ECECD Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky
ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) Home Visiting Division, in collaboration with local nonprofit Future Focused Education and parent advocacy program Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, graduated its first cohort of young parents from its X3 Home Visiting Internship program.
The innovative, 10-week paid internship program provides training to 15 young parents, all of whom have children from 0-5 years old. The group engaged in weekly professional development from mentors in ECECD’s Home Visiting program and successfully completed the training to become certified Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors facilitators.
“This administration is committed to making its early childhood education and care system family-focused and responsive to the real needs of parents with young children,” ECECD Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky said. “This innovative new program is a fantastic way to build young parents’ skills, develop powerful peer leaders in the community, and create engagement with the families who are most impacted by our policies.”
The X3 internship program, developed by Future Focused Education, provides peer support and professional mentorship, while also helping build social capital, financial stability, and professional networks. Professionals from ECECD’s Home Visiting program, a free service that helps equip families with the skills and support they need to build stable and nurturing homes for their children, mentored the cohort and provided training on the free support programs available for parents.
All cohort members are also graduating with a facilitator certification through the Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors program, qualifying them to become parent-teachers and leaders within their communities.
“This two-generation approach has compounding positive effects,” said National Executive Director Adrián A. Pedroza of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors. “When parents are more involved in their communities and schools, their children perform better and are more likely to pursue higher education—which improves socio-economic status and the economy at large.”