New Mexico Voices for Children is awarding Searchlight with its Patty Jennings and Polly Arango Citizen Advocacy Award, which “honors a New Mexican not in elected or public life with a proven record of exceptional advocacy, community and civic engagement, who demonstrates outstanding civic and charitable responsibility,” according to the nonprofit.

The award will be presented during New Mexico Voices for Children’s sixth annual Kids Count Conference on June 25 at the Embassy Suites hotel in Albuquerque. The conference theme is “Kids at the Crossroads: Charting the Course for their Success.”

“We’re a young organization and getting this recognition from Voices for Children is incredibly meaningful to us,” said Sara Solovitch, executive editor of Searchlight New Mexico. “It tells us that our work is making a difference, that it’s being read and disseminated. We’re thrilled at the news.”

New Mexico Voices for Children is singling out Searchlight’s “Raising New Mexico” series, a sustained, yearlong investigation into the challenges children and families face in our state. Searchlight New Mexico is “determined to shine a light on these grim truths and, in so doing, promote meaningful change,” according to the award listing in the conference program.

The “Raising New Mexico” series is running online, as well as around Searchlight New Mexico’s statewide network of more than 30 news outlets from across the media spectrum.
New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan statewide advocacy organization working to create systems-level, sustainable change to improve the lives of youth in our state, including through research and data analysis. It “works with state and national lawmakers and officials to shape and implement public policies that are supportive of children and working families,” according to its website.

Searchlight New Mexico is a nonprofit, nonpartisan digital journalism platform that seeks to empower New Mexicans through investigative reporting and innovative data journalism.