel Tarango
Carlos Tarango
Raquel Valenzuela
Erick   Valles
Leyanna Wilds

YouthWorks Crew Featured in NFPA Blog

The YouthWorks wildfire crew was featured in the National Fire Protection Association blog for making an “incredible difference” in the wildfire safety of our community while at the same time learning basic forestry skills.

To read the full blog post, click here.


Verde Project Wildfire Crew Featured

The YouthWorks crew working with Wildfire Network as part of the Verde Community Project received more publicity this week.

The crew was featured in the United Way’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence blog. Click here to read more.

YouthWorks Honored by City of Santa Fe

The City of Santa Fe and the Mayor’s Sustainability Commission have just announced the winners of the 2017 Mayor’s Sustainability Awards. 

The YouthWorks Verde Community Project is being honored as the runner-up in the “Triple Bottom Line” category for creating a unique set of partnerships to address issues at the intersection of climate change and poverty alleviation.

For details about the other winners and the awards ceremony on November 9, 2017, click here.

New Mexican “My View” Asks for Help

In today’s “My View” in the New Mexican, the Rev. H. Blaine Wimberly, pastor at Zia United Methodist Church, calls for support for homeless youth in Santa Fe.

The weather has started to turn very cold. This year, we hope to protect these vulnerable young adults starting in December. While we continue to work with the city to find a more permanent solution, we need the residents of Santa Fe to once again pay attention to these suffering youngsters who are driven to desperate measures to survive during the cold months.

The ShelterNow! project transforms lives. It takes vulnerable young adults discarded by society and helps them get their lives back together, find employment and more permanent accommodation.

We all know that we have a duty to help these vulnerable kids, so please contact YouthWorks now and offer help.

Click here to read the full commentary in the New Mexican.

Mayor Gonzales Comes to Visit

Mayor Gonzales and City Councilors Peter Ives, Sig Lindell, and Renee Villareal visited the Verde Community Project kitchen this week to meet the culinary team from YouthWorks.

Verde Launch!

Posted by Javier Gonzales on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

These young people, who are enrolled in culinary training at YouthWorks, are using their newly learned job skills to prepare healthy meals for low-income children at after-school programs in local elementary schools and Boys and Girls Clubs.

Verde Wildfire Crew Continues Cleanup

The Verde Wildfire crew members continue their work at the Santa Fe Institute’s Tesuque site. They’re clearing dead and down wood to mitigate the possibility of wildfires, work that  will eventually cover more than 100 acres around Santa Fe.

Approximately 1600 tons of dead and down wood will be recycled as biomass, or firewood, or mulch or become healthy compost.

Verde Crew Adds Another Greenhouse

Crews from the Verde Community Project erect another greenhouse at Reunity Resources. The fresh vegetables grown here will be used in meals delivered to after-school programs at local schools and social services organizations like the Boys and Girls Club.

Verde After-School Meals on the Way

YouthWorks, in collaboration with the Food Depot, launched the Verde Community Project’s after-school meal program on Monday, October 16.

This program, which is partially funded by the City of Santa Fe’s Verde Fund, will provide fresh, nutritious meals to elementary school children at risk of not having enough to eat.

Young people enrolled in the YouthWorks culinary job-training program prepare the meals, which are then delivered each day to local elementary schools and Boys and Girls Clubs.

Verde Crew Trains for Chainsaw Work

The YouthWorks crew working with Wildfire Network puts their chainsaw training into practice. As part of the Verde Community Project, the crew is cleaning up dead wood and thinning the forest to reduce the risk of fire on the Santa Fe Institute’s property in Tesuque.

Verde Partner: The Food Depot

Developing Culinary Skills to Feed Hungry Children

YouthWorks culinary students work in the Verde kitchen, preparing nutritious meals for the after-school meal program. This effort, a collaboration between the Food Depot and YouthWorks, will feed children who might otherwise not have enough to eat after the end of the school day.

Verde Partner: Reunity Resources

Growing Produce for After-School Meal Program

Ian and Denysse gather produce at the Reunity Resources greenhouse and compost yard to deliver to the Verde kitchen for the after-school meal program that serves children who might otherwise not have enough to eat after the end of the school day.

Verde Partner: Wildfire Network

Training to Protect the Forest and Fight Wildfires

As part of the Verde Community Project, young people from YouthWorks train with experts from the Wildfire Network to learn ecological monitoring, erosion control techniques, and basic wildland firefighting.

