High school senior recognized for mental health advocacy

Community Reports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – When she turns her tassel this spring, Mia Tafoya will leave behind her high school career, and an inspirational legacy that’s landed her recognition as one of Albuquerque Public School’s most Selfless Seniors.

Mia Tafoya, Eldorado High School 2020 Selfless Senior

Outside of school, Tafoya interns at S.Y. Jackson Elementary School through a special program that places Eldorado High School students in real world jobs. She works with students in intervention programs, helping to teach them math and reading skills with the hopes of one day being a teacher herself, but there’s another part to her selfless senior story.

The class of 2020 has lost several students to suicide throughout their tenure at Eldorado High School, leaving the class devastated. Faced with the shock of losing two more classmates last semester, Mia decided enough was enough.

“So we went to the APS board and we said, look this is a problem at Eldorado, and it’s not just happening here it’s happening at numerous other schools, so can you help us do something?”

Mia Jae Tafoya, Selfless Senior, Eldorado High School

Her demand was met with a grant to create a “wellness room” inside the high school’s library which is now in its final stages of design. The funding will also pay for the salary of a liscensed family therapist on campus.

Tafoya is also working with local legislators to pass a bill this upcoming legislative session that would support a grant allowing APS schools to apply for health and wellness funding to either create a wellness room of their own or fund a new project to help their students cope with mental health crisises.

Tafoya’s mentors hope her initiative will make waves across the district and in homes statewide.They tell News 13, they’re proud of her work, and hope it reminds all New Mexicans to support teens in their goals for a brighter future.

On top her mission to improve mental health throughout APS, Tafoya is also the vice president of best buddies, a member of educators rising, and the only girl on the school’s wrestling team. She plans to finish out her senior year enjoying time with friends, and hopefully getting her bill passed, but she also has a message she plans to share as she heads out into the world.

“Just being kind is so important and that’s the one thing you can control in other people’s lives.”

Mia Jae Tafoya, Selfless Senior, Eldorado High School

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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