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About Us

Vision

Through inspired philanthropy and community support, the APS Education Foundation seeks to make a real difference in the lives of students and teachers of Albuquerque Public Schools.

Mission

The APS Education Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization established to promote private support of the district and its students. In partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools, we promote and garner financial and in-kind resources to provide students with the opportunity to succeed. We also mobilize resources and develop community partnerships to support excellence in APS.

History

The Albuquerque Public Schools Foundation was established in 1995 when a national group wanted to “gift” the district with funds for teacher professional development. The Foundation was formed as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in order to accept and manage this donation.

Today, the APS Education Foundation solicits, receives and manages private donations which fund a wide variety of programs and services within the Albuquerque Public School system. Since 2010, the Foundation has worked to provide money for in-classroom grants through a program called the Horizon Awards. By the end of the 2015-16 school year, we will have placed more than $1.5 million into classrooms and schools through APS in a five-year period. This year, we plan to grant close to $500,000 to help students learn and teachers teach.

Private support often makes the difference between excellence and mediocrity in public education.  Local taxes and state support provide the basic needs for our schools, but through the years this funding has not been able to keep pace in helping to provide for the best possible education for all students.  APS is committed to lessening the drop out rate, improving student achievement and supporting well rounded educational curricula for all students regardless of their personal or economic situation.  Private support has been crucial to student success at APS.

Our Staff

Roberta Velasquez
Resource Specialist
Email: Phone: (505) 881-0841 ext. 2

Roberta Velasquez joins the foundation with over twenty five years of experience in the nonprofit arena.  She received her B.A. in Business Administration with concentrations in Accounting and Political Science from New Mexico Highlands University.  She is also a Certified Fraud Examiner and an active member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Born and raised in a small rural community in New Mexico, Roberta is passionate about education and making a difference.  “Being able to work for a foundation that is making a difference for so many students is a privilege.  Being able to wake up in the morning and know that what you are doing will help even one student succeed is priceless,” she says.

Lawren McConnell
Fundraising Specialist
Email: Lawren.McConnell@aps.edu
Phone: (505) 855-5273

Lawren McConnell has over eight years non-profit experience.  Born and raised in New Mexico, she received her B.B.A. in Marketing Management from the University of New Mexico after taking a semester to study International Business and Marketing at the University of Edinburgh. 

She has worked with special events, corporate development, donor stewardship, board development, volunteer management and outreach.  After moving back to New Mexico with her husband in 2013 to help with the family business, she launched a small bakery.  In 2015, she returned to non-profit work, wanting to give back to her community.

With a passion for learning, Lawren has loved meeting exceptional educators and students who truly make a difference in the lives of others.  Lawren also loves to travel and write and is a voracious reader. 

Lori Webster
Grant Writer and Manager
Email: lori.webster@aps.edu
Phone: (505) 880-3708

Lori Webster joined the APS Education Foundation after a twenty-year career in education, development and non-profit management. Her most recent position was as the director of a foundation for an Albuquerque-area charter school, Previously, she was a classroom teacher and the executive director of a youth-serving non-profit in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has been writing and administering grants since 1998.

Lori holds a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and a M.A. in School Leadership from New Mexico Highlands University. She and her husband have one daughter, an APS elementary school student.

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