Apprentice Eddie Orozco Gets Rave Review

After beginning his YouthWorks apprenticeship as a chimney sweep earlier this month, Eddie Orozco got a rave review from his new boss.

Marc Black, master chimney sweep at Arthur Black Chimney & Dryer Exhaust, was so impressed with Eddie’s great work that he stopped by YouthWorks to express his thanks for having Eddie on the job.

Eddie is exactly the type of worker and individual I needed to help get our business going. He has the unteachable qualities of desire, diligence, and resilient attitude. On top of that he is highly intelligent, scrupulously polite, and friendly with customers.

In seven years of sweeping chimneys for other companies, I have never had a helper of this caliber.

If Eddie is the standard for YouthWorks, I will gladly tell anyone looking for workers that they should make the call.

Marc Black

Arthur Black Chimney & Dryer Exhaust

Pojoaque Pueblo Recruiting

The Pueblo of Pojoaque will hold a recruiting event at YouthWorks on Friday, October 6, 2017. HR Recruitment Specialist Karla Lujan will be on-site to speak with students about current opportunities.

Interested individuals should bring an up-to-date resume. Contact Devin Baldwin at (505) 989-1855 for more information.

Young European Leaders Come for a Visit

Students from YouthWorks engage in discussion on September 22, 2017, with young European leaders from nearly a dozen countries who are visiting the U.S. to better understand American social, political, and economic issues.

The International Visitor Leadership program is sponsored by U.S. State Department and hosted by the Santa Fe Council on International Relations.

Apprentices Undertake Storytelling Project

Four apprentices from YouthWorks are working with Littleglobe–a local nonprofit committed to interdisciplinary, collaborative art projects–to document stories from the neighborhood surrounding the developing Siler Yard: Arts + Creativity Center.

The apprentices are interviewing community members to tell their stories about how the project will affect them and to ensure that their voices and perspectives are being heard.

By participating in this project, the young people are learning interviewing, storytelling, and media production. As the project progresses, they will be incorporating their own stories and perspectives in the media making process.

These stories of the impact of the Siler Yard project will be shared at a community listening event and on radio broadcasts. Watch for details to come about when and where.

Clothing Drive = Ready for Interview

Juan gets a lesson in how to tie a tie.
As a result of the clothing drive, Juan is "suited" up.

The clothing drive underway at YouthWorks makes all the difference in getting ready to interview for a job. Board member Fred Seibel provides a bit of advice on tie tying, and YouthWorks student Juan is suited up and ready for action.

YouthWorks is collecting gently used “career” attire for both men and woman, sizes extra-small to extra-large, like the outfits below.

If you can provide any of the following, drop them off from 8 am to 4:30 pm at 1504 Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe. The entrance is around the back, off Taos Street.

Suits * Suit Jackets  * Blazers
Blouses & Shirts * Skirts * Dress Slacks & Pants * Ties
Closed Toe Shoes * Non-Slip Shoes * Work Boots

For more information, contact Kineret Yardena at (505) 989-1855.

Nusenda Hosts Financial Literacy Class

Nusenda Credit Union staff will be at YouthWorks to conduct a free financial literacy workshop from 9 – 10 am on Thursday, August 31. The workshop is free and open to all YouthWorks participants.

Following the workshop, Nusenda staff will have membership applications on-site for individuals interested in opening accounts.

For more information, contact Devin Baldwin, Workforce Innovation Program Coordinator, or Jonathan Tapia, On-the-Job Trainer, at (505) 989-1855.

NM State Hosts Free Nutrition Program

Staff from the New Mexico State University I-CAN program will be at YouthWorks to conduct a free nutrition workshop from 1:30 – 2:30 pm on Tuesday, August 29. The workshop is free and open to all YouthWorks participants.

For more information, contact Devin Baldwin, Workforce Innovation Program Coordinator, or Jonathan Tapia, On-the-Job Trainer, at (505) 989-1855.

Wildfire Network Briefs Youth on Jobs

On Friday, August 25, Krys Nystrom of the Wildfire Network briefed a young audience at YouthWorks about training opportunities in ecological monitoring, erosion control techniques, and basic wildland firefighting.

These positions are funded by the Verde Community Project, an initiative partially funded by the City of Santa Fe.

Young people, ages 18 through 25, can contact Devin Baldwin at (505) 989-1855 or stop by YouthWorks for more information about participating in this program.

Wildfire Network Recruits for Verde Fund

On Friday, August 25, at 9 am, Krys Nystrom of the Wildfire Network will speak at YouthWorks about training opportunities available through the Verde Community Project.

