Call our main office at 575-522-4004 for information on any of our services or locations.

If you are in need of help immediately, please call (575) 520-3461 or 911

Welcome to

The Future of Integrated Care in New Mexico!

Families & Youth Innovations Plus (FYI+) is a proud recipient of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). With this grant, FYI+ will become the first CCBHC in New Mexico.

Richard Aguilar

Bio coming soon!

Brian Kavanaugh


Brian Kavanaugh serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Families and Youth Innovations Plus (FYI+). 

He earned his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice with an academic emphasis in Juvenile Justice from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Michigan and later earned his Masters of Public Administration from New Mexico State University (NMSU). Brian was also inducted into the International Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration upon graduation.

Brian currently serves as a member of NMSU’s College of Health, Education, and Social Transformation Dean’s Advisory Council, Board Member and Finance Chair of the Las Cruces Partnership for Community Schools, and Board Member of the Dona Ana County Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. 

Brian’s lived experiences and some of his first volunteer and work placements growing up in and around Detroit, Michigan played a pivotal role in organizing his life and passion around developing opportunities for change and growth; supporting others to explore and experience rich opportunities to discover and follow more positive alternative paths in making their decisions and choices in life. 

Brian has had the distinct pleasure of serving as a team member of FYI+ (formerly FYI) in various roles and capacities since 2004. He firmly believes in continuously advancing a continuum of an interwoven and supportive system of complementary programs and services to respond to ever changing challenges and priorities with innovative, meaningful, and sustainable community based solutions. 

Brian also believes in the strength of inter-organizational and cross-sector collaboration; when nonprofit community organizations and the multiple sectors of government and business come together to share their experiences, expertise, resources, and capacity to address complex issues of importance to the community. 

Brian fully embraces the core values of FYI+, organizes his efforts around FYI+’s mission “…to promote a safer and healthier community…,” and passionately supports his team with a performance culture of pride in succeeding in innovative, creative involvements and solutions with the community that improve the health, safety, security, and well-being of all our neighbors. 

FYI+ Therapist Shakera Crawley sitting on a navy blue couch

Shakera Crawley, LMSW

I believe the complexities of the human experience within the individual and their environments create the necessity for a multidimensional approach to meeting the needs of people. In other words, let’s crawl together until you can walk, let’s walk together until you fly, let’s fly together until you soar.            

I am an Air Force veteran and third generation to have had the honor of serving our country. My unique upbringing as an Army dependent and my time spent in the Air Force has given me the privilege of meeting people from all walks of life who have helped enriched my essence.  

Currently I’m specializing in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Infant Mental Health (IMH) utilizing Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) model, Trauma Informed Care and Attachment work, and Affirmative Psychotherapy for *LGBTQIA+. The client-centered approach is the lens I work from because it allows me to meet the needs of the client without attaching to outcomes. 

My interests include: growing in my relationship with God, enjoying nature from the oceans to the mountains and everything in between, reading, karaoke, acting for stage and film, editing raw footage for filmmaking, cooking, hosting dinner parties, and laughing.

FYI+ Therapist Serena Apodaca-Peckham sitting on a gray couch

Serina Apodaca-Peckham, LMSW


 “I am not who happened to me. I am what I choose to become” Carl Jung

I am dedicated to coming alongside others on their journey to who they would like to be. I benefited from therapy as a young girl and since had a passion and drive to also help others. I acknowledge and respect everyone’s diverse experiences which makes them experts in their own lives. I see therapy as a cooperative process and honor to meet everyone where they are at. I have devoted my training to serve children, adolescents, and their families – particularly those with extensive trauma. I have training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Seeking Safety, Sandtray, and DBT. My areas of focus are in trauma and attachment, but have worked in helping those address issues such as Depression and Anxiety. I am a native New-Mexican returning from Lubbock, TX. I enjoy reading, cooking, and working out when I am not serving my community.

FYI+ Therapist Sasha Nagler sitting on a yellow couch

Sasha Nagler

My name is Sasha Nagler (she/her/hers) and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. I believe therapy is a collaborative process where we work together to increase self-awareness and where I can guide my client in an opportunity to evolve. I use a culturally informed, intersectional, Systems Approach which understands there are factors outside us which heavily impact our overall internal health.

