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Posted: February 23, 2020

Selfless Senior Spotlight: Mia Jae Tafoya

Meet Mia Jae Tafoya of Eldorado High School, 2020 Selfless Senior!

“Ever since I was a little girl, my aunt would always ask me what my random act of kindness was for the day. With four years in high school full of wonderful memories, laughter, and joy, I realized how important random acts of kindness really are. At the end of my freshman year, I was invited to go on the Reality Project. I traveled to Oklahoma with 50 peers and we volunteered in community centers providing for those less fortunate than us. My sophomore year I worked with Breaking the Silence New Mexico. Their vision was to break the stigma built around mental illness/health and suicide. This work really captured my heart, because my grandfather took his life in 2002. During my sophomore year the class of 2020 lost a treasured classmate. This loss encouraged me to continue my quest to bring awareness of mental health issues and suicide. My junior year in high school our class lost another dear friend and classmate to suicide. This was when I knew we couldn't keep ignoring this issue that was arising and I knew I needed to support my community at Eldorado High School. In my senior year, my goal and mission was to create more mental health services available to APS. I was part of a group of over 100 Eldorado students who talked to APS Board of Education members about Eldorado and other schools around our district. Within the first month we made a lot of strong connections that led to great accomplishments. Sadly this year we also lost two more classmates to suicide. These tragedies pushed me to create a student-led task force. We fought for and received a wellness room at Eldorado and a permanent professional therapist. Thinking back now, I would have never thought that I would have had to face this adversity throughout my four years of high school. But, with the support of my family, friends, and the community of Eldorado High School we have all gotten through these challenges together, which has made us all stronger, and given me the drive to continue to make a difference now and for years to come.”

How would you describe Mia?