With the support of the City of Santa Fe Verde Fund, YouthWorks is partnering with the Wildfire Network to provide training to young adults, ages 18 through 25, in ecological monitoring, erosion control techniques, and basic wildland firefighting.

For more information about these training opportunities, please contact Devin Baldwin at (505) 989-1855 or stop by YouthWorks for more information.

Wildfire network provides training for young adults as part of the Verde Community Impact Collaborative.

Check Out This New Mexican Coverage!

¡YouthWorks! students help repair "Garden of Love"

Luis Sánchez Saturno / The New Mexican

When a wall surrounding Helen and Tunnie Sharpe’s “Garden of Love” was damaged by a hit-and-run driver, neighbor Gail Rachor called for help.

Among those responding . . . an entire crew of young men and women from YouthWorks who, as Rachor said, “went beyond the call of duty”  to restore this Santa Fe landmark.

Read the New Mexican coverage of this community effort here.

YouthWorks Rescues the Saints!

Last Friday, YouthWorks students and staff rolled up their sleeves to help repair the wall of the famous house and garden of Helen and Tunnie Sharpe, located on the corner of Agua Fria and Velarde.

¡YouthWorks! crew helps repair "Garden of Love."

The wall was damaged as the result of a hit and run accident the night before, leaving the famous garden with its saints and historic paraphernalia vulnerable to potential theft and vandalism.

After hearing about the accident, YouthWorks Executive Director Melynn Schuyler reached out to Gail Rachor, a friend and neighbor of the Sharpes to see what could be done to help.

Almost immediately, YouthWorks dispatched a team to help repair the wall. Students and staff are scheduled to return to the site on Monday, August 14, to finish restoring this Santa Fe landmark to its original condition.

More on UNM Med School Collaboration

UNM med students collaborate with ¡YouthWorks!

Check out this Santa Fe New Mexican feature for the latest on the collaboration between YouthWorks and students from the UNM Medical School.

Reporter Sami Edge details how the brainstorming with YouthWorks students translated into public health outreach in rural New Mexico.

Congratulations!!! to Pete Ulibarri

Congratulations to YouthWorks program graduate Pete Ulibarri on his new position with the City of Santa Fe!

In May, Pete successfully completed a pilot training program in digital fabrication and advanced manufacturing, as part of a collaborative effort between YouthWorks and MAKE Santa Fe.

With the help of YouthWorks staff, Pete got a second apprenticeship with a local fencing company while he looked for permanent employment.

In July, Pete was offered and accepted a position with the City of Santa Fe Parks & Recreation Department as a Maintenance Laborer. Pete officially began his new position on August 1 and has been stopping by YouthWorks after getting off work with the City.

YouthWorks is proud of Pete and wishes him continued success.

Reunity Resources Recruits for Verde Project

YouthWorks is gearing up recruitment for five to six part-time job opportunities with Verde Community Project partner Reunity Resources.

Reunity Resources is recruiting young people to learn on the job about the different aspects of greenhouse management, composting, and sustainable farming practices. The ideal candidate will be between the ages of 18-25.

For more information about these opportunities, please contact Devin Baldwin at (505) 989-1855 or stop by YouthWorks, located at 1504/1506 Cerrillos Road.

The Verde Project is a City of Santa Fe initiative launched by Mayor Javier Gonzales to bring positive change to our community. The Project’s goal is to connect local young people to the economy while helping vulnerable families address hunger, save money, build resiliency, and prepare Santa Fe for the impact of climate change.

UNM Med Students Partner with YouthWorks

University of New Mexico School of Medicine students Claire Melo, Brian Wilkinson, and Ryan Keffer wrapped up their final sexual health class with YouthWorks students on Wednesday, July 19.

UNM Medical Students Lead Session at ¡YouthWorks!

The three second-year medical students brainstormed with YouthWorks staff at the end of June about how to engage in public health outreach with YouthWorks students.

Out of that brainstorming session, the trio of med students developed a four-week comprehensive, youth-focused health curriculum around the topics of sexual health, anatomy and physiology, substance abuse, and mental health.

When asked why they chose YouthWorks as the site to develop this public health programming, Mr. Wilkinson said, “We are passionate about teaching and educating the youth on issues that affect them, and want to make sure they can make informed decisions.”


UNM Medical Students Lead Session at ¡YouthWorks!

As a result of the positive feedback received from students, YouthWorks hopes to continue this collaborative partnership with UNM medical students in the future.

Ms. Melo said her greatest take-away from the experience was “learning how to present information, obtain feedback, and implement that feedback into design.”

