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524 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Grant Received County Amount
Outdoor Equity Fund 2023 Bernalillo County $40,000
Total Grants Awarded $40,000

Siembra Leadership High School (“Siembra”) is an entrepreneurship-focused charter school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Siembra Leadership High School Foundation is a 501(c)(3) created for the sole purpose of supporting Siembra. Our mission is to prepare academically underserved students for entrepreneurial careers that reflect the values and needs of Albuquerque through collaboration with entrepreneurs and an emphasis on social, emotional, and intellectual growth. Siembra was founded as part of the Leadership Schools Network (LSN)—a cluster of four innovative, student-centered, community-responsive charter schools aligned to dynamic industries in New Mexico. Since welcoming our first class of 48 students in the Fall of 2016, Siembra now serves 285 students and is expanding its facilities, staff, and programming to serve up to 450 in the next three to five years. Located in the downtown Innovation District, the school embeds students in the community as they engage in work-based learning projects, internships, and dual enrollment courses to address local challenges alongside local businesses and nonprofits. Student progress is measured holistically across a variety of academic, social-emotional, employability, and life skills factors. Rather than following a traditional sequence of courses, Siembra is entirely project-based, and all learning is centered around real-world scenarios. Project-based learning lends itself to outdoor learning, with students engaging in their community and environment. Academic programs are designed to reach and uplift students who fall into the “gap” of not graduating—our youth have been failed by traditional school systems and face challenges that require increased social support and highly individualized instruction. The majority of students are low-income youth of color, and many face precarious housing, food insecurity, substance abuse, and domestic violence at home. Siembra assists students in accessing basic—but vital—resources and connects them with a team of on-site social workers while providing our young people with holistic, real-world learning. We incorporate skill building around leadership, financial literacy, management, and economic concepts into core curricula while connecting our underserved youth with opportunities new to them, such as outdoor learning, paid internships, and a student-run urban garden. Our unique educational model is effective and gaining momentum; in a recent survey of Leadership Schools Network seniors, nearly half self-identified as hardly attending school or dropping out prior to re-engaging at their Leadership school. In the same survey, 69.8% of the seniors planned to go on to higher education. Just this month, the New Mexico Public Education Department recognized the success of Siembra’s work, naming our school a 2023-24 Innovation Zone Awardee, which recognizes and invests in our commitment to reimagine community-led education models that authentically support our youth.