"Born and raised in small town northern New Mexico, I am a lifelong New Mexican. To me, being New Mexican means you are surrounded by diversity. Whether it be in our state's cultures, histories, locations, foods or people; there is tremendous variety in New Mexico. I love all the natural beauty in our state. From North to South to East and West, our state's vistas are spectacular on most days. Our landscapes, flora, and fauna are so distinct that everyone can find a favorite. New Mexicans' strength lies in our sense of place, our cultural pride, our independent spirits, and our appreciation of diversity. Still, we must work harder to answer the call to fix the problems in our state that continue to prevent all New Mexicans from becoming successful. We need to learn how to address our needs to those in power who can really help. Even though many New Mexicans are active in their communities, all New Mexicans must get more personally involved and demand that pre-k through high school opportunities and competencies improve statewide and that we address income inequality, domestic violence and substance abuse more effectively. When we do that, a new day will dawn in New Mexico.
(Photo by Christopher Michael Roybal)