The educational materials developed over the four-week period will incorporate student feedback, be updated to reflect that feedback, and will become the property of YouthWorks to use in educating future students.

$50K Grant Benefits YouthWorks

City of Santa Fe, MAKE Santa Fe Earn Community WINS Grant Recognizing Neighborhood Revitalization Efforts

$50,000 will support a Digital Fabrication Youth Lab to equip young Santa Feans with advanced manufacturing workforce skills

July 17, 2017

SANTA FE – A pilot curriculum launched by MAKE Santa Fe with support from the City of Santa Fe Economic Development fund to give young Santa Feans skills to build careers in advanced manufacturing and digital fabrication will receive a big boost this year. MAKE Santa Fe and the City of Santa Fe became one of only 6 city partnerships nationwide to secure a CommunityWINS grant that supports neighborhood revitalization.

The DigiFab Youth Lab teaches “emerging critical skills necessary for succeeding in our rapidly evolving economy,” and launched in 2016 after earning support from the City Economic Development fund in a competitive RFP process focused on workforce development in the community.

Mayor Javier Gonzales announces grant to DigiFab Youth Lab

As a pilot in partnership with YouthWorks, it has provided over 200 hours of training over each 12-week program, teaching skills in manufacturing and fabrication but also focusing on entrepreneurialism and mentorship, job or apprenticeship placement, design thinking, and employment “soft skills” like teamwork.

With the additional funding, MAKE Santa Fe will be able to expand and adapt its programs to serve multiple cohorts simultaneously and share their experience with other communities.

Mayor Javier M. Gonzales, who accepted the award on behalf of the partnership at a recent United State Conference of Mayors meeting, said, “MAKE Santa Fe puts local people to work in the jobs of the future – helping businesses tap into a more qualified workforce and giving young people a non-college track to a successful career. This is the kind of work we need to be doing to help local people find work and build their lives in this community.

Zane Fischer, MAKE Santa Fe’s co-founder and himself an entrepreneur in digital manufacturing, said, “This Digital Fabrication and Advanced Manufacturing program is providing employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the young adults in our community. It’s delivering the skill sets they need to thrive and innovate going into the future and offering an opportunity to level up in a big way.”

Fischer added, “We’re incredibly proud to be partners with The City of Santa Fe and its economic development emphasis on smart, forward thinking workforce and apprenticeship programs.”

Watch a video that breaks down the program and features some of the first students:


YouthWorks in Line for Verde Fund Grant

YouthWorks is one of a dozen entities poised to receive grant money from what elected city leaders have designated as the Verde Fund, an initiative by Mayor Javier Gonzales to combat climate change and reduce poverty.

YouthWorks is part of a collaborative group working to bring positive change to our community, connecting local young people to the economy while helping vulnerable families address hunger, save money, build resiliency, and prepare Santa Fe for the impact of climate change.

Click here to read more about the New Mexican‘s coverage of this initiative.

Mayor Gonzales Announces Verde Fund

News Release

Santa Fe, NM – Particularly in the wake of President Donald J. Trump’s announcement that he would withdraw the United States from the worldwide agreement to combat climate change known as the Paris Accord, local action has moved to the forefront as our best path forward in mitigating the impact of climate change.

Along with the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission, the Climate Action Task Force, Carbon Neutral 2040, and the Climate Mayors Accord commitment to honor the Paris Agreement, the Verde Fund is one of the signature environmental programs this administration has launched to combat climate change, preserve precious natural resources like water, and build resiliency and sustainability into the core of Santa Fe’s way of life.

“The Verde Fund makes sure taxpayer money is put to good use supporting local families who feel like they’ve been left behind – helping working Santa Feans deal with costs of food, water, electricity and other resources that are rising as a result of climate change. At the same time, these dollars can connect families who are out of work to the opportunities that come with an economy finally focusing on sustainability at a high level,” said Mayor Javier M. Gonzales.

“What we do now,” he added, “will set us up for failure or success in future generations.”

Established by resolution 2016-42, the Verde Fund’s mission is threefold: reduce systemic poverty, achieve carbon neutrality, and empower Santa Fe’s workforce, developing resiliency and opportunity in families where unemployment or under-employment are common.

The Council allocated an initial amount of $300,000 for the first round of programs and in December of 2016, city staff began the process of soliciting and reviewing competitive bids from local companies and groups that fit the mission of the Verde Fund as established. Now, after a competitive bidding process that included interviews with finalists by a committee including community representatives and issue staff, the City is proposing, pending a Council review and approval process that will begin on Monday in Councilor Carmichael Dominguez’s Finance Committee, to award two community-led initiatives with funding for the 2017 cycle.