Before pursuing therapy, I worked for several years in the medical field as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in San Francisco. This experience impacts my therapy practice today by incorporating a holistic approach where we address the body’s connection to our mind. I also had the privilege of working with individuals and families living with Autism as a teacher and Exercise Specialist at the Helix School. I am a LGBTQIA2S+ ally and continue to educate myself in areas where individuals experience racial and systemic trauma.

Outside of the office, you can find me riding horses, reading Epic Fantasy books, dock diving with my dog Bear, camping with my fiancé, and enjoying time in our garden.

FYI+ Therapist Priscilla Gonzales sitting in a black and white chair

Priscilla Gonzales

(she/hers) | Languages: Spanish & English

I’m Priscilla Gonzales, believe in working with the community and clients collaboratively, utilizing their own internal strengths to solve personal problems and achieve positive growth. I am dedicated to providing clients with a warmhearted, safe, and secure environment in an effort to accommodate the personal needs of each person. Prior to pursuing a profession as a therapist, I pursued being a mom and grew to understand how important attachment can be for a child. How important attachment is driven for our interaction with others later in life.  This gave me the opportunity to develop strong communication/relationship skills and a broader understanding of how each person is unique and should be treated as such.

Helping the community in various settings that include the school settings, children’s outpatient organizations like Families and Youth Inc, and in the future private practice setting. I have experience working with children and adolescents with emotional disturbances and mental illness, supporting parents/guardians with challenging behaviors, working with victims of abuse and trauma/PTSD, working through various systems. Trauma informed as well as a LGBTQ+ ally. Major interest in allowing clients to erase the stigma behind issues like trauma/PTSD, couples counseling, anger management, grief/loss, shame/guilt, identity issues, depression/anxiety and self-esteem.

Yo soy Priscilla Gonzales creo en trabajar con la comunidad y clientes colaborativamente, utilizando su propias fortalezas para resolver problemas personales y poder lograr crecimiento positivo. Me dedico a brindarles a los clientes un trato cordial, seguro, entorno seguro en un esfuerzo para adaptarse a las necesidades personales de cada persona. Antes de ejercer la profesión de terapeuta, perseguí ser mamá, llegue a comprender lo importante que el archivo adjunto puede ser para un niño.

FYI+ Therapist Michelle Schilling sitting at her desk

Michelle Schilling

Hello, my name is Michelle Schilling and was born and raised here in southern New Mexico.  

I believe I have a natural ability to connect with others. I am currently the assistant clinical director and I additionally provide relationship based attachment therapy to assist children and families to connect with each other and heal within their relationships. I also train all of our clinical staff and our treatment foster care parents in relationship based and trauma responsive approaches so that we as a team can help families move through their healing processes.

I specialize in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Protection Clarification, EMDR, TAT, Infant Mental Health specific to Child Parent Psychotherapy and attachment informed therapy approaches. I have been serving families in the community for the last fifteen years and have extensive experience in working with children and adults of all ages.

In my personal time I enjoy singing, listening to live music, camping, hiking and playing golf.

FYI+ Therapist Maria Brady sitting on a yellow couch

Maria Brady, LMSW


“We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate – thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.” – Maya Angelou

I am a Licensed Master Social Worker licensed in New Mexico.  I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from New Mexico State University.    As a Social worker,  I worked four years with Child Protective Services working with licensing foster and adoptive parents.  I then worked two years as an Inpatient clinician.  I am currently in the process of becoming an endorsed Child-Parent Psycho Therapist.  I have experience working with children (birth to 12 years of age), adolescents, adults, and families. I have worked with the following mental health disorders depression, anxiety, mood disorders, psychosis, suicidal and homicidal ideations.   I practiced with a client-centered approach and followed the lead of each client.  

I chose this field because I have always wanted to help others and help them find their inner voice.   I feel that if you can make a difference in one person’s life, they will make a difference in someone else’s life; this has allowed me to continue to grow as a clinician.

FYI+ Therapist Maddie Christensen sitting in a pink chair

Maddie Christensen, MA, LAMFT


“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” – John Green

Each one of us has a story being told to us by ourselves or others that we may or may not want to have, but there is hope in retelling YOUR story. I am a clinician that believes in the ability of rewriting your story and telling the story that you want to be told. I believe in helping individuals improve their mental health, relationships, and exploring their identity. I am honored to work with individuals, couples, and families, of all ages and constellations, but connect well with young children, adolescents, and couples. I endeavor each day to see that each client departs with a happy heart and that they understand there can be healing from their trauma and/or life concerns through therapy.

