The Youth Spirit Awards are postponed until 2021

About the Award

The Youth Spirit Award recognizes exemplary New Mexico youth  who contribute to equity, community well-being, and social justice by working to make the world a better place through community service, advocacy, or organizing. The Youth Spirit Award is open to all New Mexico youth ages 13 to 25 demonstrating remarkable service and leadership within the past two years.

Each year New Mexico Voices for Children honors change-making youth for their work and dedication at the annual New Mexico KIDS COUNT Conference. Awardees receive recognition as well as financial support to put towards their cause of choice as they see fit, including college tuition fees, charitable donations, or other expenses associated with equity, community service, and social justice. The Youth Spirit Award includes:

  • Age Group 13 – 18, a first and second place award
  • Age Group 19 – 25, a first and second place award
  • The two first place awards at $1,000 each
  • The second place awards at $500 each.

Recipients of the award must:

  • Be physically present to receive the award at the annual KIDS COUNT Conference in Albuquerque;
  • Be willing to make acceptance remarks that speak to their work in equity, community service, and social justice; and,
  • Be willing to be photographed and make media appearances related to being awarded the Youth Spirit Award.

About Equity, Community Well-Being & Social Justice

Our vision at New Mexico Voices for Children is that all children and families have equal access to opportunities to thrive and to achieve their full potential. To realize that vision, our mission is to improve the status, well-being and racial/ethnic equity of New Mexico’s children, families, and communities in the areas of health, education, and economic security by promoting public policies through credible research and effective advocacy.

The Youth Spirit Awardees embody similar values as those that drove the founding of NM Voices – to advance equity and contribute to community well-being and social justice. For the awards, NM Voices defines the following terms as such:

  • Equity is fair access, opportunity, treatment, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some people.
  • Community well-being is the combination of social, economic, environmental, cultural, and political conditions identified by individuals and their communities as essential for them to flourish and fulfill their potential.
  • Social justice refers to equal opportunity, treatment, and access to education, wealth, opportunities, rights, and privileges within a society.

To read more about past recipients and their work, click here.

Application Requirements

  • You will need to submit an application online by the due date (TBD).
  • You’ll need to also gather and submit the following:
      • A high-resolution photo of yourself
      • A letter of reference 
      •  A personal essay 
  • Please submit all documents and photo at one time.
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Past Winners

  • See a list of all past Youth Spirit Award winners here
  • See bios of past Youth Spirit Award winners here
  • Find photos from past awards ceremonies here