Award Details:

One awardee is a community-wide collaboration among 12 organizations, the Verde Community Impact Collaborative, which includes YouthWorks, the Food Depot, Reunity Resources, MoGro, ProScape, Wildfire Network, Interfaith Leadership Alliance, Dashing Delivery, All Trees Firewood, the Santa Fe Community College and SFPS Adelante Program for Children, Youth and Families Experiencing Homelessness, and the Santa Fe Public Schools District.

The Collaborative will receive $200,000, and partners will contribute an additional $300,000 in-kind, to meet specific goals on the climate and poverty issues that formulate the Verde Fund Mission: food security and greenhouse gas production, home energy efficiency, wildfire mitigation, biofuel reduction and recycling, youth homelessness, job creation and career training.

The Verde Community Impact Collaborative project will:

  • Create new jobs and train 40 young people in sustainability careers like weatherization, healthy food production, biofuel reduction and greenhouse management,
  • Deliver 750 meals per day featuring local produce to 12 Homework Diner sites,
  • Provide 50 boxes of fresh produce to 4 distribution sites that work with families in need,
  • Reduce the risk of catastrophic fire in 75 acres of the Santa Fe wildland-urban interface,
  • Design a permanent housing pilot with local families to get 4 young people off the street,
  • Reduce CO2 emission by 36 tons per year through wildfire mitigation, biomass recycling and energy efficiency/weatherization efforts, and
  • Save low-income families hard-earned dollars on utility bills through energy efficiency/home weatherization.

Melynn Schuyler of YouthWorks said, “We’ve set big goals for our community-wide impact project. This collaborative group is ready for the challenge to cause positive change in assisting our community. Our partnership will connect local young people to the economy that they have been traditionally denied entry to, while helping our most vulnerable families address hunger, save money, build resiliency and prepare Santa Fe for the impact that climate change will have on all of us. We’re proud and motivated to work collectively to leverage our strengths through partnership for the benefit of Santa Fe’s families and children and set a high standard in the Verde Fund’s inaugural year.”

The second is a grant in the amount of $100,000 to Homewise, an organization focused on housing and financial health for low income families in the Santa Fe area. The grant award will support 5 years of Solar Opportunity Loan Fund expansion.

Homewise will leverage the initial investment into an additional $400,000 of debt capital, which over 5 years will enable 20 Santa Fe households per year at 80% or less of the local median income to access PV solar systems using long-term, low-interest loans and make energy and water conservation upgrades that will save both resources and money over the life of the homes.

Homewise projects will:

  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 89 tons per year through Solar PV installation in each year of the program,
  • Reduce CO2 emissions an additional 18 tons per year through efficiency upgrades in each year of the program,
  • Save low-income families hard-earned dollars on utility bills, and
  • Reach out to the community through the Santa Fe Community College and Christus St. Vincent to locate and qualify the 20 households.

Mike Loftin, Homewise CEO, said, “Partnerships like this one have real potential to change lives and open up worlds of access where it didn’t exist before. Homewise is proud to be working with the City and the Verde Fund, leveraging an initial investment into 5 years of difference-making solar installations on homes for middle class Santa Feans who are eager to save money, conserve water and electricity, and play a vital role in the sustainability of this community we all love.”

The two grant tracks meet all three of Verde Fund’s goals. They invest in our workforce – boosting the solar industry and training more than 40 young people who are out of the workforce in fields that have staying power and give them the tools to make ends meet. They reduce carbon emissions, with targets for each year of the programs that add up to nearly 150 fewer tons of carbon per year in the atmosphere. And they help local Santa Fe families prepare for climate change by eliminating reliance on fossil fuel energy and cutting utility bills.

The combined total of City investment, organizational in-kind matches of $300,000, and Homewise debt capital leverage of $400,000 means that an initial city input of $300,000 will have the effect of $1,000,000 in investment into jobs and sustainability in the neighborhoods where it is most needed.

Mayor Gonzales said, “We couldn’t be more excited about seeing this money have an impact in the community – creating jobs and lowering utility bills while helping increase our community’s sustainability is a win for the whole city, and with the Council’s approval, I’m ready to get to work as soon as possible.”

The Santa Fe Reporter Cites Our Work

The Santa Fe Reporter says YouthWorks keeps hope lit in a darkening world, offering critical support to thousands of teens and young adults in the Northern New Mexico area.

