In December, Pegasus Legal Services for Children was one of eight organizations recognized by the New Mexico Community Foundation (NMCF) with its 2015 Chispa Award.
The Chispa Award (Chispa means “spark” in Spanish) is an annual award given by NMCF to nonprofits that shine a light in the communities they serve. The Chispa Award comes with an unrestricted grant of $6,000.
The State Bar of New Mexico is recognizing Pegasus Legal Services for Children with its 2015 Outstanding Legal Organization Award, which honors outstanding or extraordinary law-related organizations that serve the legal profession and the public.
"By assisting and improving the lives of families and children in New Mexico, grandparents and caregivers, young parents, children in foster care, homeless and runaway youth, parents of children with special education needs, and youth involved in the juvenile justice system through programs, services and legislation, Pegasus has demonstrated that it is an outstanding and extraordinary organization and is most deserving of this special award," the State Bar said in its official letter notifying Pegasus of the award.
The award will be presented formally during the State Bar's Annual Meeting on October 1, 2015, to be held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Pegasus Legal Services for Children is grateful to the State Bar for this distinctive honor, and thanks all of its clients, staff, partners, and supporters for the privilege of serving the children and families of New Mexico.
Pegasus is proud to announce its new Education Justice Project, which provides advocacy support and direct legal representation to young people eligible for special education services in Sandoval County who are also involved with, or at risk of involvement in, the juvenile justice system.
The project helps parents ask for an evaluation to determine if their child has a disability, helps ensure that schools provide appropriate services, and provides advocacy and consultation on a wide range of special education and disability issues.
The project targets the many students with disabilities who receive discipline in school, including suspensions in and out of school, when what they really need is access to a high quality education. Many disabilities also go undetected despite the requirements of federal law, and it is clear that obtaining appropriate educational services is linked to reducing recidivism and to a higher chance of graduation.
The Education Justice Project is a United Way grant-funded collaboration between Pegasus Legal Services for Children, Disability Rights New Mexico, and the Native American Disability Law Center. For more information please visit http://pegasuslaw.org/ejp/.
Elena Rubenfeld is working at Pegasus this fall as a Legal Extern. A third-year law student at the UNM School of Law, Elena is assisting Pegasus attorneys Matthew Bernstein and Tara Ford on education-related cases and a range of children's legal issues. She is fluent in Spanish, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador, and previously worked at the prestigious Children's Law Center in Washington, DC.
Leticia Gonzales, from Colfax County, New Mexico, is the new Social Work Intern at Pegasus for the 2015-2016 academic year, after which she will receive her BA in Social Work from New Mexico Highlands University. Leticia is working with Pegasus' Kinship Guardianship Program, concentrating on working with clients and their self-care during the stressful court process.
Cassandra Dennis has joined Pegasus as the Development Assistant. She is a native New Mexican and a graduate of New Mexico Highlands University. She has a background in residential real estate, information technology, accounting, and book-keeping. Cassandra
Pegasus is thrilled to have won the latest Albuquerque Involved video competition and monthly grant award to support our mission. Chosen by popular vote, the online video about Pegasus features Executive Director Liz McGrath explaining the work of Pegasus on behalf of New Mexico’s children:
Pegasus and Envision are launching a social media campaign targeted to youth ages 14-17 to inform them about their rights to consent and confidentiality in health and mental healthcare.