I aim to create a safe, trusting, non-judgmental atmosphere and to foster a healthy therapeutic relationship that is clear, safe, and boundaries that are straightforward but comes in a warm and direct manner. I am Sex-Positive, a LGBTQIA+ ally and advocate, and have understandings from religious trauma. In my personal time I love to visit the National Parks with my husband, travel, camping, and spending time in my garden.

I obtained my bachelor’s in Child Development from Utah State University and received my Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from New Mexico State University. My approach and practice is using theories of Bowenian, Gottman, Structural, Solution-Focused, and CBT with systems thinking, play therapy, mindfulness, and attachment/trauma interventions. As Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”, let me come alongside you to rewrite or discover your story.

FYI+ Therapist Justina Sanchez sitting in a purple and white chair

Justina Sanchez, LMHC


“Help someone, not for the reward, but for the sake of changing a life.” -Anonymous

Oftentimes, people help for the reward, but for myself, I try to help someone for the sake of changing their lives, maybe even saving their lives. Many times, people choose a path in life, sometimes it’s a good path, sometimes it’s not, and sometimes people aren’t able to see any path in front of them. That is where I want to come in. I want to come and help you find your path to the destination of your choice. I believe in taking each person where they are at and coming alongside them in their journey, wherever that may lead.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and have experience in crisis work, extensive trauma and attachment, family therapy, and have supported individuals struggling with depression, PTSD, anxiety, suicidal ideations, self-harm, and substance use. While my work is grounded in trauma informed, attachment-based, and client-centered therapy, I am trained in EMDR and utilize play therapy, solution-focused therapy, and CBT. Additionally, I have experience in working with children, teens, young adults, and adults.

I extend a genuine, warm, and safe environment for clients of all diverse backgrounds and understand everyone has different experiences and they bring their own stories. I hope to join you to explore those encounters. I am a compassionate person who knows the hardships that life can bring, and I would love to have the opportunity to come alongside you on your journey in life.

FYI+ Therapist Jasmine Gutierrez sitting in a black chair

Jasmine Gutierrez

(she/hers) | Languages: Spanish & English

My name is Jasmine Gutierrez I am a bilingual Marriage and Family therapist. I am the daughter of immigrant parents and my first language was Spanish. Prior to being a therapist I was a certified nurse assistant. I received my bachelors in psychology with a minor in counseling and educational psychology. When I was completing my masters in Marriage and Family therapy I had the opportunity to intern here at Families and Youth Inc.

My approach is culturally-informed, transparent and collaborative. I honor and respect my client’s cultural practices and traditions. I value the importance of working with family systems, as a therapist I come along side of my clients and provide support and resources. I am an empathetic listener and encourage my clients to create, establish goals and identify their strength. I am a trauma informed as well as a LGBTQ+ ally. During sessions I strive to create a safe and trusting therapeutic alliance. I incorporate play therapy with children as well as structural and attachment interventions.  With adolescents and adults I use interventions such as Bowenian, Structural, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused-Brief as well as trauma informed and mindfulness interventions.

“Just because no one else can heal or do your inner work for you doesn’t mean you can, should or need to do it alone” – Lisa Olivera

Mi nombre es Jasmine Gutierrez. Soy terapeuta matrimonial y familiar bilingüe. Soy hija de padres inmigrantes y mi primer idioma fue el español. Antes de ser terapeuta, fui asistente de enfermería certificada. Recibí mi licenciatura en psicología con una especialización en consejería y psicología educativa. Cuando estaba completando mi maestría en terapia matrimonial y familiar, tuve la oportunidad de hacer una pasantía aquí en Families and Youth Inc.

Mi enfoque es culturalmente informado, transparente y colaborativo. Honro y respeto las prácticas y tradiciones culturales de mis clientes. Valoro la importancia de trabajar con los sistemas familiares. Como terapeuta, acompaño a mis clientes y les brindó apoyo y recursos. Soy una oyente empática y animo a mis clientes a crear y establecer metas e identificar sus fortalezas. Soy una terapeuta trauma informada y aliada a la comunidad LGBTQ +. Durante las sesiones me esfuerzo por crear una alianza terapéutica segura y de confianza. Incorporo terapia de juego con niños, así como intervenciones estructurales. Con adolescentes y adultos utilizo intervenciones como la terapia Bowenian, Estructural, Cognitiva Conductual, Breves enfocadas en la solución e intervenciones informadas sobre el trauma.