Read the full article here.

MAKE Santa Fe Class in Full Swing

Thanks to a collaborative team effort with MAKE Santa Fe, the Youthworks digital fabrication class is in full swing. Participants are developing trade skills as they learn to use tools in wood shop, metal shop, laser cutting, and 3D printing.

Ginger Richardson, MAKE Santa Fe’s founder, identified the perfect teacher for the class—employee Randy Castillo.

Randy was previously a children’s minister and had experience working with students from diverse backgrounds. Randy says he has a soft spot in his heart for students from tough backgrounds because he’s been there himself and knows that, with a little help, anyone can succeed.

The students work with Randy four days a week for about four hours a day. They participate in “open projects,” which means the students decide themselves what they want to do.


¡YouthWorks! students learn how to weld at MAKE Santa Fe.

According to Randy, once they complete the class, the Youthworks students will have an edge in the field since they’re both learning to work with different kinds of tools and learning the in’s and out’s of the trade.

Randy says if his students choose to continue down this career path, they will be some of the most well-rounded workers out there. Already some students have sold pieces they’ve made, sometimes in collaboration with one another.


¡YouthWorks! students explore the world of digital printing at MAKE Santa Fe.

In an open project, the students must plan the project start to finish—proposing ideas, logistically planning the project, accounting for any hiccups along the way, and finishing the projects they start.

Randy lets the students know that, as a maker, failure happens, and it’s normal. To emphasize that fact, the class keeps a “failure box” so they can track their mistakes and learn from them. As Randy notes, seeing how to turn failure into success is a lesson that applies to the students’ lives outside of the workshop.

¡YouthWorks! students learn glass craft at MAKE Santa Fe.
¡YouthWorks! student learns the art of glass-making at MAKE Santa Fe.

Randy says the community has been wonderfully responsive to his students. Members of the community have given lessons in the various trades and taken time out of their jobs to let the kids experience firsthand what goes on in their work environments. Students have taken field trips to Liquid Light Glass and visited the Chamber of Commerce Job Fair, giving them exposure to various aspects of the field.


¡YouthWorks! students learn welding techniques at MAKE Santa Fe.

To learn more about MAKE Santa Fe, head to their website, where you can learn about membership prices, classes, and information about the business.

You can also head down to 2879 All Trades Road here in Santa Fe anytime Wednesday through Sunday from 12 noon to 8 pm and see for yourself what’s going on.

Stay tuned for news about an art show featuring some of the work from this class. Details will be posted here on the ¡YouthWorks! website.

Klean Cut Kenny Works His Magic

Kenny Tapia, a.k.a. Klean Cut Kenny, stopped by YouthWorks again this afternoon to spruce up our young people with fresh, new haircuts.

Kenny first began cutting hair at YouthWorks as part of a community service commitment, but he had such a good time getting to know the students and hearing their stories, he kept coming back. He says it’s great seeing how excited the young people get when he makes them look fabulous.

Kenny Tapia, a.k.a. Klean Cut Kenny, gives free haircuts at ¡YouthWorks!

Kenny got his start in the haircutting business when he was only in high school. He had a natural talent and plenty of business giving haircuts to his friends. After years of taking clients in his garage—sometimes late at night, to his mother’s dismay—he got his barber’s license in 2015.

If you’d like to check out Klean Cut Kenny’s talent for yourself, you can find him during regular business hours at Suite 404A, 3600 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe.

Melynn Schuyler Selected as Panelist

Melynn Schuyler, the executive director of YouthWorks, has been selected to share her expertise on a panel of local nonprofit leaders to address the findings of a 2016 survey of 300 nonprofits from across the state.

The panel will discuss how the survey findings reflect the struggles and successes of their organizations and how they develop and sustain partnerships to achieve positive outcomes for children, families, and communities across New Mexico.

The session is free of charge and will be held at the Santa Fe Community Foundation on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, from 3 – 4:30 pm.

For more details or to register for this session, visit the Santa Fe Community Foundation website.

Youth Conservation Corps Begins Work

The YouthWorks Youth Conservation Corps is partnering with the City of Santa Fe and the Wildfire Network this summer to deliver public beautification and restoration projects. Classes started with an outdoor session on April 24 led by Wildfire Network Trainer Krys Nystrom.

The !YouthWorks¡ Conservation Corps attends class in an outdoor setting.

The crews are already at work at the Santa Fe Institute Tesuque campus, where they hiked the trails to identify trees that need to be thinned. The thinning will control erosion in the area to reduce the risk of wildfire.

