ACCESS builds just and peaceful communities where kids are the catalysts for positive change.
ACCESS was founded by Fernando Ortega in 2013 to connect underserved children from Albuquerque’s South Valley to mentors, educators and professionals to develop their interests and serve their community as leaders.
We have a mission of developing transformational leaders through holistic creative, physical, and academic opportunities for kids and their families in under-served, predominantly immigrant and Latino communities. Our work prioritizes: thriving children, working families, and equitable communities. We work with children and young adults to ensure they have equitable, high-quality experiences, including leadership development. Our programs attract and involve parents or caregivers, encouraging engagement with education, social support, health, and income supports in a safe environment, which creates more stable families. We are working to create a vibrant South Valley, free from structural inequities.
We encourage our members- especially the children- to see themselves as leaders, as people who are capable of accomplishing great things and of shaping their community to reflect their values and goals.
Our top priority is to provide access to stimulating, active, hands-on, and fun opportunities for kids and their families, while promoting self-discipline and high academic achievement.
Our philosophical approach is interdisciplinary, demonstrating that a “whole” child is a healthy, well-developed child.
We believe it’s just as important for the parents to learn and grow as it is for their children. We support the parents too, and that’s good for the whole family.
We’re dedicated to cultivating a healthy and positive community by honoring and celebrating our rich cultural heritage, while also embracing other cultures.
Founder and Director
UNM/CNM Community Engagement Intern