Ed. Note: This highlight is a repost from a series entitled Highlights from the Field: Office of Family Assistance Programs at Work for American Families from the Office of Family Assistance Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Technical Assistance Project. Read the original posting here.
This Highlight from the Field features Anthony, a participant of the New Mexico State University (NMSU) programming, a Responsible Fatherhood grantee of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Family Assistance.
New Mexico State: Anthony
Before his incarceration, Anthony worked as a respiratory therapist and had a comfortable life. “After spending two years in prison for a felony conviction, I wanted to get my life back on track and return to school,” says Anthony. By becoming a participant in New Mexico State University (NMSU) programming, Anthony has made solid progress toward his goals.
During home visits by program counselors, Anthony created a self-sufficiency plan and learned about community services he might draw upon for help. These included the NMSU Financial Aid Office and training and education programs offered through New Mexico Workforce Solutions.
Anthony took the next step and visited the office of New Mexico Workforce Solutions, where he spoke to the director of programs for ex-felons and signed on for an orientation session. He also visited the NMSU Financial Aid Office and worked with a financial aid advisor to complete and submit his application for tuition assistance.
With information and support from the NMSU program, Anthony is well on his way to carrying out his self-sufficiency plan. He currently working two jobs: as a respiratory therapist and as a sleep analyst at a Las Cruces area sleep center. He recently completed requirements to be a Certified Respiratory Therapist and will receive his pilot certification later this year, allowing him to fly single-engine planes with up to five passengers. In addition, Anthony is a personal trainer for a contestant in the upcoming Sun City Regional Bodybuilding Championship, as well as training for the competition himself.
Despite this busy schedule, Anthony, who is a single father, now also spends more time with his children, getting together weekly for bowling or playing basketball. Next fall, he will take classes at NMSU before transferring to a college in Lubbock, Texas, to pursue a degree as a physician assistant.
The NMSU Extension Department of Family and Consumer Sciences has provided marriage and family strengthening services since 1999, including a 5-year Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration Project that began in 2006. The services target Hispanic adults with low income in southern New Mexico.
Partnering for Stronger Families
Working with partners LaCasa and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, NMSU supports self-sufficiency, responsible fatherhood, and healthy relationships through:
- Family Wellness curriculum
- Individualized case management
- Development of self-sufficiency plans, including work readiness
- Referral to community partner agencies for follow-up services as needed
Learn more about New Mexico State University and other Office of Family Assistance funded Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs at https://hmrf.acf.hhs.gov
Office of Family Assistance