The !YouthWorks¡ Youth Conservation Corps identifies threes for thinning.

This training allows the young people to work toward Basic Firefighter certification, a step on the path to a high-paying career.

As part of the project, the young people will also be engaged in GED coursework at YouthWorks where they will also have access to free counseling and case management services.

New Mexican Cites ShelterNow! Success

This weekend’s New Mexican featured the success of Shelter Now, a project launched in late December to host homeless young adults in Santa Fe during the cold winter months.

YouthWorks and its partners—the Adelante program at Santa Fe Public Schools, the Youth Shelters’ Street Outreach and Transitional Living Program, and the Santa Fe Community Foundation’s Birth to Career Collaborative—initiated Shelter Now with a $50,000 grant from the Kind World Foundation, along with matching funds from the Santa Fe community.

Read all about the success of this project in this weekend’s edition of the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Part-Time Positions Available!

¡YouthWorks! river restoration crew installs a bridge across the Santa Fe River.

Santa Fe YouthWorks is currently accepting applications for eight positions with the Youth Conservation Corps and YouthWorks River Restoration Crew.

Participants in this program learn new skills, help protect the environment, and earn a paycheck too!

Interested candidates should call 505-989-1855 or stop by Santa Fe YouthWorks at1504 Cerrillos Road to fill out an application.

YouthWorks Benefit Set for March 12

Join us for dinner and music at a benefit for YouthWorks on March 12 at Boxcar Bar & Grill, 530 South Guadalupe Street.

No cover charge—donations requested to help support education and job training for “at-risk” youth in Santa Fe.

Come for the food, come for the music, and come to hear from Kate Noble, newly elected Santa Fe Public Schools board member, why organizations like YouthWorks are vital to the Santa Fe community.

Boxcar Bar & Grill hosts a benefit for !YouthWorks! to honor their work in the Santa Fe Community.

YouthWorks Benefit at Fire & Hops

On Wednesday, March 8, local gastropub Fire & Hops welcomes Ska Brewing from Durango for a benefit to help support Youthworks, a community-based nonprofit that helps local “at-risk” youth get their lives back on track.

Join us at Fire and Hops from 5:00 to 9:30 pm for beer and food specials at 222 North Guadalupe Street in Santa Fe.

Fire & Hops hosts a benefit for ¡YouthWorks! to honor their work in the Santa Fe Community.

A percentage of all proceeds from the evening will benefit YouthWorks education and job training programs to help “disconnected” youth become engaged and valued members of their communities.

For details about the menu and the special brews, click here.

Digital Fabrication Course Underway

Young people from ¡YouthWorks! do classroom work as part of their internship in digital fabrication.
Young people from ¡YouthWorks! work with a digital laser printer as part of their internship at MAKE Santa Fe.

YouthWorks is partnering with MAKE Santa Fe to offer a course in digital fabrication.

MAKE Santa Fe is a local non-profit community workspace where people can access tools, resources and workshops in order to make, repair, invent, or create anything they can dream.

It’s like a gym, but with powerful tools instead of exercise equipment and skilled craftspeople instead of personal trainers.

In this 12-week course, students meet four times a week at the MAKE Santa Fe facility, which is located at 2879 All Trades Road.

Participants learn the basics of computer aided design, computer numerical control, additive and subtractive manufacturing, as well as lab safety.

For more information, contact us at (505) 989-1855.

YouthWorks Visits the Roundhouse

On February 23, more than a dozen members of the YouthWorks team visited the Roundhouse, as the New Mexico State Capitol is known, to learn about the legislative process and the power of local politics.

A crew from ¡YouthWorks! poses for a photo outside the New Mexico State Capitol..

Hosted by Nina Altamarano and the State Capitol tour staff, the team toured the Roundhouse and met with Senator Carlos Cisneros and with staff from the office of Speaker of the House Brian Egolf.

Thanks to Broad Spectrum Consulting, Lawrence J. Horan Ltd., and SG Consulting Services, the visiting YouthWorks contingent also had lunch before heading back to the YouthWorks offices.

Pete Romero Tells His Story

After dropping out of high school in 2014, Pete Romero found YouthWorks and says it changed his life.

At YouthWorks Pete really buckled down and took advantage of the programs available to him. He got his GED, earned a certificate in culinary safety, and graduated from the Youthbuild construction training program. After that, Pete was awarded a four-month Littleglobe New Media Fellowship.

Littleglobe, one of the local nonprofits working with YouthWorks, is a team of professional artists, activists, and facilitators who work to empower under-served individuals and communities.

