Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES - Paula Roybal Sanchez will lead 4-H youth and community education programs as Los Alamos County home economics agent with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service.
Sanchez, who began work Sept. 1, brings a wealth of experience, including 15 years with Extension in Santa Fe County. She plans to offer diabetes education, nutrition, parenting and food preservation programs.
"I'm looking forward to learning more about the community and to working with other organizations," she said.
Sanchez, who has volunteered as a 4-H club leader, said she hopes to involve more young people.
"I hope to increase traditional club enrollment and provide 4-H-related programs to other youth organizations," she said. "Our traditional 4-H program is strong, so I hope to find nontraditional ways to reach children and make a difference in their lives by exposing them to 4-H and the leadership and citizenship development it promotes."
Sanchez most recently worked for two years as an office manager for Waddell and Reed, a financial planning firm in Santa Fe.
From 1992 to 2001, she was a self-employed consultant in family and consumer sciences. She taught parenting classes in schools, served as a nutrition consultant for Headstart, published educational newsletters for childcare providers, and conducted educational and fund-raising projects for the American Diabetes Association.
As a home economist with the Santa Fe County Extension office from 1977 to 1992, Sanchez directed the county afterschool program and home economics and 4-H programs. She received an Extension distinguished service award in 1983, a 4-H program management award in 1984 and a distinguished service award from the New Mexico Association of Extension Home Economists in 1988.
"I'm looking forward to returning to my field and my roots," she said.
Sanchez earned a bachelor's degree in home economics education from NMSU in 1976 and a master's degree in public administration from the University of New Mexico in 1982. She earned certification from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and belongs to Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for public affairs and administration.
Sanchez has served on the school board for Pojoaque Valley Schools since 1998 and is the current board secretary. She is a co-owner of Rancho Las Lagunas, a family-owned farm in Nambé.
She and her husband, Gary, have two sons: Andres, a sophomore civil engineering major at NMSU; and Diego, a senior at Pojoaque High School and active 4-H member.
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