2016 New Mexico True Heroes

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Nicole Chavez-Lucero of Albuquerque showed strength and courage in working to make New Mexico safer from violent criminals following the murder of her son Jaydon. She fought hard to help pass Jaydon’s Law, which give judges complete access to the criminal history of offenders for use in sentencing and bail decisions. Chavez-Lucero also cofounded a community organization to improve public safety and support crime victims’ families.

Dr. Kathleen Ramsay of Espanola founded both the New Mexico Wildlife Center and the Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation. She works to help low-income families care for their pets, and also and trains and mentors others to care for New Mexico’s animals and wildlife.

Kenneth Riege of Gallup is U.S. Air Force veteran dedicated to serving his fellow veterans. He raises money, hosts events, and personally helps connect more veterans with services and care they need and deserve, such as helping those in need find assistance for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or even driving fellow veterans to medical appointments around the state. Riege is also heavily involved in the Quilts of Valor program, and was instrumental in helping Gallup earn recognition as both the Most Patriotic Small Town in America and a Purple Heart City.

Michelle and Clay Schroff of Albuquerque advocate for and serve children in need. Their Aspen Project helps connect orphaned and other at-risk children with organizations and resources that help love, care, and protect more New Mexico kids. Additionally, Project Zoë serves at-risk young women between the ages of 13 and 25 by encouraging personal growth, instilling self-worth, and helping them become the best they can be. The Schroffs have also fostered more than 40 children in addition to their six adopted and four biological children.