2018-04-04, Caroline Zamora, Aprendamos

President Lya rang the bell about 10 minutes past noon.  She invited Mary Ellen to give the invocation.  Mary Ellen’s invocation was based on Mother Teresa’s inspiring address to the United Nations about “service above self” and helping those in need.  President Lya then led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  As this is “baseball season,” Greg Fant led us in a lively rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with “Aggies” in place of “the home team!”

President Lya introduced visiting Rotarian James Dolan from the Rio Grande Club.  James told us of the Rio Grande Club’s fund raiser for the Habitat for Humanity which includes a golf tournament on “Friday the 13th” and raffle tickets for Southwest Airlines flights to anywhere.  The Brockways introduced their guest Mark Mesh.  Sue introduced the high school student guests: Ariana Parra from Oñate and Richard LeFevre from Arrowhead.  April birthdays of Rotarians were celebrated together with the April club anniversaries.

Happy dollars were plentiful:  Don Dresp was happy that Sister Jean helped Loyola make it to the “final four!”  Mary Ellen confessed that she and President Lya hurt their knees by falling from adjoining bar stools.  She had happy $$’s for their continuing improvement!  Daniel did a make-up meeting at the Silver City Club and had a great time; Sue happy for one of her Bridge partner’s 90th birthday; Patty and Kristi both had happy dollars for the students.  Kristi took it upon herself to fine all Rotarians who forgot to wear their pins.  The Sergeant-at-arms committee was watching and might consider recruiting a new member.  President Lya was one of those who paid.  Richelle gave us an update on the “Taste of Las Cruces” event.  While she had the floor, she related one of her famous “sick jokes” and paid the requisite fine!  Barry acquired a new car and was sufficiently happy to put a buck in the can.  Kristi made Judge Les Smith the butt of her “sick joke.”  She was also fined appropriately.

The Program

Our program coordinator for April, Sue Groth introduced one of our own Rotarians, Caroline Zamora as today’s speaker.  Caroline is the Public Relations Coordinator and Community Outreach Lead for the Aprendamos Intervention Team.  She oversees the coordination of community outreach for the seven programs comprising the Aprendamos Family.  Her work includes marketing, website and social media management, and all community relations including work with the chambers of commerce and grant funding organizations.

Currently, the Aprendamos Family is a “for Profit” group composed of over 150 social work, medical, psychological and support staff whose primary aim is help for children ages 3 through 18 and families with children or expecting children.  Aprendamos is the largest of the seven and provides intervention services for infants and toddlers to age 3.  Developmental screening and services for families are provided at no cost.  Esperanza Children’s Therapy provides speech-language, occupational and physical therapy for children ages 3-18.  The Mariposa Autism Service Center (MASC) provides behavior analysis therapy services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  This is a high demand area and currently supports 80 children with over 100 on the waiting list.  Alegria is a family counseling service offering complete, confidential mental health options for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families.  It is staffed with highly qualified, licensed, clinical therapists.  The five just described are state and federally funded.  There are three grant funded programs supported by grants from the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD).  These are the Cariño home visiting program that provides no cost home visits for expectant parents and parents with a child under 3.  The grant supports 60 families.  The Consicious Fathering program provides no cost fathering classes for “dads to be taught by dads.”  The community Based Child Abuse Prevention Program (CBCAPP) provides home visits, case management and crisis intervention to promote healthy families and healthy child development.  The current grant supports 25 children.  Ms. Zamora gave a detailed explanation of these programs and their impact on the community.  A question was asked about continuation of the grant supported programs.  Ms. Zamora indicated that plans are in the works to form a “not for profit” organization to house these programs and seek grant funding for their continued support.  Immediately after the conclusion of her presentation, Blaine Goss asked her about her educational qualifications.  It turns out that she has a Master’s degree from that infamous NMSU Communications Department once headed by Dr. Goss himself.  When asked to pay a fine, he was reluctant, stating that his imaginary friend Bugs made him do it!

After the Program

Patty reported that $153 was raised for our Club’s school projects and that the pot now stands at $146.  Ana had the ticket but only drew a “9 of diamonds” from the deck.  She did, however, get a $5 Walgreens gift card from the gift basket. The pot will continue to grow.  President Lya closed the meeting with the 4-Way Test.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Mark Mesh

Charlotte and Gary Brockway

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

James Dolan

Rio Grande

Student Guests



Ariana Parra


Richard LeFevre






Daniel Payne


Silver City

Submitted by Jay JordanJay Jordan