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Soft Pastel on Sennelier pastel board
Unframed, 9" x 12"

Meet Yolanda! She was born in Las Vegas, NM but her family moved around a lot while she was young. Eventually they settled in Gallup, NM but then moved back to Las Vegas, NM when she started high school. She now lives in the picturesque community of Cañoncito de Mañuelitas, in Sapello NM.  


Married with three adult children (and three wonderful grandchildren), she has volunteered and worked in many various non-profit and government agencies starting out with the school in Sapello and the Girl Scouts of the USA. She's particularly proud of her time focusing on equity in as director of the local Health Council and a few years later, director of the DWI program.


During her time at the DWI program, she reduced recidivism by over 35%! How? By focusing on the needs of the people on probation. Her efforts to address addiction led to bringing stakeholders together for the initial planning of the treatment center being built in Las Vegas now and to helping many people access in-patient substance abuse treatment.


She has faced many personal and professional challenges which made her ask tough questions. Eventually the questions led her to find an inner strength she didn't know was there.   


Currently she works at the Santa Fe Community Foundation and helps non-profit organizations enhance their skills while building and supporting their leadership, with a special focus on leadership development for people of color.   


Yolanda was directly impacted by the Calf Canyon/Hermit's Peak fire of 2022, with the fire burning much of her property, fortunately sparing her home. Through the loss, she has volunteered her time to be an administrator of the Fire Recovery Resources and Support Facebook group. In that role she shares information and helps survivors find the resources they need to understand and access the wide range of emergency and recovery efforts available.   

So basically she is a powerhouse! And a lot of fun! Plus she has a joyful love of color. I was surprised and really pleased that she chose yellow for her background!

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