“El hecho de que nadie más pueda curar o hacer tu trabajo interior por ti no significa que puedas, debas o necesites hacerlo solo”- Lisa Olivera

FYI+ Therapist Eryka Garcia sitting in a pink chair

Eryka Garcia, LCSW, IMH-E, MCJ

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and also hold a Masters degree in Criminal Justice.  Trauma sensitive work has been the focus of my clinical career for over 15 years.  Throughout the years, I have worked with various populations to include incarcerated individuals, domestic violence survivors and perpetrators, military service members/veterans and their families, and homeless/near homeless populations.  I have experience providing individual, couples, family systems, parents and group therapy in both community outpatient settings and inpatient/residential settings.  My approach to working with various populations is relational, trauma-informed, client-centered, culturally sensitive and inclusive.

I am trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Seeking Safety, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.  I have an advanced certification for Mediation from the University of New Mexico School of Law.  I am certified to work with Military Populations through specialized evidence-based training.  I am certified in Motivational Interviewing.  I am endorsed in Infant Mental Health, certifying that I am specialized to work with children ages 0-5.  I am a certified Cultural Diversity and Inclusion coach.  I am certified in Conscious Discipline.  I will be certified in  Trauma-Informed Care and Practices, Safe & Together- NM CYFD Child Advocacy Center Training as well as in The Resilient Heart: Trauma-Sensitive HeartMath.

I am passionate about using my clinical skills to make a positive impact in people’s lives.

FYI+ Therapist Cynthia Garcia sitting on a yellow couch

Cynthia Garcia, MA, LMHC

Languages: Spanish & English

I am a bilingual (Spanish/English) Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in Trauma Focused therapy. I have experience working with children, adults, couples and families in the areas of behavioral health, trauma and child abuse and neglect. I provide a culturally sensitive, trauma informed and attachment based systems approach to my practice. With training in the following models; Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Nurtured Heart Approach, and Motivational Interviewing, I am able to provide an array of interventions and techniques to each client. I am also a Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner (TBRI®). I provide counseling services via both Telehealth and an in person setting.

As the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents and first generation American, I understand firsthand the struggles of poverty, scarce community resources and systemic oppression. I have a passion for working with the Latino community and helping to bridge the gap between mental health and faith and religion.

I am both a mother and wife and believe in the power of using faith and a strengths based perspective toward achieving wholesome and restorative healing. No matter the walk of life you come from, I will come alongside with you in your discovery and healing journey.

Soy una Consejera Licenciada en Salud Mental bilingüe (español / inglés) especializada en terapia enfocada en el trauma. Tengo experiencia trabajando con niños, adultos, parejas y familias en las áreas de salud conductual, trauma y abuso y negligencia infantil. En mi práctica proveo un enfoque basado en el apego, informado sobre el trauma y culturalmente sensible. Con entrenamiento en los siguientes modelos; Terapia Cognitiva Conductual focalizada en el Trauma Infantil, Corazón Nutrido, y Entrevista Motivacional, puedo ofrecer una variedad de intervenciones y técnicas a cada cliente. También soy una Facultativa del Cuidado Basado en La Confianza (TBRI®). Brindo servicios de terapia a través de telesalud y en persona.

Como hija de padres inmigrantes Mexicanos y siendo primera generación Americana, entiendo de primera mano las luchas de la pobreza, los escasos recursos comunitarios y la opresión sistémica. Me apasiona trabajar con la comunidad latina y ayudar a cerrar la brecha entre la salud mental y la fe y la religión.

Soy madre y esposa y creo en el poder de usar la fe y una perspectiva basada en las fortalezas para lograr una sanación restaurativa. No importa el camino de vida de donde vengas, te acompañaré en tu viaje de descubrimiento y sanación.

FYI+ Therapist Aurora Alvarez sitting on a patterned chair

Aurora Álvarez, LMSW, COSP™

(she/hers) | Languages: Spanish & English

Welcome to my professional profile, thank you for taking the time to read about my experience and the special populations that I serve and enjoy providing mental health services to. I am licensed at the Master level in Social Work and currently working at Families and Youth, Innovations Plus. as an Administrative Outpatient Supervisor as well as a bilingual therapist serving families and adults with behavioral health services. Also, I am part of a team of Outpatient therapists who are committed to providing individual and family psychotherapy with a multicultural sensitive, inclusive and LGBTQ affirming lens with therapeutic underpinnings that include attachment based, neuro-diverse and trauma-responsive approaches. Furthermore, I am currently providing online behavioral health services (telehealth), home and office based visits to the residents of New Mexico through my office located in Las Cruces, NM.

