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$800k Pledge From New Mexico Credit Unions Funds Connected Academy

Credit Unions in New Mexico have recently pledged a remarkable $800,000 to University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital through the Credit Unions for Kids program. This generous donation will completed over the next 10 years and will specifically be funding the Connected Academy. The ultimate goal of these credit unions is to create an endowment fund large enough to sustain this school for the next decade and beyond.

“New Mexico Credit Unions are thrilled to partner with UNMCH and CMN Hospitals to fund a necessary program at the hospital. The New Mexico Credit Unions Connected Academy will have a huge impact for many of the 66,000 children treated at the hospital each year and we are glad to be a part of the great impact it has” says Paul Stull, President/CEO of Credit Union League of New Mexico.

New Mexico Credit Union’s Connected Academy is a non-profit organization focused on providing the funding to employ an additional accredited full-time teacher at the Mimbres School – a state-accredited, year-round elementary and high school which operates in a hospital setting. The new teacher will work from a room located inside the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital (UNMCH) Child Life wing.

Monica Garcia-Roach is the teacher at the Connected Academy and she is very excited for the new school, saying: “When a child is admitted to the hospital for a lengthy stay or frequents the hospital because of a chronic condition, the normalcy of going to school is no longer part of their day. Pediatric patients will go to school with other patients in the classroom in Child Life or school will be brought to them at bedside. I look forward to helping educate the children of New Mexico and thank the New Mexico Credit Unions for providing this educational opportunity to the pediatric patients at UNMH Children’s Hospital. The kids are already asking when the first day of school is!”

Children at UNMCH see the benefits of hiring a full-time teacher. In July 2018, 11-year-old Ariana was looking forward to attending 6th grade. Instead, Ariana learned she had stage 4 metastatic osteosarcoma and began spending more time at UNMCH than she did at home. “I hope we can get a teacher here at UNM Children’s Hospital,” Ariana said. “I think having a teacher here would help me a lot so I can ask questions, get help and to help motivate me.” She explained, “I am doing online schooling, but it is hard and confusing. I cannot always talk to my teacher; I can email him, but I don’t always get an answer. My mom and the nurses don’t always know the homework answers. Maybe if we had a teacher here, they could help me and other kids. The teacher could also help to better explain to my school why I cannot do certain work.”

“Credit Unions across the country have been the best champions for our CMN Hospitals organization raising over $185 million in the last 23 years.” Says Nick Coleman, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “New Mexico Credit Unions are a shining example of the cooperative culture of this industry and how they can work together to create meaningful change and impact in their community.”