Aztec Youth Academy at juvenile detention center to improve educational opportunities
POSTED: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 4:44pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 4:45pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez participated in the grand opening of the Aztec Youth Academy for incarcerated juveniles Wednesday afternoon at the John Paul Taylor Detention Center.
The Children, Youth, and Families Department was appropriated $5.7 million to build a new education complex at the detention facility featuring a new gym, library and technology filled classrooms.
"We're willing to give them as much education as they are willing to tackle," said CYFD Director of Juvenile Justice Services Sandra Stewart.
CYFD allows students to continue learning and receiving credits if they are of high school age.
For those not returning to school they can pursue a GED.
"It's almost impossible to get a job today without a high school diploma or a GED," Stewart said.
The academy has also partnered with Dona Ana Community College and Eastern New Mexico University where students can take online classes.
After the new facility was completed, CYFD still had $600,000 that will go toward vocational training teaching students trades like auto repair and welding.