I have a passion for working with parents raising toddlers who are seeking to have support and encouragement in creating a safe and secure attachment. But as a clinician I’m also dedicated and honored to offering to families, adolescents and adults guidance and a curious stance to explore how to have stronger and genuine relationships with each other and with themselves. As a daughter of Mexican immigrant parents and a daughter of a Vietnam Veteran, I am very familiar with the unique stressors of Latinx and military families as they build their lives within very challenging situations they may encounter within the community. I strive to provide to my clients and families a positive, mutually competent and caring approach with empathetic communication where ruptures within the therapeutic relationship are handled with clear responsibility and genuine repair. My direct practice and clinical training include trauma informed practices, trauma responsive systems, attachment throughout the lifespan, infant mental health, early intervention, early childhood development, LGBTQ affirming, child welfare, holistic and energy approaches. Thank you for taking the time to read my professional profile and take good care!

Bienvenido a mi perfil profesional, gracias por tomar el tiempo en leer sobre mi experiencia en las poblaciones especiales en que sirvo lo cual disfruto brindando servicios de salud mental. Tengo licencia en el nivel de Maestría en Trabajos Sociales y actualmente estoy trabajando con la agencia que se llama Families and Youth, Inc. como Supervisora Administrativa de los Servicios Ambulatorio, también como una terapeuta bilingüe que sirve a familias y adultos con servicios enfocados en la salud psicológica y de conducta. Además, soy parte de un equipo de terapeutas que se enfoca en ofrecer asistencia ambulatoria y estamos comprometidos a proporcionar psicoterapia individual y familiar con una perspectiva sensible multicultural, inclusivo y LGBT afirmación con fundamentos terapéuticos que incluyen perceptivos basados en el apego, en él diversos cerebrales y sensibles al trauma. Además realizo servicios de salud mental por internet (tele-salud), visitas en el hogar y en la oficina a los residentes del estado de Nuevo México a través de mi oficina la cual está ubicada en Las Cruces, NM.

Tengo pasión por trabajar con los padres que crían a niños pequeños que buscan apoyo y esperanza en la creación de un apego seguro y protegido. Pero como miembro de un equipo terapéutico también me siento dedicada y honrada por ofrecer a las familias, adolescentes y adultos una actitud curiosa para explorar cómo tener conexiones fuertes y genuinas entre ellos y sí mismo. Como hija de padres inmigrantes mexicanos e hija de un veterano de Vietnam, estoy muy familiarizada con los factores estresantes de las familias latinas y militares a medida que construyen sus vidas dentro de situaciones muy desafiantes que pueden encontrar dentro de la comunidad. Me esfuerzo por proporcionar a mis clientes y familias enfoque en una actitud positiva, ser mutuamente competentes y mostrar comunicación empática donde las rupturas dentro de la relación terapéutica se manejan con clara responsabilidad y reparación genuina. Mi práctica a directa y entrenamientos clínicos incluyen prácticas informadas sobre el trauma, sistemas sensibles al trauma, el apego a lo largo de la vida concluyen en los siguientes, salud mental infantil, intervención temprana, desarrollo de la primera infancia, LGBT afirmación, bienestar infantil, enfoques holísticos y energéticos. ¡Gracias por tomar el tiempo para leer mi perfil profesional y cuídense!

Angie Bustos

Hello, my name is Angie Bustos and I am a lifelong resident of Las Cruces, New Mexico. I attended Las Cruces Public Schools and a Graduate from Mayfield High School. I have been married for 27 years and have two beautiful grown children. I have been part of the Families and Youth, Inc. team for over 26+ years.  I have a wide range of experience which includes front office work, personnel manager, HR Generalist, and know HR Director.

With over 12 years of professional human resources experience and a member of SHRM. I provide counsel and support to staff to help them achieve strategic and operational goals. Along with the experience, recruitment, retention, policy interpretation, training and communication has resulted in strong and trusting relationships with staff.

Renee Boudreau


I am a lifelong resident of NM and my family roots in Las Cruces date back to the early 1930s.  I attended public schools in Las Cruces and am also a proud Alumni of New Mexico State University.  My roots with Families and Youth, Inc. are also strong and have enjoyed a 25 history of association with the agency.   I will always share a passion for the rewarding work done throughout our community and look forward to many years ahead working with young people, their families and community members always striving to make a difference.