During his apprenticeship at Littleglobe, Pete created a video to tell his story. Click below to hear that story in Pete’s own words.

If you’d like to participate in our apprenticeship program or simply get more information about it, please call Devin Baldwin, our Workforce Innovation Program Coordinator, at (505) 989-1855 or email him at

Your Generosity Launched ShelterNow!

Shelter Now logo.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, YouthWorks raised $20,000 in matching funds to secure a $50,000 Kind World Foundation grant to provide shelter for homeless young people in Santa Fe.

Faith Groups Volunteered Facilities

Four faith groups in our community—Temple Beth Shalom, Unitarian Universalist Association, Zia United Methodist Church, and Christ Lutheran Church—have stepped up to volunteer their facilities on a rotating basis to provide shelter each night for young people, ages 18 to 24, who have no other place to go.

A young man arrives to spend the night at Shelter Now!
A young man prepares his sleeping bag for a night indoors at Shelter Now!

The initial funding from the Kind World Foundation will provide staffing for the shelter as well as supplies, including sleeping bags and pads. Congregations at each facility have volunteered to provide the young people with breakfast each day.

Access to Critical Services

Each morning, transportation will be provided from the shelter location to YouthWorks and the other nonprofit sites involved with ShelterNow! where the youth will be assigned to case managers, have access to services such medical and dental care, and be able to take advantage of the education and job training they need to bring stability to their lives.

And the Roof Came Off!

The roof of the Youthworks facility on Cerrillos Road had seen better days, so early on the morning of Monday, January 16, a crew of thirty young people braved the cold to remove the existing roof to make way for a new insulated replacement.

The students are all a part of YouthBuild, our construction job training program. They usually work at the Habitat for Humanities work site, so Monday was a chance to work closer to “home.”


The YouthBuild crew removes the old roof from the ¡YouthWorks! building.

The crew shoveled the gravel covering the entire roof into wheel barrows, dumped the gravel off the roof into a dumpster, and then peeled back the tar paper to expose the entire roof.

The YouthBuild crew carts away debris in preparation for installing the new roof.
The YouthBuild crew is hard at work removing the old roof from the ¡YouthWorks! building.

One of the crew demonstrated that his construction training had “taken” when he reminded a staff member who was taking photos of the work: “Always wear a hard hat when you’re working on a roof.”


$50,000 Grant Requires $20,000 Match

The Kind World Foundation, founded by a high-tech entrepreneur who lives part-time in Santa Fe, has offered a grant of $50,000 to fund a pilot program to set up a safe overnight shelter for homeless young adults in Santa Fe.

Beds are needed for homeless youth in Santa Fe.

Young people ages 18 to 24 often fall through the cracks of existing local programs for the homeless, since some local shelters focus on teens under the age of seventeen, others primarily on families, and others on older adults.

The grant will be available only if the nonprofits collaborating on the project can raise $20,000 in matching funds this month.

Matching Funds as of January 17, 2017

  • 100%
Please Help Us Make Our Match

YouthWorks will serve as the umbrella organization for the project, working with the following local nonprofits to tackle youth homelessness in Santa Fe:

  • Santa Fe Public Schools Adelante Program
  • Youth Shelters and Family Services Transitional Living Programs
  • Youth Shelters and Family Services Street Outreach
  • Santa Fe Community Foundation’s Birth to Career Collaborative

YouthWorks Partners with Minute Man

Youth people from ¡YouthWorks! attend a film workshop.

On Saturday, October 22, 2016, YouthWorks is hosting an Exploration in Film Careers workshop from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm. The workshop will be held at the YouthWorks office, located at 1504/1506 Cerrillos Road.

Workshop attendees will gain exposure to various career paths and opportunities in the local film industry.

The workshop is free and open to youth between the ages of 18-24. For more information, please call Devin at (505) 989-1855 or send him an email at

Personal Care Aides Graduate

Four graduates from the Personal Care Aide program display their diplomas.

On Monday, August 22, 2016, YouthWorks hosted a graduation ceremony for the following Personal Care Aide graduates: Eliza Bonham, Raelynn Dolcine, Alondra Martinez, Jocelyn Martinez,  and Cameran Tallman (not pictured).

Graduates successfully completed the 10-week Personal Care Aide training program to prepare them for entry-level employment and/or post-secondary education in the healthcare field.


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YouthWorks, Inc.

Physical Address
1504 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Mailing Address
1000 Cordova Place #415
Santa Fe, NM 87505

(505) 989-1855

Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm