Los Alamos has a new nonprofit in town, Champions of Youth Ambitions also known as C’YA.
The youth development program has worked for two years to get through the paperwork and red tape of officially becoming recognized 501(C)(3).
The Board of Directors includes Valerie (Adams) Harris, a former Los Alamos Public School teacher now teaching in Andrews, Texas, with new husband Tim, Pauline Powell Schneider, Los Alamos retired and senior organization director, Debra Minyard, Pojoaque Valley High School music instructor and Link Crew leader, Karen Greenfield, Los Alamos Family Council and Megan Pfeffer, a Department of Health employee and former Mercy Award recipient.
The C’YA executive director is Bernadette Lauritzen, who along with husband Chad, known by many elementary students as the “Sci Guy” have worked hard to volunteer for many programs locally, regionally and occasionally a little further.
There were so many things we wanted to accomplish,” Bernadette said. “There were always small grants and opportunities available, but without being recognized as a nonprofit, the doors were closed to us.
The duo put many hours into projects like the Festival of Trees and Chocolate as they envisioned future funds for programs from youth development to hands on science in the schools.