Michelle Schilling

Hello, my name is Michelle Schilling and was born and raised here in southern New Mexico.  

I believe I have a natural ability to connect with others. I am currently the assistant clinical director and I additionally provide relationship based attachment therapy to assist children and families to connect with each other and heal within their relationships. I also train all of our clinical staff and our treatment foster care parents in relationship based and trauma responsive approaches so that we as a team can help families move through their healing processes.

I specialize in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Protection Clarification, EMDR, TAT, Infant Mental Health specific to Child Parent Psychotherapy and attachment informed therapy approaches. I have been serving families in the community for the last fifteen years and have extensive experience in working with children and adults of all ages.

In my personal time I enjoy singing, listening to live music, camping, hiking and playing golf.

Jolene Martinez

Jolene Martinez is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker currently serving as the Chief Operations Officer for FYI a non-profit organization operating in Southern New Mexico. She earned both her graduate and undergraduate degrees from New Mexico State University (NMSU), and serves seasonally as an adjunct faculty instructor with NMSU School of Social Work. Jolene has worked with the Las Cruces Public Schools as a Social Worker and with the State of New Mexico, Children’s Youth Families Department in various roles related to child welfare leadership.

Jolene recently served as the Board Chair for the Local Behavioral Health Collaborative-Las Cruces, focused on restoring behavioral health services to individuals, children, and families of Dona Ana County. She is a former member of the City of Las Cruces Health and Human Services Committee and Advisory Board to the NMSU School of Social Work. More recently Jolene served as a member of the City of Las Cruces Economic Recovery Board, focused on community economic recovery solutions related to COVID-19, and is a former Southern New Mexico Chapter Chair for the National Association of Social Workers-New Mexico. She is the recipient of 2013, NMSU School of Social Work Alumni of the Year Award.

Jolene’s career has been focused primarily on child welfare, serving most of her career at the state child protective service office. More recently her efforts have been centered on renewing and restoring services at FYI+. Jolene’s social work interests include macro systems interventions, community health, continuous quality improvement, and collective impact strategy to address complex community and systems issues in the border-plex area.

Born and raised in Northern New Mexico, Jolene moved to Southern New Mexico to pursue her education and has made Las Cruces, NM her home for the last 18 years. Jolene is married to a US Army Veteran, Dustin, and together they have 3 children.

Monique Lopez


Hello, I am Monique Lopez a native Northern New Mexican. I moved to Las Cruces after high school to attend NMSU. I have spent the last 21 years planting my roots in the beautiful community of Las Cruces. Alongside my husband, we are raising two amazing children and are proud to call Las Cruces our home.  

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Education from New Mexico State University and have spent the last two decades serving  Dona Ana Community in the juvenile justice and child welfare sector. 

I am a compassionate, innovative, leader with a focus on program design and implementation, quality of care, and community collaboration.

My hopes are to inspire others to lead with passion, kindness, courage, and consistency. These are values I have lived by and will continue to extend to others.

Mateo Ortega

(he/him, they/them)

Hi y’all!  My name is Mateo and I am a proud 5th generation resident of the Mesilla Valley region and am blessed to serve our community since 1995  just as my parents and grandparents served our beautiful valley and its inhabitants before me.  I am also a proud father, grandfather, and member of the LGBTQ+ community.  I am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work and value utilizing my lived experiences and expertise in the systems that impact many of the individuals and families across our region along with my formal training and education.  I am passionate about finding innovative and creative solutions for better resourcing and equipping our underserved and underrepresented communities and preserving space for them to be involved in systems and discussions that impact them.

My leadership style is very much shaped by my chicano/latinx & indigenous cultures, my training in social work, and my experiences as a D1 Collegiate Athletics Coach.  My heart for the work that we do in our community is fundamentally rooted in my belief in both a community’s and individual’s potential for restoration, redemption, and to thrive.

Lisa Noelani Chavez


Hi All,

My name is Lisa. I have been in Las Cruces for over 25 years. I have served the community as a social worker for 15 of those working mostly with adolescents and their families in the school setting. I believe I have a combination of personal and professional lived experience that keeps me embedded in community work. 

My formal training is in Social Work where I hold a Bachelors and Masters degree from NMSU. I am a proud Aggie!

In my current role,  I focus on developing our leaders, training and equipping our staff and ensuring that our “clinical” or therapeutic programs function within the value set of FYI.