2016 American Graduate Champions

Lorilei Chavez

Native American Liaison / Impact Aid Coordinator, Bernalillo High School

Lorilei is a tireless advocate on behalf of keeping Native American children in school and on the path to graduation. Her Native American roots help her to reach out to 11 Pueblos and Navajo tribal communities who send their students to Bernalillo High School. The student body is 44% Native American. “One of my hopes for doing this work is to create change in my Native American Community.”

As tribal liaison, Lorilei convened an historic meeting last year when tribal education directors of the five Sandoval County Pueblos met together for the first time to work on truancy and attendance issues. Even though Pueblo governors change every year and rarely agree to work with other Pueblos on any issues, these leaders have agreed to continue the conversation about how they can work together to improve attendance and graduation. They were very impressed when Lorelei was able to show them truancy and attendance data from each Pueblo community and, with her leadership, they are beginning to understand the difference between chronic absence and truancy and how tribes can help impact the numbers.

Lorilei is also the sponsor of the Hahn Youth Council which started out as a Native American Club organized by a group of students interested in promoting Native American culture on campus. With a grant from New Mexico Public Education Department, the club was able to evolve to a council. The formation of HAHN Youth Council led to many unique groundbreaking experiences for BHS students. The students take a proactive approach to accomplishing goals by electing representatives, creating a unified partnership with BHS Student Council, and establishing November as Native American Heritage month.

Lorilei works hard on campus every day to start conversations with the kids because they don’t always have conversations about education and graduation at home.

Andy Hsi

Director of the Health Sciences Institute for Resilience, Health, and Justice and a professor and general pediatrician at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Dr. Andrew Hsi has developed a system of care he calls a “Family Focused Medical Home”​ model of primary care for families affected by multi-generational Adverse Childhood Experiences as part of the FOCUS and Milagro Programs. The programs focused on early interventions that can impact health and educational success, such as home visits, classes in parenting, child rearing, nutrition and early development. These systems improve the lives of children and families affected by prenatal alcohol and drug exposure, family violence and parental mental illness and unsupported teen parenting.

With faculty from the UNM Law Clinic, in 1996 he helped found one of the first medical legal alliances bringing law students together with families served by the FOCUS Program. The ultimate goal of the FOCUS program is high school graduation.

Dr. Hsi was awarded the first national “Humanism in Medicine Award” from the American Association of Medical Colleges, “Children’s Champion Award” from All Faith’s Receiving Home and the “Voice for Children Award” from New Mexico Voices for Children.

Dr. Carletta Bullock

Family Practitioner, MD and RFK Charter High School, School Based Health Clinic in Albuquerque

Dr. Bullock was nominated by Robert Baade, director of RFK Charter High School. Through her work in public health Sr. Bullock has spent years working improve student success through improving their physical and mental health. Carletta gives freely of her time volunteering in the school based health center of RFK Charter School, which offers a unique high school experience for students seeking alternatives to traditional secondary schools. Dr. Bullock is a fierce advocate of school-based health care and practices what she preaches, creating a wonderful example for her students in driving them to attain their life goals.

Carletta is working to establish a trauma informed learning environment at RFK and to implement a restorative justice approach to behavior and discipline issues at the school.

NM PBS General Manager Franz Joachim poses with American Graduate Champions Dr. Andrew Hsi, Lorilei Chavez, Marisol Campos and Robb Janov (left to right) at the 2016 Awards Luncheon held on September 8, 2016 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

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